KWC’s Diane Earle named Kentucky Arts Council featured artist for May and June

By Bobbie Hayse Messenger-Inquirer 

Photo taken by Alan Warren

Local pianist and Kentucky Wesleyan College professor of music Diane Earle has been named the Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for May and June.

Diane for PostEarle has been playing piano since she was 6 years old, something that was noted by her mother in a journal that states that on March 27, 1965, she learned the location of the middle C on the keyboard, according to the arts council website page dedicated this month and next to Earle.

The page features a video in which Earle discusses her love for piano. She tells stories of her travels, one of which is about visiting an airport in Prague and playing a public piano that garnered the attention of hundreds of travelers.

She has been teaching at KWC 32 years. She says she’s quite partial to Owensboro and Kentucky, notably because of the support from the Kentucky Arts Council and from local government.

“I’m really excited just to have people all over the state get to see (the video),” Earle said Monday in her office.

Behind her leaned several large posters from performances across the globe.

Earle has played in 13 countries and 31 states, including venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. She is also the ambassador to the Nyali Music School & Center in Mombasa, Kenya. Some of her honors include the Kentucky Music Educators Association College/University Teacher of the Year Award and the Friend of Music Award, as well as receiving the Kentucky Wesleyan College President’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership in 2008..

Locally, she’s the music director for Settle Memorial United Methodist Church, an instructor for Arts in the A.M. at the RiverPark Center, the principal pianist for the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, as well as a presenter and instructor for teachers.

She said being the featured artist for KAC is also good for Owensboro because it provides some insight into all of the arts organizations in the area.

“We have so many opportunities here,” she said. “Anything that brings attention to Owensboro and our arts community makes me very happy.”

The Featured Artist Program is available for Kentucky artists who participate in KAC programs such as the Kentucky Crafted Program, Architectural Artists Directory, Performing Arts Directory, Teaching Artists Directory, Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program or Al Smith Fellowship Program recipients.

Emily Moses, the KAC Creative Industry manager, said the program is adjudicated by a panel.

“It’s a competitive process,” she said.

The program is used as a way to showcase excellence in the arts across the commonwealth, she said, which is important to make Kentucky residents more aware “of the wealth of talent we have in the state.”

To learn more about the program or to view Earle’s featured video, visit

Bobbie Hayse,, 270-691-7315, Twitter: @BobbieHayseMI

Owensboro pianist Diane Earle named
arts council’s featured artist for May, June

FRANKFORT, Ky. — (May 3, 2016) — Diane Earle, a Kentucky Wesleyan College music professor and artist in residence, was named the Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for May and June. Earle, of Owensboro, has been playing piano for more than 50 years and has made a name for herself as a performer and teacher.

Earle is an adjudicated participant in the arts council’s Performing Artists Directory. She has performed in Asia, Europe, the Bahamas and much of the United States. In 2015 she celebrated the 50th anniversary of her first piano lesson, March 27, 1965.

“My parents, both 85, still cheer me on, and my father recently commented that ‘all the lessons paid off,’” said Earle.

Earle said that the artist in residence position at Kentucky Wesleyan combines her two loves — playing and teaching. She hopes to impart the same encouragement and love of music to her students that her parents and teachers gave to her.

To learn more about Earle, visit the arts council’s website. The featured artist’s page includes:

  • A story about her work.
  • A video of Earle discussing her work.
  • Contact information for Earle.