Diane Earle was 26 years old when she accepted an assistant piano teaching position at Kentucky Wesleyan College. The professor of piano said she never imagined it would last more than three decades.
“It seems like yesterday I was moving in and getting settled,” Earle said. “In a lot of ways, the time has gone very quickly, and I’ve enjoyed it. Overall, I’ve really loved my positions and enjoyed being here.”
Earle said the decision to retire from teaching piano full-time has “been a few years coming” since her performing career outside of KWC kept expanding recently. Earle said she is already booked this year to play on several cruises as well as a tour in Turkey.
“I just figured while I’m still young enough to travel and I still have my performing chops that I’d just like to perform a lot and see where it all takes me,” she said.
Earle has performed in 35 states and 14 countries. She has played at various venues from Carnegie Hall to cruise ships.
Earle said another reason she enjoyed KWC and Owensboro is because of all the different jobs she has been able to do. Some of Earle’s involvement in the community includes director of music at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church, principal pianist for the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and instructor for RiverPark Center “Arts in the A.M.” educational programs for public school students.
“I’ve always felt like I’m needed in Owensboro, like I’m able to help the community through music and that means a lot to me because I think in a larger city, I wouldn’t feel like it would make such a difference,” she said. “I’ve gotten to do so many fun things that I wouldn’t get to do in other places.”
KWC is in the process of finalizing its search for Earle’s successor.
“I’ll go off and perform whenever I have opportunities,” Earle said. “But Owensboro will still be my home base.”