Compeer Program

“First things first: Being a Compeer was an extraordinary and powerfully wonderful experience. I loved it all.” – 2016 Compeer

“The support and generosity offered by my compeer was crucial in my experience.” – 2016 Fellow

The Compeer Program is an innovative and fun community engagement program that unites Music Academy fellows and audience members (“Compeers”) in rewarding one-on-one friendships. Unique to the Music Academy, this extraordinary program is an integral aspect of the Festival experience for all involved and has transformed the Academy’s community for the past 20 years.

How it Works

  • Academy fellows are matched by mutual interests with a "Compeer" – an individual or family from among the Academy’s enthusiastic and devoted audience members and donors.
  • The Festival season begins with a celebratory dinner on campus at which fellows and Compeers are introduced.
  • Compeers and fellows spend free-time together approximately once per week during the Festival, at gathering such as picnics on campus, dinner outings, visiting local attractions, or simply sharing a cup of coffee.
  • Most importantly, Compeers support and encourage fellows by attending performances and greeting and congratulating fellows before and after their performances.
  • Compeers gain insight into the lives and careers of the next generation of great classically-trained musicians and the unique opportunity to bond with bright, focused and dedicated musicians from around the world.
  • Fellows enjoy an incredibly supportive community and have someone to personally play and sing for instead of an audience of strangers.
  • Both fellows and Compeers enjoy a much more meaningful musical experience because of the genuine friendships and connections built through this program.

Fellows do NOT live with Compeers. The Music Academy provides fellows with accommodations at Westmont College, local transportation, and meals. Compeers are not responsible to host fellows at their homes or offer financial assistance.

Fellow Testimonials

 “The community experience cannot compare to any of the other festivals I have attended. It was extraordinary.”

 “Seeing my Compeers in the audience allowed me to enjoy performing even more than normal…I really appreciated the interest of all the Compeers, not just my own, in the lives of the fellows.”

 “I felt truly connected to my Compeer by the end of two months, and our tearful goodbye was heartfelt. We will certainly be continuing this special friendship!”


Compeer Testimonials

“I feel as though I have a much better interpretation of the powerful work the Academy is doing in Santa Barbara and around the world.”

“Do not miss this great opportunity to be with talented, enthusiastic, funny, loving young people.  The best 8 weeks you can imagine.  I wouldn’t think of being away from Santa Barbara during the Music Academy season.”

“Being a Compeer made the music so much more meaningful to me! Thank you for this wonderful, enriching opportunity!”


The Compeer Program is a benefit of membership of the Council of Contributors; Council members receive priority in the matching process. Additional patrons are invited to participate as Compeers.