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 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

Young Composer

Xtreme Competition


2015 application will be available for download
in early 2015

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.

Also visit our



CPMF's YPC Partners

  • 12th Annual YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAM — Full Scholarship Program

    Every year, between four and eight young instrumentalists are chosen through an audition process and awarded FULL-TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS for an intensive 2 1/2 week chamber music and mentoring program. The Young Artists form an ensemble—and ensembles— to study and perform masterpieces of the repertoire, and to master a new composition from the winner of CPMF's Young Composer Xtreme Competition (see below). The curriculum includes 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 8 community engagement performance opportunities including the final two San Antonio Festival concerts.

    ELIGIBILITY FOR 2015 (instrumentation varies each year)

    Serious Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass students ages 14 through 18, and Piano students between the ages of 14 and 20,  who live in or near San Antonio, Texas, may apply. (Room and board not included, but home stays may be arranged if commuting is an impossibility.) Individuals as well as pre-formed groups will be considered for acceptance. Pianists MUST prepare the two short chamber music pieces available online (see links in the left column for the Schubert and Schumann music).



    Download our 2015 YAP application from the sidebar to the left to look more closely at our YAP requirements. Deadline for submission is April 10, 2015.


    The 2014 Winners were:

     • Katarina Chavez, oboe [18, CT Johnson HS]

     • Mario Zadra, violin [16, O'Connorl HS]

     • Emma Reynolds, viola [15, Churchil HS]

     • Terri Landez, cello [17, Churchil 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.



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


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












  • 5th Annual YOUNG COMPOSER XTREME COMPETITION with a $1,000 winner's prize

    The YOUNG COMPOSER AWARD is a competition that was started in 2010 to work in conjunction with the YAP fellowship (see above). CPMF has opened the competition to young composers age 25 or younger throughout the state of Texas, either as full-time residents or full-time students in Texas, with a cash prize of $1,000 for the winner.


    Why Xtreme? It’s our desire to have CPMF’s Young Artist Program [YAP] and the composer competition be a collaboration. Because the personnel of the YAP ensemble is not known until after auditions in April, the time allowed for the ensemble to prepare the winning piece is compressed into an intense 2 1/2 week span—thus, inviting some Xtreme and exciting creativity and collaboration.



    STRING QUARTET:  2 violins, viola and 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)


    Download our 2014 Young Composer Xtreme Competition application from the sidebar to the upper left.


    The 2011 winner 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.



    The judges 2014 decision: This year we received four entries in our young Composer
    X-treme Competition. Following a previewing process we are disappointed to announce that none of the submissions met the artistic standards set by our previous years' winners and as a result will not be advancing to the next level of adjudication; thus, we will not be announcing a winner this year.


    However, we at Cactus Pear applaud the efforts of our Young Composer applicants and wish them the very best in their continuing musical endeavors.


    We encourage those still eligible in 2014 to apply again. And we thank them for their efforts in participating in this educational experience.


  • 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 2014 YPC Schedule was . . .


    Wed., July 2, 2 pm • GOLDEN KEYS

    @ First United Methodist Church, Boerne

    . . . works by the Bach, Mozart & César Franck


    First United Methodist Church

    205 James Street, Boerne



    Wed., July 9, 2 pm • HIDDEN DOORWAYS:
    rare treasures for baritone, oboe & strings

    @ Morgan's Wonderland Event Center

    . . . selections from works by Mozart, Handel,
    Boccherini & Crusell


    Morgan's Wonderland Event Center
    5223 David Edwards Drive

    San Antonio, TX 78233



    Fri., July 11, 2 pm • HIDDEN DOORWAYS:
    rare treasures for baritone, oboe & strings

    @ McKenna Event Center, New Braunfels

    . . . selections from works by Mozart,
    Handel, Boccherini & Crusell


    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 6 • 8:15, 9:38 and 11 AM services

    Coker United Methodist Church, sanctuary

    231 E. North Loop Rd, San Antonio


    Tuesday, July 8 • Noon

    Rotary Club of San Antonio at The Dominion


    Wednesday, July 9 • 10 am

    Army Retirement Residence, San Antonio


    Wednesday, July 9 • 2:30 PM

    The Meadows Retirement Community

    730 Babcock Road, San Antonio


    Friday, July 11 • Noon

    Weston Centre's Lobby

    112 E. Pecan Street, San Antonio


    Saturday, July 12 • Noon

    Coker United Methodist Church, sanctuary

    231 E. North Loop Rd, San Antonio




    Sunday, July 13, 3 PM

    McNay Art Museum • Leeper Auditorium

    6000 North New Braunfels

    San Antonio, Texas 78209


    No admission before 2:30 pm.

    You must mention you are there for the CPMF concert to get in free.

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.

Tickets   |

© 2015, Cactus Pear Music Festival