Louie Hehman is a lover of music currently pursuing his Doctor of the Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina, where he teaches and serves as a research assistant. Originally from the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area, Louie earned his Master of Music degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. His academic career has been split between his twin passions of classical and jazz music, but Louie is also an avid rock, blues, and folk fan. Major projects in these non-traditional styles have included the Cincinnati-based jazz-rock poetry fusion trio Cheating Paisly and the Indianapolis-based alt-country band Nicholas Johnson and the Unrefined.
Louie has performed extensively around the country and abroad, including the 2016 Cincinnati Summer Blues Festival, jazz tours of Central Europe in 2013 and New Orleans in 2016, and the South Carolina premier of Bernstein’s MASS in March 2018. Louie was a participant in the 2018 Vienna Summer Music Festival, a major annual festival which brings together musicians from around the world to perform the chamber works of famous Viennese composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert. Louie currently studies under Dr. Charles Fugo and Professor Bert Ligon. Past teachers have included Kate Boyd, Meme Tunnell, Hafez Babashahi, Gary Walters, Matt Pivec, and Todd Hildreth.
In addition to teaching at Freeway and the University of South Carolina’s Center for Piano Studies, Louie currently serves as director of music at Our Lady of the Lake in Chapin, SC, and is a regular performer in the Columbia jazz scene, including a weekly gig at Gervais and Vine, Columbia’s premier wine bar. As an educator, Louie is a firm believer in the intrinsic ability of all students of every level to experience music in their own way. Studying the great masters of all genres is encouraged for all of his students. When asked to summarize his overall teaching philosophy, Louie had this to say: “Talent is nothing. Hard work is what will turn you into the musician and person you want to become.”