top of page

Piano-her first love


Lawren Brianna Ware is a DMA in Music Composition (minor in Musicology) student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At UW, she studies composition with Professor Laura Schwendinger.  In May of 2018, she graduated with her MM in Piano Performance (UW-Madison) and in May of 2016, she received her B.M.F. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Samford University. While at UW-Madison, she studied piano with Dr. Jessica Johnson, Prof. Martha Fischer, Prof. Johannes Wallmann (jazz piano), and Dr. Laura Schwendinger (comosition). At Samford, she studied piano with Dr. Kathryn Fouse, composition with Dr. Mark Lackey, and organ with Dr. James Dorroh.


Brianna is from Gadsden, Alabama. At the age of 5, she began taking piano lessons from Mrs. Judy Hicks. This is when she realized that she wanted to make “music” her career. From this point forward, she began filling her days with music and music-making. Brianna competed and earned "Superior" scores in the AMTA (Alabama Music Teacher's Association) and AFMC (Alabama Federation of Music Clubs) solo piano, technique, and hymn festivals/competitions beginning at age 5 and competing every year through her graduation from high school. During high school, she studied under Dr. Wendy Freeland (Jacksonville State University) in addition to studying with Mrs. Hicks. Brianna is a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church, where she serves as part time pianist. She is an active member of the Samford University School of the Arts, playing keyboard in the Jazz Band. She has also played piano in the pit orchestra for several Samford Theater/Opera productions including Amahl and the Night Visitors and Jane Eyre. In November of 2013, she was awarded the 3rd Prize in the Fletcher and Nell Morris Piano Competition.  In August on 2014, Brianna was nominated as the piano department representative for the Samford School of the Arts Student Arts Council. In November of that year, she competed for a second time in the Fletcher and Nell Morris Piano Competition, again winning  the 3rd Prize.


In February of 2015, she performed in the National Association of Schools of Music student recital (Samford University) as the representative for the Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree. On March 7, 2015, Brianna competed in the Birmingham Music Club Guild Collegiate Scholarship Competition and was selected as the 2nd Prize winner in the Piano Division. She was awarded the 2015 Shepherd/Walker Award in honor of "dedicated musical enrichment in the lives of others" by the Samford University Division of Music. On May 17, 2015, she performed in the 6th Avenue Baptist Church "Young Artists Concert" and was awarded a scholarhsip.

In addition to performing, Brianna developed her love for teaching piano while studying piano pedagogy with Dr. Kathryn Fouse and by working with the Barbara Shinn Piano Studio during the 2015-2016 school year. In May of 2016, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Music Fellow Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Samford University. Following that, she moved to Madison, Wisconsin and began her Master of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a full scholarship. While there, Brianna competed in the Shain Competition for Woodwind/Piano Duo, performed in several piano recitals and composition recitals, and won the 2017 Overture Center's Rising Star Competition. In April of 2016, Brianna had the incredible opportunity to open the concert for  the Branford Marsalis Quartet. She graduated with her Master of Music in Piano Performance degree in May of 2018. She went on to pursue her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Composition with a minor in Historical Musicology and graduated in May of 2022. 

Presently, she still performs as much as she can, collaborating with local musicians. However, her focus is now her own piano students of her B. Ware Works Piano Studio, where students of ALL ages are welcome!

Memberships/Leadership Positions

  • Piano representative for the Samford School of the Arts Student Arts Council

  • Samford University Fellow (Honors Program)

  • The Omicron Gamma Chapter of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity (has served as historian and secretary and is currently serving as the music director)

  • Black Student Union

  • Samford Democrats (has served as Vice President)

  • Samford University German Club

  • Samford University Social Dance Club

  • Samford MTNA

  • Samford ACDA

  • Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society

  • Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society

  • Public Relations officer for the UW-Madison Composition Program 


  • Superior scores in the AMTA and AFMC festivals/competitions x 12 years

  • 3rd Prize in the Fletcher and Nell Morris Piano Competition (2013)

  • 3rd Prize in the Fletcher and Nell Morris Piano Competition (2014)

  • 2nd Prize in the Piano Division of the Birmingham Music Club Guild Collegiate Scholarship Competition

  • 2015 Shepherd/Walker Award

  • Accepted to (and will attend) the Atlantic Music Festival 2015

Masterclasses with:

  • Lowell Liebermann

  • Leon Bates

  • Jon Batiste and Stay Human


  • Mark Hayes

  • The Avery Sharpe Trio

  • Roberto Plano

  • Nathaniel Stampley

  • Einav Yarden and the Arianna String Quartet

  • Daron Hagen

  • Scott Wheeler

  • Kurt Rohde



  • Toured the Dominican Republic with the Samford University Jazz Band (2014)

  • Performed for the President of Samford University (2014)

  • NASM student recital (Samford University, February 2015)

  • AMTA Collegiate Scholarship Competition (February 2015)

  • Birmingham Music Club Guild Scholarship Luncheon (April 2015)

  • The Samford University Division of Music Honors Recital (May 2015)

  • The 6th Avenue Baptist Church "Young Artists Concert" (May 2015)

bottom of page