The Gladys Frisch Harris Piano Festival at Hastings College brings outstanding teacher-performers to the Hastings College campus for a day of informative and inspiring activities, all free of charge to festival participants!

The Festival attracts clinicians who share their expertise with piano students, teachers and the Hastings College community — including an opportunity for students in grades 8-12 to attend free of charge and work with the guest clinician and Hastings College faculty. These master class sessions are a great way to coach literature for upcoming solo recitals, Guild Auditions, contests or NMTA District Festivals.

2022 Piano Festival

The 2022 Festival is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2022 and will be held in-person.

We are pleased to invite all students grades 8-12 to attend this event free of charge, and request a lesson with our guest clinician, Dr. Grace Huang. Please register below.

Tentative Schedule for March 26

9:00 am — Welcoming remarks by Dr. Jonathan Sokasits, Professor of Piano
9:00–10:00 — Recital presented by Dr. Grace Huang
10:00–10:30 — Lecture, “The Three ‘C’s’ for the Modern Musician” presented by Dr. Huang
10:30–1:00 pm — Masterclasses for area students with with Dr. Huang and Dr. Sokasits
1:00 — Recital featuring Dr. Nathan Mertens, saxophone; Dr. Sokasits, piano; and Taylor Wilson, a high school piano student of Sokasits 

2022 Guest Artist - Dr. Grace Huang

GraceHuang pianofestival 22
Dr. Grace Huang

Dr. Grace Huang is assistant professor of piano pedagogy and class piano coordinator at the University of Georgia where she teaches undergraduate and graduate pedagogy courses, class piano and oversees all aspects of the class piano program. Additionally, she owns and operates an independent piano studio in Athens.

Prior to her UGA appointment, Huang was on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she maintained a studio in the CIM Preparatory division and served as Head of Secondary Piano in the Conservatory division, overseeing the class piano program. She was also on the piano faculties of Millikin University (IL) and St. Cloud State University (MN), as well as summer music programs such as UGA Summer Music Camp and Institute, Summer Sonata (CIM), Illinois Summer Youth Music (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Praised for her “lovely and vivacious” playing (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), she has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad as soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. Recent performances were in Tampa, Cleveland, Charleston, Taiwan and Austria.

In demand as a teacher, her students have received local, state, and regional honors. She is an active member of MTNA, having held multiple leadership roles and regularly serving as adjudicator and clinician. She has presented and performed at the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum and state conferences for Texas, Illinois and Georgia Music Teachers Associations, among others.

Huang holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Minnesota (MM and DMA) and Vanderbilt University (BM). Former teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Craig Nies, Roland Schneller and Sue Hudson; pedagogy studies were with Rebecca Shockley, Karen Ann Krieger and Elizabeth Cormier. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.


Contact Dr. Jonathan Sokasits at 402.461.7359 or

History of the Gladys Frisch Harris Piano Festival at Hastings College

frisch1Gladys Frisch Harris, a member of the Hastings College class of 1932, spent more than fifty years of her life teaching private piano and organ pupils. She actively taught until two days before her death on Thanksgiving Day, 1981.

Following graduation, Harris taught high school music for two years, and then became a substitute teacher in the Evanston, Illinois public schools. She studied pipe organ in Chicago and attended the Diller-Quaile School of Music in New York.

Harris and her husband, the Reverend James W. Harris, were married in 1934 and had two sons, James and John. Mrs. Harris was a member of the Evanston Music Club and the Board of Directors of the West Suburban Symphony in LaGrange, Illinois. Her dedication to the field of music education still continues today through underwriting this annual student/teacher workshop.

About the Gladys Frisch Harris Piano Festival
The generous bequest of Reverend James W. Harris continues to honor his wife’s memory with an annual piano festival designed for area pre-college piano students and their teachers. Since its inception in 1984, the Gladys Frisch Harris piano festival has brought outstanding teacher-performers to the Hastings College campus for a day of informative and inspiring activities, all free of charge to festival participants. With the ongoing generous support of the Hastings College Music Department and Artist Lecture Series, the festival continues to attract top-notch clinicians to share their expertise with area piano students, teachers and the Hastings College community.

This annual festival occurs in March or April. It is a wonderful performance opportunity that helps students prepare for district festivals, auditions and spring recitals. Over the years, the festival has undergone a number of changes before arriving at its current format.