Learn about our vibrant piano program. Start your application to audition.

Piano performance in Nazareth Hall

Northwestern offers a vibrant piano program with opportunities for performance, tours, paid accompaniment, and ministry. Choose from five majors in music or a music minor.

Majors for Piano Students

Piano students may choose from a variety of tracks for their course of study. These include Music Performance, B.A. Music, Music Education, Music Composition, and B.S. in Music with an Emphasis in Music Ministry.

Piano Faculty

Richard A. Lange, D.M.A., Piano Studies Coordinator, Professor of Music

Paul Wirth, D.M., Artist in Residence, Gravity-based Piano Technique – DVD

Pamela Sohriakoff, M.M., Adjunct Instructor, Collaborative Pianist, Area Worship Leader

Sonja Grimes, M.M., Student Accompanist Coordinator, Collaborative Pianist

Audition to Major in Music

Entrance auditions

Entrance auditions are required for all students wishing to pursue a degree in music. Auditions are held during spring semester. Students must be admitted to both Northwestern and the Department of Music & Theatre in order to major in music. Please refer to Music Auditions & Scholarships for audition requirements and dates.

Apply for Piano Institute

Summer Piano Institute

Piano Institute at Northwestern is designed to help students ages 10–18 take their piano playing abilities to the next level. Students are challenged and encouraged in their piano studies while enjoying the friendship of other students who share a similar passion for music.

Piano Solo Festival

The Northwestern Piano Solo Festival is open to all piano students in grades 4–12, with awards given in three categories: grades 4–6, 7–9, and 10–12. Piano Solo Festival is an adjudicated performance designed to encourage young students, both as church and classical musicians, to further develop their God-given musical gifts. All participants will receive a scholarship voucher applicable to UNW's Summer Piano Institute. Donations to the Piano Scholarship Fund are always gratefully accepted. Make checks payable to University of Northwestern (UNW). You may contact Dr. Lange, festival director, with questions about the Piano Solo Festival at (651) 631-5242 or RALange@unwsp.edu.

Piano Tour Schedule


Top piano students go on a tour each fall semester, providing opportunities to perform piano duets, solos, and concerto movements (with piano accompaniment) for schools, churches, and community centers.

Alexandria Covenant Church
Saturday, October 20 | 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 21 | 8:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m., & 10:45 a.m.
4005 Dakota Street
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 763-5659

Dale Evangelical Free Church
Sunday, October 21 | 6:30 p.m.
45268 Brunswick Road
Harris, MN 55032
(763) 689-5817

Legacy Christian Academy
Monday, October 22 | 9:20 a.m., 11:00 a.m.
3037 Bunker Lake Blvd NW
Andover, MN 55304
(763) 427-4595

New Life Academy
Monday, October 22 | 2:12 p.m.
6758 Bailey Rd
Woodbury, MN 55129
(651) 459-4121

Heritage Christian Academy
Tuesday, October 23 | 1:36 p.m., 2:20 p.m.
15655 Bass Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311
(763) 463-2200

Nazareth Chapel
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
Thursday, October 25 | 12:50 p.m.
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113
(651) 631-5100

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