Coker College Hosts Inaugural Summer Piano Institute

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Apr. 20, 2014 – Coker College's Department of Music, Dance, and Theater is hosting its inaugural Summer Piano Institute for high school students June 22-27.

The Summer Piano Institute will allow students to explore piano studies intensively with veteran teachers and a community of fellow students. Students must be currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 and no older than 18, and they must have completed at least four years of keyboard study.

"For one week in June the Coker College campus will be turned into a celebration of piano,” said Will Carswell, associate provost for academic affairs and associate professor of music. “Budding pianists will have the opportunity to work one-on-one and in ensemble with our extraordinary piano faculty. The Summer Piano Institute will create the ideal environment for young pianists to be inspired and challenged."

The Institute’s daily schedule will include private lessons, group lessons, ensemble rehearsal and coaching and piano literature exploration classes. All students will receive daily lessons, masterclasses and practice time on the college’s Steinway & Sons pianos, which are considered the gold standard of pianos. Some free time will be built into the schedule for performing in the community, watching important music films and other activities.

"The Summer Piano Institute is an exciting new opportunity for young local pianists to study with Coker faculty and develop their piano skills while also enhancing their all-round musical knowledge," said Graham Wood, associate professor of music; chair of the department of dance, music and theater; and coordinator of the musical theater program.

Tuition for the week-long program is $475 for resident campers and $295 for day campers (commuters) plus a $20 nonrefundable registration fee. Resident campers will stay in one of the college’s residential halls throughout the week and receive three meals a day. Day campers also will receive three meals a day. Applications and registration fees are due by May 15. Enrollment is limited.

For more information, visit or contact the institute director, Ryan Smith, at 843-383-8064 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The music faculty include:

Ryan Smith is assistant professor of music at Coker College where he directs the piano and theory programs. He is an active performer, giving recitals in diverse venues in Austin, New York, Columbia and Charleston, with an upcoming recital in London. Smith holds degrees in music performance from Furman University and the University of South Carolina. His teachers include Ruby Morgan, Sheila Paige, Marina Lomazov and Charles Fugo.

Rita Chandler is an adjunct professor of music at Coker College. She has performed the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Spartanburg Philharmonic and numerous solo works. Chandler studied with George Lucktenberg at Converse College where she earned her B.M. and M.M. in piano performance.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

For more information, contact Kyle Saverance, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  /  Office: 843-383-8017

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