SOA Piano Department Banner

Meet Our Teachers

Dr. Margaret Byrd

Classical Piano Instructor

A native of Charleston SC, Dr. Margaret “Happy” Byrd is the Piano Instructor at the School of the Arts. Before joining the School of the Arts faculty, Dr. Byrd was an Adjunct Professor of Piano at the College of Charleston for many years, where she taught Applied Piano, Class Piano, Music Theory Lab, Music Appreciation, and was a collaborative pianist for recitals, auditions, and juries. She was also the pianist for The Magnetic South for several seasons, a New Classical Music concert series in collaboration with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to teaching at the College of Charleston, Dr. Byrd was a Visiting Professor of Piano and Accompanying at Charleston Southern University, which included a tour of Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague with the Charleston Southern University Concert Singers. She also taught applied piano and performed with the choirs and Carolina Strings Academy at Ashley Hall and Porter-Gaud Schools of Charleston. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of South Carolina, her Master of Music degree in Vocal Accompanying from Boston University, and Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of South Carolina. Her doctoral treatise is in the area of teaching the post-minimalist piano literature of John Adams, Tom Johnson and Arvo Part.

Dr. Byrd has served as President of the Charleston Music Teachers Association, adjudicator for MTNA auditions and as pianist for the National Association of Teachers of Signing Auditions.

Dr. Byrd lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband, Ashley Byrd, a Software Developer. They have two grown sons – Ben, also a Software Developer, and Michael, a Medical Doctor.


Dr Margaret Byrd at Piano

William ‘Will’ Harvey

Fine Arts Jazz Piano Program Instructor

Will is a musician and educator from Beaufort, South Carolina. In 2004 he graduated from the College of Charleston where he began a career as a jazz musician, performing with the likes of Quentin Baxter, Charlton Singleton, Frank Duvall and other future members of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. Later, he performed professionally on Carnival and Celebrity cruise ships and decided to move to New York City where he earned a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

A few of his career highlights include touring with Nellie McKay and Carla Cook to perform on television, radio, and high-profile jazz festivals. While living in New York he taught K-12 students with the Harmony Program and the Piano School of NYC, and completed his teaching certificate at Brooklyn College. He then spent three years teaching music at the Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn Heights. Most recently he taught at the Allegro Charter School in Charleston. He is delighted to transition into the jazz piano program at SOA!


William Harvey Sitting at Piano