NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Music Preparatory Division at Stephen F. Austin State University, in partnership with the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, will host a Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 23, in downtown Nacogdoches.

The family friendly outdoor music festival is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and takes place on the downtown square. It will feature student music and dance performances, local artists, exhibit booths, children’s games and more, according to Alba Madrid, director of the Music Prep program in the School of Music.

 “This is an effort to unite, support and showcase the fine arts programs in our community,” Madrid said.

Local merchants can be a part of the festival by showcasing their businesses at booth spaces that will be located around the square and along Main Street and/or by donating door prizes to be given away during the festival. Event sponsorships are also available, and local food trucks will be onsite.

Proceeds will help fund, in part, two major projects, including the creation of the Shirley Watterston Piano Lab and the newly established Strings Project, Madrid said.

The Watterston Piano Lab, which will be housed in a renovated garage area at the Prep House, will provide space for 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 experience in conjunction with their piano pedagogy classes, and it will allow Music Prep to expand class offerings such as Kindermusik and choral programs.

“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,” Madrid said.

Strings Project classes provide practical hands-on training for undergraduate string education majors during their college years and give children from the community the opportunity to study a stringed instrument in a group setting. Classes are offered for elementary, middle and high school students after school.

Deadline to register for festival booth spaces is March 23. For more information about sponsorships, or to register for a booth, contact Madrid at (936) 468-1291 or For more information about Music Prep, visit