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Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music


147 S River St, Suite 232, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 426-6966

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Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is one of America’s most distinguished contemporary music festivals.

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music began back in 1961 when a composer-musician named Robert Hughes partnered with some musical and theatrical artists at a coffeehouse in Aptos. They presented their first concert for approximately 200 people with seating in a field next door, and then expanded into a concert series the following year at the newly opened Cabrillo College campus in Aptos.

The festival's first official opening night was Aug. 21, 1963, with approximately 300 people in attendance. The festival remained under the umbrella of the college for 15 years, and then started traveling to various churches and even a tent on the UC Santa Cruz campus in order to keep it going despite a lack of a permanent home. In 1991, it settled down in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, and continues to perform there each summer as it has become established as a special part of downtown Santa Cruz in the summertime.

The main goal of the festival is to present new music for orchestras from both distinguished and up-and-coming directors. To date, it has presented 175 world premieres, 78 US premieres, 170 West Coast premieres, and counless amounts of local premieres featuring more than 300 composers since its 1960s inception.

Connecting With Community Groups in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County community groups and nonprofits play a fundamental role in making this a safe and thriving place.

Consider getting involved by volunteering your time, donating money, or both. Above you can learn about what services Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music provides to the community and easily volunteer, donate, register for services, or connect with them on social media. Visit the Santa Cruz County Community Groups directory to see a comprehensive list of organizations on all subjects that are relevant to creating a vibrant local community.

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