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UGA Piano Symposium

UGA Piano Symposium

2023 Headlining Guest Artist: Jeremy Siskind
Additional UGA Faculty Presentations: Greg Satterthwaite and James Weidman
Symposium Director: Grace Huang

This event is free and open to the public.

The 2023 Piano Symposium will take place in Edge Recital Hall at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Pre-registration is requested. Please email Dr. Grace Huang ( to pre-register.

Symposium Schedule (subject to change):

  • 9:00-9:30 AM: Check-in, Edge Recital Hall lobby
  • 9:30-10:15 AM: “Journey Through Jazz Piano: A Few Seminal Figures and Their Style,” Greg Satterthwaite
  • 10:30-11:45 AM: “Five Things Every Piano Teacher Needs To Know About Jazz (But Is Afraid To Ask),” Jeremy Siskind
  • 11:45-12:00 PM: Mini-Recital
  • 12:00-1:30 PM: Lunch (UGA Dining Hall)    
  • 1:30-2:15 PM: “An Introduction to Jazz Modal Scales,” James Weidman
  • 2:15-2:30 PM: Mini-Recital
  • 2:45-4:00 PM: “Stepping Towards Improvisation,” Jeremy Siskind
  • 4:00-4:30 PM: Interactive Q+A with Jeremy Siskind
Download the full schedule with session descriptions HERE.

Jeremy Siskind

Pianist-composer JEREMY SISKIND is “a genuine visionary” (Indianapolis Star) who “seems to defy all boundaries” (JazzInk) with music “rich in texture and nuance” (Downbeat). A top finisher in several national and international jazz piano competitions, Siskind is a two-time laureate of the American Pianists Association and the winner of the Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition. Since making his professional debut juxtaposing Debussy’s Etudes with jazz standards at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Siskind has established himself as one of the nation’s most innovative and virtuosic modern pianists.
Symposium Faculty Bios

Grace Huang, piano


Grace Huang is Lecturer of Piano Pedagogy and Class Piano Coordinator at the University of Georgia where she teaches undergraduate and graduate pedagogy courses, class piano, and oversees all aspects of the class piano program. Additionally, she owns and operates an independent piano studio in Athens.

Prior to her UGA appointment, Dr. Huang was on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she maintained a studio in the CIM Preparatory division and served as Head of Secondary Piano in the Conservatory division, overseeing the class piano program. She was also on the piano faculties of Millikin University (IL) and St. Cloud State University (MN), as well as summer music programs such as UGA Summer Music Camp and Institute, Summer Sonata (CIM), Illinois Summer Youth Music (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Praised for her “lovely and vivacious” playing (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), she has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad as soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. Recent performances were in Tampa, Cleveland, Charleston, Taiwan, and Austria. 

In demand as a teacher, her students have received local, state, and regional honors. She is an active member of MTNA, having held multiple leadership roles and regularly serving as adjudicator and clinician. She has presented and performed at the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum and state conferences for Texas, Illinois, and Georgia Music Teachers Associations, among others.

Dr. Huang holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Minnesota (MM and DMA) and Vanderbilt University (BM). Former teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Craig Nies, Roland Schneller, and Sue Hudson; pedagogy studies were with Rebecca Shockley, Karen Ann Krieger, and Elizabeth Cormier. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.

Greg Satterthwaite, piano

Melodic, soulful and smooth, Dr. Greg Satterthwaite brings an energy and touch to the piano that has become his signature sound.  As a jazz artist, Satterthwaite brings forth improvisational music that speaks to who he is as a performer and composer. His performances are rooted in his passion to continue to uphold the legacy and rich tradition of jazz music and the pioneers and innovators that created such a phenomenal art form.  

Graduating from some of the nation's most prestigious jazz programs, Satterthwaite earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas in Jazz Piano Performance, a Master of Arts in Commercial Music from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Miami. Satterthwaite is an Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano and African American Studies at the University of Georgia. He has studied with Stephen Scott, Ron Miller, Pat Coil, Dave Meder, Quincy Davis, Brad Leali, and Lynn Seaton. His educational experiences have impacted his teaching philosophy as he brings forth the knowledge, observations, and backgrounds of the educators, artists and creative makers that he has interacted with and learned from over the years. As a scholarly contribution to the field, Satterthwaite presented “Beyond Fourths and Pentatonics: A Critical Analysis of Selected Recordings of McCoy Tyner 1962 to 1963” at the national 2021 Jazz Education Network Conference. 

Satterthwaite has performed at festivals and venues including the Swan City Piano Festival, Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, SunFest, the Velvet Note, Good Times Jazz Bar & Restaurant, the University of South Carolina, and the Murchison Performing Arts Center to name a few. In 2022, he performed with the Marcus Lewis Big Band: Brass and Boujee during the 2022 Jazz Education Network national conference. Additionally, he has either performed or recorded with Grammy winning and nominated artists including Terreon Gully, Quentin Baxter, Rodney Whitaker, Curtis Lundy, and Delbert Felix.   

Satterthwaite arranged and composed all songs on his debut album “Who I Am,” which can be heard on major music streaming platforms, and he is currently recording his sophomore album “Savannah Blue,” which is to be released in 2023.  He is the co-founder of JazzSpire, a platform that inspires, lifts, and brightens everyday life through the arts. 


James Weidman, piano

Decades long experience with a multitude of notable artists -- from his early days as accompanist to iconic vocalists Abbey Lincoln and Cassandra Wilson, on to his years as a member of M-Base Collective innovator Steve Coleman’s group and music director for the late great Kevin Mahogany, up to his current tenure with saxophonist Joe Lovano’s critically acclaimed nonet and Grammy nominated Us Five band -- has proven pianist/composer/arranger James Weidman to be one of the most versatile artists in music today and prepared him well for his steady emergence as an important bandleader in his own right.

Weidman’s versatility is evidenced in the wide ranging music of the various ensembles that he currently leads: The Aperturistic Trio (with bassist Harvie S and drummer Steve Williams) which explores his own cutting edge original compositions; The Rhythm Keepers (featuring Marvin Horne on guitar), a group in the tradition of Nat King Cole’s classic trio that swings jazz standards out of the Great American Songbook; and Spiritual Impressions, an ensemble including singer Ruth Naomi Floyd that features him doubling on piano and organ performing his own stirring arrangements 19th century Black Spirituals. He also concurrently co-leads the James Weidman-Steve Williams Quartet performing the Music of Clifford Jordan.

James Weidman was born July 23, 1953 in Youngstown, Ohio, where he grew up and began playing piano at the age of seven. He was first schooled in the elements of jazz by his father, saxophonist James Weidman, Sr., and by the time he was fourteen he was playing organ in his father’s band. He says, "I've never forgotten my father's advice from the first time I ever played with him: 'Keep the time, stay out of the way, and tell a story.'" In later years, while still studying at Youngstown State University (from which he graduated cum laude in 1976 with a degree in classical piano and music education) he became a first call sideman for visiting jazz headliners, including Pepper Adams, Slide Hampton, Woody Herman, Bobby Hutcherson, Gloria Lynne, James Moody, Harold Ousley, Cecil Payne, Max Roach, Archie Shepp, Dakota Staton, and Bobby Watson.

It was with this background that aided him in the development of his skilled touch as an adept soloist as well as a superior accompaniment Weidman made his inevitable move to New York City in 1978, where he worked around town as a sideman with various veterans and up-and-comers, while co-leading the band Taja with longtime Randy Weston saxophonist TK Blue, before coming into the orbit of conceptualist Steve Coleman and the M-Base Collective. He recalls, "Steve's compositions forced you to think differently; playing his very demanding rhythms and harmonies was really challenging. It gave me a freer outlook on music." Weidman’s early recordings with Coleman, along with M-Base disciples Robin Eubanks, Greg Osby, Lonnie Plaxico and Cassandra Wilson, as well as other forward thinking players like Marty Ehrlich and Jay Hoggard, signaled the development of Weidman’s personally individualistic approach to music that has been continuously evidenced on his own recordings of predominantly original compositions, beginning with his 1997 debut as a leader, People Music (a trio outing featuring bassist Belden Bullock and drummer Marvin Smitty Smith) and continuing with succeeding dates All About Time (with Hoggard, bassist Ed Howard, drummer Marcus Baylor and vocalist Charene Dawn) and the superbly innovative Three Worlds (with trombonist Ray Anderson, saxophonist/clarinetist Marty Ehrlich, bassist Brad Jones and drummer Francisco Mela)

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