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Here Are Your 2018 Sounds Like KPAC Winners


If there was one consistent comment I heard from both judges and audience members alike at this year's SOUNDS LIKE KPAC talent competition, it's that the music, and and writing were of exceptionally high quality this year. Tallying the scores during intermission, it was clear this was a tight race. At the end of the afternoon, students from Ronald Reagan High School, Health Careers High School, Clark High School, and one local homeschool student all took first place awards at SOUNDS LIKE KPAC, held January 28, 2018 at McAllister Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College.

The First Place winners in each category were:


Zora Dickson, homeschool


Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet, Reagan HS


Joanna Cao, Health Careers HS


Tony Rodriguez, Clark HS

All of the musical performances, as well as interviews with select contestants, will be broadcast on KPAC 88.3 FM on Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. on “Performance Saturday,” Texas Public Radio’s weekly showcase of great performances from the stages of south central Texas. You can hear the music now in the Soundcloud link below.

The First Place winners in each category were awarded a $1,000 cash prize, funded by the Flohr Foundation and Dr. Lindsay Irvin of Alamo Heights Pediatrics, with additional support from the M.E. Hart Foundation, and Dr. Jatin Patel with Alamo Children's Heart Center. First Place winners also received a year’s supply of Whataburger, courtesy of the San Antonio-based chain. 

"Morning, Noon and Night," by Joanna Cao, first place Visual Art winner.

Second and Third Place winners in the Solo Musician category were Andrew Li and Tara Mosely. Second and Third Place winners in the Ensemble Musician category were the Cloud 9 String Quartet and a wind ensemble comprised of talented YOSA musicians. Second and Third Place winners in the Visual Art category were Adrian Toler and Christopher Bender. Second and Third Place winners in the Written Word category were Daniel Wang and Rema Bhat.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

SOUNDS LIKE KPAC was sponsored by Antonio Strad Violin, the Estate Sale Gallery at Los Patios, and San Antonio College.

The final round was adjudicated by Younggun Kim, pianist and educator, Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News arts writer, and TPR's Norma Martinez.


“Release” by Tony Rodriguez (Reflection on Frederic Chopin’s “Prelude in E Minor”) Troubled With sorrow Full of lament Yet controlled, held back It wants to go somewhere It wants to fully express itself But it can’t, not yet at least Everything it wants to say, it can’t It tries to raise its voice, but it fails So it starts over, slows down, tries again, and proceeds It is ready now, to exclaim to the world its feelings And it shouts, it raises such a clamor that it shakes the earth It tells of all the suffering it has seen in its life All the breakups, all the pets that passed, all the pain Every divorce, every failure, every regret, it all comes out It releases the burden of everything that it knew And having purged itself of all its sorrows It has its first taste of resolve From all suffering on earth It closes its eyes It is relaxed Sleeping peacefully Calm

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.