Educational Engagements

Passing the Torch . . . and the Passion

As our mission statement declares, Cactus Pear is committed to significantly contributing to the musical education of South Texas young people, not only during the summer festival but throughout the year. Exposing young people to this inspiring musical art form and the intimacy of listening to chamber music—or in making it themselves—has been a primary objective of the CPMF board and its founder since the beginning.


CPMF accomplishes this mission through our free Young Peoples' Concerts that occur during the festival season (see our 2014 schedule below), through our Young Artist Program (YAP)—a full-scholarship fellowship now in its 11th year that provides a group of young musicians two-weeks of intensive training with the festival professionals and opportunities for performance—in tandem with our CPMF X-Prize In Composition (formerly the Young Composer Xtreme Competition), and through Master Classes and our fun and educational Kinder Konzert series geared to children ages 3 to 10.


In 2008, Cactus Pear commissioned Colin Sorgi, a former and recent YAP fellow attending Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, to write a new composition for our 2008 ensemble of YAP fellows. What a memorable moment to hear this new work of art by a former YAP fellow performed by our latest group of scholarship fellows. Take a listen to this one-minute excerpt from Colin's composition. This is what we mean by "passing the torch" and helping bring along the next generation of musicians.

is available now. Click here.


Download the following

2 required pieces…


Schubert Trout Music

CPMF X-Prize Competition Application

will be available directly from the named-school's professors.

This inspired the CPMF board to create CPMF's Young Composer Xtreme Competition. For more information, see below.

Check out our video to watch the 2010 YAP ensemble perform the winning 2010 Young Composer composition Velocity by Colin Sorgi.

And watch this video of the 2012 YAP ensemble, The Cactuccinos, as they rehearse an excerpt from Bach's Second Orchestral Suite. The video was posted by John Clare of KPAC's Classical Spotlight.

  • 12th Annual YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAM — Full Scholarship Program

    The TWELFTH Annual Young Artist Program will be held Sunday, July 5 through Sunday July 19, 2015. Auditions were just completed and the SEVEN YAP Fellows have been announced.

    The 2015 Winners are:

    Gretchen Noble, piano [16, Marshall HS]

    Emily Bustos, violin [16, MacArthur HS]

    Dora Cheng, violin [17, Churchill HS]

    Brian Kang, violin [14, Garcia Middle School]

    Bailey Boyen, viola [15, Health Careers HS]

    Audrey Jellett Adrian, cello [13, Peterson Middle School]

    Logan Robison, cello [17, O’Connor HS]











    The 2015 Runner-Ups:

    Quentin Johnston, piano [14, Home School]

    Zoe Roensch, cello [16, Alamo Heights HS]




    YAP Education Director

    The distinguished San Antonio Symphony First Violinist and

    Mid Texas Symphony's Concertmaster CRAIG SORGI is the

    YAP Education Director. Craig is also the Adjunct Professor

    of Violin at Trinity University.


    Every year, between four and eight young instrumentalists will be chosen and awarded full-tuition scholarships for an intensive 2 1/2 week program. The Young Artists will form an ensemble—and ensembles—to study and perform chamber music. The curriculum will include private instruction and chamber music coachings with Festival Artists, lecture classes on aspects of music performance/careers, free admittance to all festival rehearsals & concerts for Fellows and family, and approximately 8 outreach performance opportunities including the final two San Antonio Festival concerts.



    2013 YAP ensemble performs Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale."


    Listen to a Camp KPAC interview with the 2013 YAP Fellows.




  • NEW COMPOSITION COMPETITION ANNOUNCED with a $1,000 winner's prize

    After several seasons without a winning entry and very little participation in CPMF's Young Composer X-treme Competition, we sought the advice and input of University composers from around the state. They spoke and we listened and, as a result, we have revamped our competition.


    Thus, our announcement of the CPMF X Prize Competition. The new revised competition will now be open ONLY to enrolled University level composition students from ONE invited University whose composition professors accept the challenge for their students. Other colleges or universities may petition CPMF to participate in subsequent seasons; once the new participating school has been selected we will announce the news on our website.


    Why X-Prize? CPMF is looking for EXcellence and EXceptionalism in young American composers studying in the fine composition departments found throughout Texas. All applicants must be US citizens and permanent residents living in or attending school full-time within the state of Texas.


    This competition was created in 2010 by the Board of Directors of Cactus Pear Music Festival, and is meant to encourage young composers in the state of Texas to create chamber music works, to provide a prominent forum for the recognition of their talent, and to deepen public awareness and appreciation of new American chamber music.



    STRING QUARTET:  2 violins, viola and cello
    STRING TRIO: violin, viola, cello

    All music must be unpublished (but may have been previously performed) and no more than six minutes in length. (see other guidelines listed in the application)


    Previous Competition Results

    Our last winner, in 2011, was HARLAN HODGES a 24-year old pianist/composer from West Texas who studied at Texas Tech University with Dr. Peter Fischer as well as Dr. Mei-fang Lin. This young, up-and-coming composer won the First Prize award with his composition entitled Vision of a Mockingbird.


    THE FIRST ANNUAL AWARD WINNER WAS COLIN SORGI, who received the winner's cash award for his unanimously selected composition Velocity.

  • YOUNG PEOPLE'S CONCERTS: Free YPC concerts that are fun and educational

    These YPC concerts are free and open to the public every summer! A few of the five festival concert programs are presented in shortened form by the festival artists who make the performances fun and educational for children. During our festival season, RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR GROUPS OF SIX OR MORE! Please call (210) 838-2218 for group reservations.


    The 2015 YPC Schedule is. . .


    Wed., July 8, 2 pm •

    @ St. Mary's Hall, Coates Auditorium

    . . . works by Mozart, Schubert, Haydn,
    Arroyo & Jaeger


    St. Mary's Hall

    9401 Starcrest Drive, San Antonio



    Wed., July 15, 2 pm • GERMANIC GIANTS

    @ Patrick Heath Library, Boerne

    . . . selections from works by Beethoven, Brahms & Mozart


    Patrick Heath Public Library
    451 N Main Street
    Boerne, TX 78006



    Thur., July 16, 2 pm • BELLA ITALIA

    @ McKenna Children's Museum, New Braunfels

    . . . selections from works by Verdi, Wolf &


    McKenna Event Center

    801 W. San Antonio Street

    New Braunfels, TX 78130


    And don't miss the
    after each
    YPC concert:


    hosted by

    Over the Top

    Cake Supplies!

    Special appearances by San Antonio Symphony

    mascot "Count Bassie,"

    Morgan's Wonderland mascot "Joy" and

    CPMF's mascot
    "Cactus Pear Polly"


  • FREE Community Concerts & Events

    When July 2015 arrives, inspire your students as they experience the joy of chamber music performed by a group of very talented young artists who have trained and studied with the Festival professionals!



    Sunday, July 12 • 7:55 am and NOON services

    Coker United Methodist Church, sanctuary

    231 E. North Loop Rd, San Antonio


    Tuesday, July 14 • 11 am

    Rotary Club of San Antonio at The Dominion


    Wednesday, July 15 • 3 pm

    The Meadows Retirement Community

    730 Babcock Road, San Antonio


    Friday, July 17 • 10:30 am

    Army Retirement Residence, San Antonio


    Saturday, July 18 • 11 am

    Coker United Methodist Church, sanctuary

    231 E. North Loop Rd, San Antonio




    Sunday, July 19, 3 PM

    First Presbyterian Church

    404 N. Alamo (between McCullough & Fourth)

    San Antonio


Also visit our



The Young Artist Program fellows

have many various performance opportunities including in community venues, churches, retirement communities and for social service programs. Their

concertizing culminates in performances at the last San Antonio festival concert as well

as their own showcase concert at the McNay Museum on the last

day of the festival.

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© 2015, Cactus Pear Music Festival