NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Music Preparatory Division at Stephen F. Austin State University at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet St.

In celebration of the milestone anniversary, Music Prep will host an outdoor music festival on May 1, also at the Prep House, and plans are underway for the creation of the Shirley Watterston Piano Lab. The ribbon cutting will be livestreamed on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.

The Watterston Piano Lab, which will be housed in a renovated garage area at the Prep House, will provide space for the SFA Music Prep to deliver affordable group piano instruction to members of the Nacogdoches and East Texas community. Classes will be offered for students of all ages (retirees, adults, teenagers, elementary) and skill levels. In addition to outreach potential, the piano lab program will also provide music majors internship opportunities to gain valuable teaching experiences in conjunction with their piano pedagogy classes.

“These supervised teaching opportunities fit the university's strategic plan by being a recruiting tool for college music majors seeking these types of transformative experiences as part of their academic and practical studies at SFA,” said Alba Madrid, director of SFA Music Preparatory Division and program instructor.

Additionally, the ribbon cutting will call attention to the all-day outdoor music festival on Saturday, May 1, that will feature the talents of Music Prep’s outstanding student musicians and give local merchants the opportunity to showcase their businesses while showing support for the School of Music’s outreach program, according to Madrid.

“This family-friendly outdoor music festival is the perfect way to end our school year, and it is a fitting tribute to 40 years of making music,” Madrid said. “This music festival will be a socially distanced event allowing music lovers to enjoy exceptional music, exhibition booths, food vendors and the great outdoors.”

The festival is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. For more information, contact Madrid at (936) 468-1291 or For more information about Music Prep, visit