History of the Gladys Frisch Harris Piano Festival at Hastings College
Gladys 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.