NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Plans are being finalized for the May 1 outdoor music festival hosted by the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music in celebration of Music Prep’s 40th anniversary.

The all-day event will take place at the Music Prep House, located at 3028 Raguet St., and 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 Alba Madrid, Music Prep director and program instructor.

“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 designed to celebrate the accomplishments of current Music Prep students by sharing their performances with the community. The program will begin with the youngest artists in Kindermusik and Suzuki programs. Students taking private lessons will be featured in solo performances in various instruments. The festival will include a compelling performance by the Piney Woods Youth Symphony Orchestra.

A number of local merchants have signed on as sponsors for the event, including Lisle Violin Shop and Regents Academy, allegro sponsors; Rex Perry Autoplex, Etech, University Rental, Elliott Electric, New Camerata Opera, Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry and Gobel School of Dance, moderato sponsors; and Morning Glory Yoga, Commercial Bank of Texas, McWilliams & Son, Rodan + Fields and Nest Spa, adagio sponsors. Additionally, several merchants will have booth spaces to showcase their businesses. Local food trucks will be on site.

A new project also being celebrated is the creation of the Shirley Watterston Piano Lab at the Prep House. With the lab, named in honor of the Music Prep co-founder,  the Preparatory Division will be able 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.

The festival is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 1. For more information about the festival or the programs offered by Music Prep, contact Madrid at (936) 468-1291 or, or visit