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Here Are Your 2020 Sounds Like KPAC Winners

Middle and high school students from across the KPAC listening area brought their talents to McAllister Auditorium on January 25, 2020 for the sixth annual SOUNDS LIKE KPAC competition, featuring solo and ensemble performances, plus a juried art show, and written word entries for everyone in attendance to read, all inspired by the classical music heard on Texas Public Radio’s KPAC 88.3 FM.

Dr. Lindsay Irvin, a pediatrician who helps fund Sounds Like KPAC, shared how important music is for youth, remarking after the competition, "I think music is very powerful [in] helping with brain development."

In addition, TPR and Dr. Irvin also shared information about the David's Legacy Foundation at this year's event. During a post-show interview, Dr. Irvin explained why. "We had talked at this particular performance about bullying, and how important it is for children to be able to recover from being bullied, and from experiencing the alienation from self that happens when they're bullied."

Credit Nathan Cone / TPR
Joanna Cao, 1st Place winner in the Visual Art category

"Music helps them to remember who they are," Dr. Irvin said. "That is part of resilience. It's something you can hold on to."  

The First Place winners in each category were:


Louis Geer, BASIS Shavano


Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet, Reagan HS


Joanna Cao, Health Careers HS


Daniel Wang, Health Careers HS

All of the musical performances, as well as interviews with select contestants, will be broadcast on KPAC 88.3 FM on Saturday, March 14 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 Hart-Sheehy Fund, 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.

Second and Third Place winners in the Solo Musician category were Adriana Bec and Calla Xu. Second and Third Place winners in the Ensemble Musician category were the Selah Flores-Ananya Lertpradist Duo, and the Conticeo Quintet. Second and Third Place winners in the Visual Art category were Tanya Lertpradist and Andrew Kang. Second and Third Place winners in the Written Word category were Soren Dickson and Sunny Vuong.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

The competition prizes are funded by Dr. Lindsay Irvin of Alamo Heights Pediatrics, The Flohr Family Foundation, the Hart-Sheehy Fund, and Dr. Jatin Patel. Additional prizes courtesy Whataburger and Santikos Entertainment.

Sounds Like KPAC is made possible by generous support from Atlas Floors, the McNay Art MuseumSan Antonio CollegeAntonio Strad ViolinDellview Music, and Appraisals & Estate Sales by June Hayes.

The final round was adjudicated by Riely Francis, Principal Percussion with the San Antonio Symphony, Deborah MartinSan Antonio Express-News arts writer, and TPR's Norma Martinez.


By Daniel Wang
Inspired by Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C# Minor, Op.3, No. 2

Octaves cascade with steady marching pace
To the waters they fall, joining the rest
Until rising once more, they form new crests
Then return to the ocean without trace

Thunder and rain batter the lonely ship
Water and wind bully and pummel it
Tossed like a ball into the waiting mitt
The ship struggles over a wave’s high tip

Towering phrases rise with the tempo
Wind howls agitated notes with its blow
The wild waves roll through the churning sea
Raining chords pound the vessel angrily

Octaves cascade with steady marching pace
They slam into the sea with eager gall
The way a hammer is hurled against walls
Ocean water churns in every way

The salty sea grows pacified and still
Now with time the storm loses its fervor
Settles in its final cries of anger
And only wreckage remains of its spill.

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.