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Compeer Program

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It is vital for musicians to connect with audiences in a meaningful way, and at the Music Academy your audience is your community!

For more than 25 years the Compeer Program has been at the heart of the Music Academy community and a highlight of the Summer Festival! Fellows are matched with a local family or individual (“Compeer”) among the Academy’s most enthusiastic audience members. These matches build friendships by connecting at Academy events and enjoying occasional socializing on campus and around Santa Barbara.

Because of the great connections built through this program, fellows experience a supportive community unrivaled by other festivals. Many fellows and Compeers have formed life-long friendships. We are confident you will have fun getting to know your Music Academy Compeer who will be your personal cheering section from Santa Barbara and beyond!


  • MATCH You will receive your matching notification in early June prior to the start of the Festival. Sometimes two or more fellows are matched to the same Compeer, and sometimes fellows are matched with multiple Compeers (Co-Compeers).
  • MEET Compeers at a celebratory Compeer Program Kickoff Week 1.
  • SOCIALIZE with Compeers about once per week outside of Academy events at a mutually agreeable time. Common activities include picnics, BBQs, beach walks, and local sightseeing.
  • ENJOY! Enjoy your Festival performances even more by having a friendly face in the audience!

Top 10 Tips for Compeer Connections:

  1. When you meet your Compeer, share with them places you would enjoy seeing or experiencing around Santa Barbara so they can coordinate some fun activities with you. Don’t be shy! Compeers love hearing what you are most interested in.
  2. Inform your Compeer of your performance dates/times so they can do their best to be there.
  3. Compeers and fellows are encouraged to connect approximately once per week outside of performances, in order to enjoy connecting on a regular basis, but not be overwhelmed with social commitments.
  4. PLEASE RESPOND PROMPTLY TO EVERY COMMUNICATION YOUR COMPEER EXTENDS. This will help ensure the connections go smoothly.
  5. If you need time to rest or practice and cannot accept an invitation, that’s fine, just communicate with your Compeer. They will understand and know your music and rest comes first!
  6. Many fellows and Compeers enjoy gathering at studios or in other small groups, so you can get to know other fellows’ Compeers as well. The more the merrier for many activities!
  7. For transportation to a social gathering, rideshares (such as Uber or Lyft) are recommended if Compeers cannot provide transportation.
  8. Be sure to thank Compeers if they host a meal or gathering. Handwritten notes especially go a long way in helping our Compeers feel appreciated!
  9. You are not expected or obligated to perform for Compeers and/or community members when socializing off campus. Fellows may not perform off-campus for any non-Academy scheduled event without prior approval by the Dean and Artistic Department. Notify your studio teaching artist if a Compeer asks you to perform off-campus, even if it is just a casual event at their home. Compeers can approach the Music Academy if they are interested in hosting a special event including a performance, but performance requests are not to be made directly to fellows
  10. Please do NOT ask Compeers or other Academy community members for financial assistance of any kind, before, during, or after the Festival. The Compeer Program is a social-engagement program, so please be respectful of Compeers by not approaching them regarding financial situations.

Finally, have fun! The Compeer Program is meant to be relaxing meaningful and rewarding. Compeers are excited and grateful to be part of your Academy experience and will become some of your biggest fans.




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