Music fund in piano offers unique opportunity

Posted on April 09, 2024

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The newly established Kotis Music Fund in Piano supports UNCG’s Light the Way campaign pillar of “impact” by dramatically raising the bar for the caliber of students entering the School of Music’s piano program. This unique four-year fund, created by a gift from Constance “Connie” Hughes Kotis ’65, ’77 MM and her husband, Bill, is designed to provide scholarships for exceptional students majoring in piano and aspiring to pursue piano pedagogy as a career.

“The Kotises’ generous influx of support will make possible a rare opportunity to recruit and retain gifted keyboard students, who will now be supported financially in a manner which reflects their talents and skills,” says Dr. James Douglass, chair of UNCG’s Keyboard Studies Program. “Kotis Piano Scholars will be beneficiaries of a wonderful
gesture which will have a deep impact on continuing to expand the excellence of the Keyboard Studies Program, both for the students and the faculty.”

Connie Kotis has been a guiding light for music and the arts in Greensboro ever since she graduated from UNCG. She has taught choral music and piano at both the high school and university level and in 1983 joined the Greensboro Music Academy, now known as the Music Academy of North Carolina, as chair of its piano division. She has accompanied for the Bel Canto Company, the Greensboro Opera Company, and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, as well as other organizations across the state.

Because of her lengthy relationship with the School of Music, the piano faculty and decades of alumni count Connie as both a colleague and a friend. She currently serves on the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Board of Visitors and campaign cabinet. “We are honored to have Connie’s name associated with such a prestigious and impactful scholarship,” says Douglass.

This thoughtful investment will help transform young students’ passion for the piano into a lifelong purpose, just as Connie Kotis forged a successful career – and made a lasting impact on the Triad’s cultural community – from her own musical education at UNCG.

Constance “Connie” Hughes Kotis ’65, ’77 MM, at her home studio.

I have great pride in my pilgrimage on this road and want to welcome young musicians to this wonderful journey!


By Christine Garton
Photography by Sean Norona ’13

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