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Mission Statement


A Seat at the Piano promotes and advocates for the inclusion, study, and performance of a more equitably representative body of piano works. By creating a resource for musicians, pedagogues, and curious music appreciators, ASAP aims to broaden their knowledge of composers and their works.

About ASAP

A Seat at the Piano was founded in the summer of 2020 in the midst of social and racial reckoning around the world. We are a team of classically trained pianists with varying backgrounds and experiences, who strive to raise the voices of those who are less heard and to inspire more thoughtful, inclusive programming within the performing and pedagogical spheres.

Team of Directors

Evan Hines                                      Co-founder, Coordinator of Database Operations


Evan Hines maintains an active career as a pianist and collaborator since graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance, and the University of Michigan with a Master’s in Collaborative Piano. Following his studies at Michigan, Hines was a member of the Ann Arbor-based Trio Continuum, which recently presented a concert tour throughout Mexico, and performed at the Kent/Blossom Chamber Music Festival, where he had the opportunity to work with Cleveland Symphony Orchestra keyboardist, Joela Jones. He is currently the Program Director for the newly launched Padanaram Chamber Music Festival, a community-oriented classical music performance festival in Massachusetts.


Hines’ most recent project was the recording of a full album of flute and piano works by composer Valerie Coleman with flutist and Oberlin Conservatory professor Alexa Still. He  served on staff at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a collaborative pianist, and was on faculty at the Oberlin Community Music School. His mentors include pianists Sanford Margolis, Alvin Chow, Philip Highfill, and James Howsmon of the Oberlin Conservatory, and Martin Katz of the University of Michigan School of Music. Evan is pursuing his D.M.A. at the University of Texas at Austin.

Contact Evan

Brendan Jacklin             Co-founder, Director of Operations

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Canadian-American pianist and educator Brendan Jacklin, co-founder, is dedicated to sharing new sounds and ideas through music performance. Brendan’s passion to promote innovative programs is evident through his dedication to performing music by living composers. He has premiered over 50 new works for both solo piano and chamber ensembles, and has commissioned works from composers across the United States and Canada, with a special focus on performing interdisciplinary and multimedia music. Apart from performing, Brendan has been invited to speak at conferences across the United States, including the MTNA National Conference, NCKP National Conference, GP3 Conference, CMS Southern Chapter Conference, and numerous local and state conferences.


Brendan is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and dog and serves as Assistant Professor of Piano at Fisk University. He holds a D.M.A. from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, a M.Mus from Bowling Green State University and a  B. Mus. from Brandon University. His teachers and mentors include Awadagin Pratt, Michelle Conda, Thomas Rosenkranz, Megumi Masaki, and Leanne Zacharias.


When he is not doing any of the above, you will find him running, baking, or playing with his dog. You can follow Brendan’s performances, find more details, and pictures of his baking at

Contact Brendan

Annie Jeng                               Founder, Executive Director


Annie Jeng, founder, is a pianist, educator, and go-getter. She is committed to listening, learning, and becoming a better member of society with the hopes of paving roads for justice, collaboration, and kindness in communities. She has performed widely in such settings as the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Italy, the Gijón International Piano Festival in Spain, the Kennedy Center, Interlochen Arts Academy, and China. (However, she sometimes prefers to perform in more intimate spaces such as living rooms, personal Zoom calls, and breweries.) Much of Annie’s research is devoted to contemporary music and studying the pedagogical capabilities of contemporary piano techniques. In 2018, Annie received the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship from the University of Michigan to create a pedagogical resource titled Circles and Lines that features newly commissioned works by female composers that introduce unconventional piano techniques to intermediate pianists.


In the summer, Annie is the Assistant Director of Piano at the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Piobbico, Italy. Annie is on the board of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association (NCMTA) as Student Activities Chair. Committed to supporting musicians in finding their unique career path, she also worked as a Programming Assistant at University of Michigan’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment & Leadership (EXCEL) Lab. She also serves as a member of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) Career Development and Innovation Committee. She received her DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Michigan. Annie is currently Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Contact Annie

Susan Yang                         Co-founder, Director of Special Projects and Community Engagement


Hailed as a "magnificent" pianist who "offers compelling insight" (Fanfare Magazine), Chinese-American pianist Susan Yang, co-founder, maintains a versatile career as a performer, presenter, and pedagogue. Currently under management by the National Federation of Music Clubs, Yang has captured top prizes in numerous competitions, such as the biennial NFMC Young Artist, International Keyboard Odyssiad, and Naftzger Young Artist, among others. Equally accomplished in her research and scholarship, Yang has garnered various grants throughout her career, including the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Scholar Award. Recent season highlights include solo appearances with the Nashville Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, and the Delta Symphony, as well as the release of her debut album, DOORWAYS: Half-Remembered Music, on Blue Griffin Records.

As a pedagogue, Yang teaches and presents regularly in various settings, including the Piano Pedagogy Symposium as well as the local and national Music Teachers National Association conferences. An advocate for addressing social issues through music, Yang is committed to community engagement and outreach. She has initiated many projects and performances, such as curating a recital program that celebrates women’s suffrage, organizing and performing benefit concerts, and teaching free lessons to low-income students. Yang currently serves on the piano faculty at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.

Yang holds degrees from University of Michigan, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Vanderbilt University. Her primary teachers include Logan Skelton, Elisabeth Pridonoff, and Amy Dorfman. 


Contact Susan

Past Directors

Clare Longendyke              Co-founder

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Clare Longendyke, co-founder, is an award-winning pianist whose dazzling musicianship and colorful interpretations delight audiences wherever she performs. Recognized for the expressive energy and originality she brings to new, unfamiliar, and traditional repertoires, the effervescent soloist and chamber musician won four national competitions and was a finalist in several others during the past decade. Set apart by her inspiring touch and captivating way of sharing music, Longendyke is a sought-after soloist, performing over 50 concerts a year in North America and abroad.

Longendyke blends a passion for music’s classical tradition with an equal affection for what she calls “the music of our time.” She is passionate about addressing issues of social justice from the concert stage, and aims to broaden each audience’s understanding of and appreciation for the music of historically marginalized composers. Longendyke’s advocacy for innovative and inclusive programming is evident through Music in Bloom, the new music festival she founded in 2019 that focuses on the performance of music by living composers and the commissioning of new chamber music works. In less than a decade, she has premiered over 100 new compositions and continues to commission new works annually.

Hailed as a superlative pianist by the Journal of International Alliance of Women in Music, Longendyke is on track for a transcendent musical career. She currently serves as Artist-in-Residence and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Chicago.

ASHLEE YOUNG                      Co-founder


Ashlee, co-founder, is a dynamic pianist and educator who spends a good portion of her days helping people find the excitement, interest, passion, fun, and life force in music.  She believes that music has the power to bring people together to recognize our shared humanity, if we let it. This is the founding principal of the concert series that she co-created and performs in, titled The Connection Experiment.  The ever changing, genre mixing, educational concerts are full of vitality and give the audience a chance to connect with the performer and performance in an authentic and substantive way. 


Ashlee has an extensive background in competing and performing, having placed in the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, the Liberace Piano Competition, the VSA Arts International Young Soloist Award, the Coeur D’Alene Young Artist Competition, the State and Divisional Levels of the Music Teachers National Association, where she went on to be one of only seven in the country to make it to the national level of the competition. She has performed all across the country, including at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. 


Ashlee currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where she is the head of all things related to piano at the Rock Creek Campus of Portland Community College. In addition to her instruction here, she has created a piano certificate to serve students and community members that are interested in teaching piano lessons. 

Ashlee holds degrees from Montana State University and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

2024 Summer Interns

Mira Walker

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American pianist Mira Walker is quickly building a career as a performer known for her commitment to performing the repertoire of underrepresented American composers. Mira completed her B.A. in Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with Yakov Kasman, and her M.M. in Piano Performance at Indiana University with Norman Krieger. She is currently a D.M.A. candidate in Piano Pedagogy and Performance at the University of Michigan under the instruction of Logan Skelton and John Ellis, where she also serves as a Graduate Student Instructor.

Mira’s honors include top prizes in dozens of competitions, including the NFMC Collegiate Piano Competition and the Alabama Symphony Concerto Competition. In recognition of Mira’s excellence in teaching, she was awarded the Joanne Smith Award for Piano Pedagogy in 2023. Mira has been a featured soloist with orchestras such as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the National Ukrainian Symphony, and appears at international music festivals such as the Gilmore Festival, Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, Gijón International Piano Festival, Vivace International Music Festival, and Brevard Music Institute. She has presented and performed at national conferences such as MTNA and NCKP. Most recently, Mira made recordings of works by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, and Irene Britton Smith for the Michigan Recording Project. She is excited to work with the ASAP team this summer!

Liilan boldiis

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Liilan Boldiis is a rising Junior at New York University, studying Music Theory and Composition: Screen Scoring. He has played the violin since the 4th grade and has participated in several ensembles including the Binghamton Youth Symphony Senior Orchestra.

Liilan is a Taco Bell Live Mas Scholar, a Pizza-Hut Scholar, and a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer scholar. 

During his first year at New York University, Liilan was accepted into NYU’s First Year Leadership Program, where he focused on supporting low-income high school students in New York City. Liilan hopes to continue this line of work and create accessible and welcoming spaces for underrepresented students within classical music environments, which is why he is excited to work with A Seat At The Piano this summer!

Emma saba

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American-Middle Eastern pianist Emma Saba has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, New York City Steinway Hall, and the Charlotte Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Most recently, she performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the White House Association’s 60 th Historical Gala for members of the White House. She gave her concerto debut with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra at the age of 13 performing Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto.

Saba served as a staff collaborative pianist at New York University where she worked with the
Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts. Since 2013, she has worked primarily
with violinists, and performs regularly with her violin partner throughout the southeast. She
previously taught piano theory and private lessons as Adjunct Faculty of Piano Studies at New York University. She currently works at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she serves as the Opera Theatre pianist, as well as an instrumental and vocal collaborative pianist. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and the Piano Teachers Congress of New York.

During her time in New York City, Saba was fortunate to study with Eduardus Halim, the last
pupil of pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Her principal teachers include Pamela Mullins, Paul Nitsch, Eugene Barban, David Gross, and currently studies with James Douglass. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Furman University, master’s degree from New York University, and is presently pursuing her doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina.

ASAP would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to this project:

Rachel Diamond, for her expertise in helping with the backend of the website

Nick Luby, for his help in the early days of the spreadsheet

Gabi Vanek, for her amazing designs of the ASAP's logo

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