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 School of Music

Piano Support Personnel

Piano Support



The School of Music offers a unique spectrum of piano support and collaborative piano instruction. Students in all areas have available to them the support of a team of pianists, which covers the accompanying needs of both vocal and instrumental areas. Piano students at all levels of instruction may enroll in collaborative piano courses and, at the graduate level, students may major in this area of specialization.

The availability of piano support at the North Carolina School of the Arts is exceptional. The expertise available in preparing performances, together with the variety of performance opportunities available, has proven to be a great enhancement to music making.


For Instrumentalists and Singers


The North Carolina School of the Arts provides piano accompaniment for:

              ~ winter and spring term juries;

              ~ degree recitals;

              ~ School of Music student performances; and

              ~ concerto competition auditions.

In preparation for these performances, pianists are also available for preparatory rehearsals, lessons, and studio master classes.


If you are a voice student, staff pianists are assigned to play for weekly lessons and master class. There are also pianists assigned to opera workshop and other related classes.

If you are an instrumental student in the string, woodwind or brass area, staff pianists will be assigned to your studio teacher to provide accompanying for lessons, master class and recitals.

If you are an instrumental student in the percussion, guitar or harp area, your studio teacher may request pianist coverage for works requiring accompaniment.

Both instrumental and vocal students also have the opportunity to work with piano students in the collaborative piano courses, as well as graduate students in the collaborative piano program. Singers and instrumentalists acquire additional performance experience and additional coaching when they participate in these one-on-one projects with other students.

Staff pianists are available for hire for rehearsal time beyond the studio, master class and recital performances as well as for recording sessions, non-degree recitals, or off-campus performances and competitions.


If you are a piano student in the undergraduate and high school programs, collaborative piano classes are designed to teach the collaborative skills you will need to become fine performance partners.   In a class setting with individual coaching, student pianists learn through collaboration with their fellow students in the vocal and instrumental areas. Topics include balance, sound production and ensemble issues, quick study, stylistic versatility, collaborative repertoire, and professional behavior.  College piano majors take the collaborative piano class in their first year.  Students in the high school program may be recommended by their teachers to take part in the class, and college students may enroll for a second year in the class.


If you are piano student preparing a performance of a piano concerto your studio teacher will request pianist coverage of any works requiring accompaniment.


The Graduate Program in Collaborative Piano

The Graduate Program in Collaborative Piano allows pianists to develop their collaborative skills and learn the repertoire of their chosen discipline.  For a full description of the curriculum see the graduate collaborative piano program page.

Collaborative Piano Possibilities for Keyboard Players in the Graduate Program

Piano students and organ students at the graduate level may enroll in the seminars in collaborative piano (literature, and support skills) with the permission of their major teacher and according to space available. They are also welcome to attend the master classes of the collaborative piano majors.

Faculty/Staff who are part of Piano Support at NCSA



Eric Larsen                                     Coordinator of the Piano Area       

Allison Gagnon                              Director, Collaborative Piano Program

Angela Ward                                   Pianist and Coach, A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute


Piano Accompanying Staff


Vocal and instrumental studios

Vocal and Opera workshop


Piano Technician

  • Bill Huesman
Recording Services

The North Carolina School of the Arts School of Music offers a wide range of recording services for enrolled students.  All official School of Music concerts and recitals are recorded and archived in the library.  Students may purchase personal copies of these recordings for a modest fee.  Students may hire the school’s recording services to record their own student recitals, auditions or competitions. 

The school also provides additional recording equipment for self-recording, free of charge, under a teacher’s supervision.  All recording services are available in our state-of-the-art Watson Hall, as well as Crawford Hall, Hood Recital Hall, the instrumental rehearsal room and the vocal rehearsal room, offering students a variety and choice of superb acoustics for their recordings.

In addition to the school’s recording services, there are several local professional recording engineers and studios available to provide recording services at reasonable market rates.

Internet 2 Online Video Conferencing

Each year the North Carolina School of the Arts - School of Music produces a series of Internet 2 online video conference sessions to perform, collaborate, discuss and exchange ideas with a variety of guest teachers and speakers from around the world. Internet 2 is a new high-speed Internet system allowing high quality real-time audio-visual interaction between people at any Internet 2 location in the world.

These sessions involve the North Carolina School of the Arts students, faculty and community in one of the most innovative trends in the performing arts. Internet 2 connects participants, including students and alumni, to their profession and supports the professional development of all involved.

Past sessions have included collaborations with:

  • Arizona State University
  • A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
  • Associated Colleges of the South
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Columbia University
  • DaCapo Chamber Players
  • East Carolina University
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Mendelssohn String Quartet
  • Michigan State University
  • New World Symphony
  • New York Philharmonic
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Ohio University
  • Rural Hall Elementary School (Forsyth County Public School System)
  • Susan Stauter, Artistic Director for Secondary Schools, San Francisco School System
  • Clarinetist - Richard Stolzman
  • University of Colorado
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of North Texas
  • The Young Eight Chamber Ensemble