Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio has classical music in her blood. The one-time concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony descends from a line of concert pianists and symphony violists, and her sister Sara plays the cello in the award-winning ensemble Eroica Trio. One summer evening in 1996, Stephanie was feeling deprived during the symphony's seasonal hiatus when inspiration struck: why not found a new festival all her own? Going strong 17 years later, the Cactus Pear Music Festival sprawls out with five concert programs scheduled in three cities over the course of two weeks.
Strings of multicolored lights twinkle above Mi Casa Tamales' three spacious acres, which are home to an intimate dining room, a cantina, a breezy, tree-shaded patio, and a kid-friendly play area. Known for their Texas-sized tamales that weigh more than 3 pounds per dozen, Mi Casa's chefs ably combine Texan and Mexican cuisines into appetizing dishes accented with house-made sauces including avocado salsa, cowboy stew, and tomatillo sauce. Music floats on the air during warm summer nights, serenading diners with guitars, piano, and tacos thumped rhythmically on drumheads.
ComedySportz’s troupe of all-star laughletes is considered to be not only comedic, but also to have good sportsmanship, since there’s no swearing allowed, the subject matter is suited for all ages, and the show is monitored by a referee who calls offense fouls and hides unfunny heads in a shameful brown bag. Take a friend, relative, significant other, or the relative of a friend’s significant other to see two teams of expert improvisers fight for laughs through an average of 7– 12 scenes, games, and songs based on audience suggestions. At the end, the crowd votes to decide which team wins the honor of dumping life-size cardboard cutouts of the other team into an active volcano.
The lounge-like atmosphere of Amore Cafe invites visitors to sit back on one of the many couches that dot the interior, puff on a hookah, and enjoy Mediterranean-style cuisine from the kitchen. The menu starts off with platters of smoky, char-grilled baba ghannouj and leads to tender, skewered meats. Pairs can share hookahs, inhaling on smooth flavors such as coconut, exotic vanilla, and whatever that one talking caterpillar smokes.
. During 45-minute Kindermusik classes, tots stimulate their minds, bodies, and sense of play with diverse activities based on research demonstrating music's beneficial effect on childhood development. As pintsize hands bang out tunes on provided instruments, brains busy themselves with forming the connections necessary for multiple forms of intelligence, including spatial reasoning, interpersonal skills, and the ability to tell a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo from the synthesized parrot squawks on a Jimmy Buffet album.
The academy's roster of instructors dispenses private education on diverse instrumentation during 30-minute, one-on-one music lessons. Euphonic apprentices can open up their epiglottises in voice lessons, strum away on guitar, or prepare to marshal their army of G.I. Joes by beating some drum skins. Lessons are also available on the piano, as well as band and orchestral instruments. All students except drum and piano pupils must supply their own instruments for use during lessons, where they will learn a curriculum geared to their individual goals and interests. An extensive library of method books imparts the techniques to tackle any style of music and teaches students to read music, so that they're able to interpret the plotline of Mozart's romance novels.
Since 1908, Anhalt Dance Hall has drawn crowds to two-step and do-si-do to traditional Texas tunes on a sprawling wooden dance floor. In December, the club will host Rocky King & Dance Hall Cowboys, who follow in the bootsteps of such Texas greats as Ray Price and Western swing forefather Bob Wills. The energetic strains of twin fiddles and steel guitar lure audiences to twirl around the 103-year-old dance floor, showcasing their shuffle-step and triple axel. Dancers can refuel with BYO snacks or stop by the bar for a cold beer or wine cooler (not included).