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.

2024 Piano Festival

The 2024 Festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2024.

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, Kenneth Huber, and Hastings College piano faculty member, Jonathan Sokasits. Please register below. 

Festival Schedule

9:00 am — Welcome by Dr. Jonathan Sokasits, professor of piano
9:00 am — Solo recital presented by Kenneth Huber featuring music by Bach/Hess, Chopin, Liszt, Mozart, and Schubert
10:00 am — “Let Chopin Teach You” talk by Huber
10:30 am–12:00 pm — Masterclasses for area students with Huber and Sokasits
1:00 pm — Solo recital presented by Sokasits featuring music by Billy Joel/Sokasits

2024 Guest Artist - Mr. Kenneth Huber

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Mr. Kenneth Huber

Kenneth Huber, critically acclaimed pianist, has concertized extensively throughout the United States as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. He has appeared frequently on radio and television and has been heard in collaboration with opera stars of the Metropolitan, New York City, Vienna, and La Scala Operas, as well as stars of Broadway musical theater. In most recent seasons he has appeared jointly with baritone David McFerrin in performances of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, and with his long-standing violin partner Brenda Brenner, Associate Professor of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. A highlight of their recent appearances featured a lecture recital on Ives’ Fourth Sonata for the national convention of the College Music Society. In 1968 he began a four-year tour of duty as concert pianist with the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., serving as accompanist for the Navy Chorus in over 350 engagements including appearances at the White House and the State Department.

Mr. Huber served Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, as Senior Lecturer in Piano from 1990 to 2013. For twenty years Mr. Huber resided concurrently in New York City and his present home in Minneapolis, teaching and performing extensively in both cities. He has been active in music education since 1960 appearing as guest lecturer and clinician for many professional organizations. He has served on the faculties of Westminster Choir College, Augsburg College, and Virginia Intermont College, where he was also founder and Director of Celebrity Concerts. He frequently presents lectures and recitals for the American Matthay Association and the Mannheimer Piano Festival, for which he was artistic director. He is often invited to adjudicate for national scholarship competitions and auditions,including the MTNA, the San Antonio International Keyboard Competition, and St. Paul’s Schubert Club. He has also served two terms as panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts.


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.