Our piano faculty foster complete musicianship skills in a collegial and artistically
inspiring environment. A hallmark of our piano program is an individualized approach
to each students’ aspirations and goals.
Our piano faculty actively perform throughout the world, produce internationally acclaimed
recordings of solo and chamber works, contribute to national publications, and have
been recipients of significant national and international awards and performance grants.
While receiving their education, our students are in demand as performers, music directors
and chamber musicians in a variety of settings and venues from university and the
city’s premiere concert halls, to smaller local venues and churches. They have opportunities
to teach privately through several thriving music academies in the city.
Our students have been prizewinners in numerous international and national competitions,
have presented research at regional and national conferences and are published authors.
Many of our graduates perform and teach in institutions of higher education throughout
the U.S., Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil and Europe.
Each piano studio is equipped with two Steinway 7-foot pianos, and students have excellent
practice facilities and access to historical keyboard instruments, the music technology
center and recording studio.
Phillip Bush is associate professor of piano and chamber music. Since his New York
recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum in 1984, he has appeared as recitalist throughout
North America and Europe and is a frequent performer at noted chamber music festivals.
Jerry Curry is professor emeritus of music theory and harpsichord. He has performed
recitals and as a continuo player in chamber groups, including the South Carolina
Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the author of freshman theory text, "Introduction to
the Study of Counterpoint."
Sara M. Ernst
Sara Ernst is associate professor of piano pedagogy. Her research includes investigating
teaching effectiveness, the use of language in instruction, and successful parent-teacher
interactions. She frequently explores pedagogical music of the 20th and 21st centuries
and examines the pacing of instruction through the intermediate years.
Charles Fugo teaches applied piano and coaches chamber music and is the recipient
of the 2008 Cantey Outstanding Faculty Award given by the School of Music. He has
played collaborative recitals at New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Scott Price is professor of piano and piano pedagogy and coordinates the piano pedagogy
program. He is creator and editor-in-chief of the online journal "Piano Pedagogy Forum,"
which won the 2008 Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award. He is founder of the Carolina
LifeSong Initiative, which provides music experiences for students with special needs.
Omar Roy currently serves as Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy in the
School of Music at the University of South Carolina. A strong supporter of independent
music teachers, Dr. Roy is in demand as a clinician. He frequently presents workshops
and guest lectures to music teacher organizations and universities, and is a regular
adjudicator for festivals and competitions.
Described in The WholeNote as “an innovative musician and aggressive thinker with
a gift for keyboard brilliance,” Dr. Nicholas Susi enjoys a multifaceted career living
out his deep love of music. He recognizes that Classical music has been a transformative
force in his life, and seeks to share its power with others through his teaching and