MBAW Youth Ambassadors

About the Program

Youth Ambassadors are part of an important element of Musical Bridges Around the World’s mission, to encourage the development of young musicians in the greater San Antonio area. Chosen ambassadors showcase to the community the positive experiences music can bring to people of all ages and backgrounds, by performing in schools, senior living and community centers, and special events. They are also given the opportunity to attend or participating in masterclasses with world-class Musical Bridges Around the World artists. 

Youth Ambassador Chloe Castillo performs at Gurwitz 2020 Reception with David Robinson on white piano
Youth Ambassador Eleanor Cheikhet greets resident at senior community after her performance for them.
Gurwitz 2020 Bronze Medalist Leonardo Colafelice speaks to Youth Ambassador Michael Belhadad during a piano masterclass.

This unique youth program was started in 2013 by the San Antonio International Piano Competition (SAIPC) and continued to develop after nonprofit Musical Bridges Around the World (MBAW) took over the management of the competition, subsequently renaming it The Gurwitz International Piano Competition. The program helped young local pianists to share their art, learn the basics of the concert industry, meet top music professionals and serve as volunteers. In 2023, the program opened this ambassadorship to all instruments and moved into MBAW’s general programming, being renamed the MBAW Youth Ambassadors.

2023-2024 Youth Ambassadors

Chloe Castillo, piano – student of Ken Thompson
Channing Christian, piano – student of Antonia Daskalova
Eleanor Cheikhet, piano – student of Anya Grokhovski
Siena Escamilla, piano – student of Antonia Daskalova
Michel Hadad, piano – student of Marsha Perkins
Benjamin Huang, piano – student of Andrew Small
Hudson Lupo, piano – student of Glendora Garza
Norah Lynch, piano – student of Glendora Garza
Lillian Maldonado, horn/piano – student of Andrew Warfield, Debbie Seagraves & Peter Steigerwald
Madeline Maldonado, piano/flute – student of Peter Steigerwald & Kristin Hayes
Anna Szalai, piano – student of Daniel Anastasio

Eligibility, Application & Audition

Key Dates 

  • Application/Audition Period: 15 May, 2024 applications open; 30 June, 2024 application deadline (11:59 PM).
  • Notification: Three to five new Youth Ambassadors chosen & notified by 30 July, 2024.


  • Advanced music students 18 years or under (as of September 1, 2024).
  • Now open to all instruments, including voice!
  • Must be a resident of Bexar County, TX.
  • Must have a Letter of Recommendation from music teacher.

Application & Audition Submission Process

Applications are handled through the ACCEPTD application platform. The Youth Ambassador program does NOT conduct live auditions, all auditions should be video recording as a part of the online application process.

To read the full list of submission guidelines and apply:

  1. Visit our ACCEPTD page.
  2. “Select Program” under “Start an Application” box. Select “Youth Ambassadors”.
  3.  Read and prepare all application submission materials.
  4. Once applications have opened, click “Apply for Youth Ambassadors” under the “Start an Application” box to begin your application.

Featured Video

In December 2021, ten Youth Ambassadors performed at the San Fernando Cathedral as part of the Musical Bridges Youth Holiday concert. It premieres online Sunday 24 July at 7 PM CT (UTC-5) on the Musical Bridges Around the World website and MBAW YouTube channel.