Ginger Yang Hwalek

Teaching Areas

  • Applied Piano
  • Piano Pedagogy
  • Musicology and History


GINGER YANG HWALEK, a native of South Bend, Indiana, began piano studies at the age of four and has been involved with music ever since as a pianist, violist, teacher and conductor.  She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and a Master of Music from Wichita State University, both in piano performance.  In 1988, she completed a Doctor of Music in piano chamber music and accompanying at Northwestern University.

Included among her influential teachers are Eugene Basabe, Hans Boepple, Sidney Foster, Robert Hamilton, and Robert Weirich.  Dr. Hwalek has taught at Illinois State University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Michigan. She has served as the music director of the McPherson (Kansas) Symphony Orchestra and the Central Maine (MUSE) String Orchestra.  Dr. Hwalek has also conducted several piano monster concerts at Plymouth State University, New Hampshire, as well as in Essex Junction, Vermont, sponsored by the Greater Burlington Area Music Teachers Association.  More recently, she has organized and conducted piano monster festivals in Camden and Orono under the sponsorship of Maine Music Teachers Association.  In collaboration with soprano and colleague Nancy Ellen Ogle, Dr. Hwalek has performed and recorded four CDs of contemporary American arts songs under the Capstone label.

At the University of Maine, Dr. Hwalek teaches applied piano, class piano and keyboard musicianship, and accompanies faculty and student recitals. During the summers of 2005 -2009, she was the director of Maine Summer Youth Music held on the campus of the University of Maine.  She teaches 12 pre-college students in her home in Bangor who come from Bangor, Blue Hill, Hampden, Holden, and Orono.

Dr. Hwalek is actively involved in Music Teachers National Association and has served in several capacities including president of Eastern Division, member of the National Board of Directors, and MTNA Senior Performance Competitions Coordinator.  In 2006, she was named MTNA Teacher of the Year.  At the 2013 MTNA National Conference, Dr. Hwalek was named a Foundation Fellow for distinguished service to the music teaching profession.  In 2016, she will begin her second 2-year term on the National Board of Directors.

Dr. Hwalek resides in Bangor, Maine with her husband, John, a professor in chemical engineering at UM, and has two children, Heather and Joseph.