I was humbled by the interest and support from the community of Santa Barbara in the Music Academy of the West program and fellows. The Compeer Program was the icing on the cake because it allowed the fellows to connect individually with some patrons, allowing us to always have a friendly face in the audience cheering us on.
I have a real friendship with my Compeer and I loved that we got to have long conversations about our lives, the Festival, and responses to what we were seeing. I really appreciate getting to share such an honest relationship with someone from Santa Barbara, making me feel more connected to the city and the Festival.
“The support and generosity offered by my compeer was crucial in my experience.”
More than just a place to learn, the Academy becomes a home away from home for our Fellows, who develop lifelong friendships with other Fellows and deep connections to faculty and local music supporters.
Through our special “Compeer” program, each Fellow is matched with a local family or individual who shares mutual interests. Like extended family, throughout the season Compeers and Fellows spend time together at Academy events, like picnics, BBQs, beach trips, and concerts, as well as in leisure time, including sightseeing and dinners.
When Fellows perform, their Compeers are there, providing a familiar face in the crowd, and someone to congratulate them at the end of the show. The Music Academy does our best to ensure that, even though they may be far from home, Fellows feel supported, cared for, and surrounded by friends.