Education & Scholarships

Nurturing the next generation of artistic talent has been a goal of the Sunriver Music Festival ever since it was launched four decades ago. This goal is continually met in multiple ways:

Below are details for the Festival’s programs that help strengthen music education in our community.

Young Artists Scholarship Program

Throughout its 29-year history, Sunriver Music Festival’s Young Artists Scholarship program has awarded almost $700,000 in scholarships to 194 exceptional young classical music students from throughout Central Oregon.In 2023 alone, 10 musicians aged 16-23 were awarded a combined total of $35,600 in scholarships to aid with expenses related to college tuition or private music lessons.

More info about the application processApply online

Free Young Artists Scholarship Recital
Friday, June 7, 2024 at 7 PM

Community Bible Church at Sunriver
1 Theatre Drive, Sunriver
Free and open to the public

All are invited to attend this free community concert to be inspired by the future of music with these advanced young musicians. Tickets are not required.

To qualify for a scholarship, students must be a permanent resident of Central Oregon, perform at an advanced level, aspire to a career in classical music, and major in music in college. It is open to ages 11-24 through one master’s degree.

2023 Young Artists Scholarship Recipients

  • Aaron Goyal, guitar
  • Emma Ditmore, soprano
  • Eponine Bell, soprano
  • Fiona Curley, soprano
  • Gabriel Reed, piano
  • Joel Newman, baritone
  • John Fawcett, violin
  • Lucinda Mone, soprano
  • Mateo Garza, violin
  • Matthias Santucci, piano

Several of this year’s scholarship recipients are college students pursuing a career in classical music. They have been accepted into highly-acclaimed schools such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Eastman School of Music in New York.


The annual Summer Festival always features a variety of masterclasses for young advanced students and there are also masterclasses at Piano Showcase. Masterclasses give opportunity for students to receive or observe one-on-one instruction from the highest echelon of performers in their instrument. Please contact us for more information on applying to perform in a future masterclass. Masterclasses are open to the public and observers are welcome.

Mindful Music Moments

Thanks to grants from Sunriver Women’s Club and individual donors, Sunriver Music Festival provides Mindful Music Moments at several local schools as part of students’ morning routine. The program includes three to five minutes of recorded classical music played every morning after breakfast, and it’s designed to help students de-stress and be ready to learn.
Mindful Music Moments helping La Pine students become calm, focused to start school day, Central Oregon Daily Newsread article

“At Rosland Elementary School, the entire student body gathers in the gym to eat breakfast. Then the students line up by class, sit down and listen to classical music. They focus on deep breathing and calming the body. Just this brief time has proven to calm the group of kiddos and get them ready to learn. A giant THANK YOU to Sunriver Music Festival for offering a unique and healthy way to help students learn.”

Studio to Schools at La Pine Middle & High Schools

Studio to Schools is a multi-year grant initiative supporting 18 collaborative projects between schools and community arts organizations to design and deliver sustainable arts education opportunities that have the potential for replication. Activities can occur both during and after school. Through this project, The Oregon Community Foundation aims to increase arts opportunities for underserved youth and to support communities in strengthening their networks and capacity to offer year-round arts education.

The Sunriver Music Festival is among one of the 18 projects selected throughout the state of Oregon to receive a five-year Studio to Schools Grant supporting the development of band programs at the La Pine Middle and High Schools and provides ongoing support for implementing music and art education into the daily school curriculum.

So what does this look like in reality?

Middle & High School Band: Thanks to this Studio to Schools grant and partnership with Sunriver Music Festival, the band, taught by Michael Chavarin, has been able to grow to include students from 6th to 12th grade. TRS band 2017 The band now has new uniforms and we are looking forward to the program continuing to expand.

Artists in Residence: Art classes have welcomed professionals in photography, printmaking, papermaking, and more, leading special multi-week residences and after-school clubs.

Guitar Club: With a beginner class and an advanced class, Guitar Club has grown with such great popularity that they continue meeting even throughout the summer. Thanks to this Studio to Schools grant, Sunriver Music Festival has been able to hire a guitar teacher to come to La Pine every week.

Drama Programs: In 2017, La Pine Performing Arts achieved a milestone achievement in presenting their first full-length musical in years. “The Little Mermaid” performed a sold-out weekend and was a grand success in introducing this drama program to the greater La Pine community. This success continued on with “Grease” in 2018 and “Jungle Book” plus “Rock of Ages” in 2019.

Jazz Choir: Comprised mainly of students in the upper classes, and thanks to support from this grant, Michael Chavarin is empowered to conduct a successful jazz choir in which all students are required to audition. The choirs recently purchased new robes and are also able to continue expanding their music library.

Three Rivers School in Sunriver

Sunriver’s local K-8 school has a thriving music program. In addition to the elective Band and Choir and Guitar classes, every student has music classes as part of their regular curriculum, taught by the excellent Rebekka Nores. Sunriver Music Festival has partnered with Three Rivers School throughout the years to help purchase and maintain instruments and accessories, orchestra chairs, printed music, and much more, with the help of grants from Sunriver Women’s Club, Sunriver Rotary, and others.

After School Orchestra is one of the newer joys we’ve been able to share with Three Rivers School. We’ve hired AJ Jimenez to introduce 12-20 kids, mostly 4th and 5th graders, to violin, viola, and cello. These kids, most all who have not played an instrument before, learn the basics of music reading and technique, and have multiple performances throughout the school year.

Would you like to partner with the Festival in strengthening music education in South Deschutes County?

Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. You can direct your donation toward the Young Artists Scholarships or to the music education programs at Three Rivers and La Pine Schools.

You may specify how you’d like your donation designated in the comments field after clicking “Add to Cart.” Thank you!