Lecturer in Music, Southern Cross University

Leigh is one of Australia's leading vocalists, songwriters, vocal educators and public speakers. In 2009 Leigh was awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Vice Chancellor. The Citations recognise and reward the diverse contributions that individuals and teams make to the quality of student learning.

Since 1999 Leigh has been the coordinator of a Visiting Artists mentoring program for Women in Contemporary Music and more recently has developed an innovative website. The website shows the vibrant, creative and diverse contribution women musicians have made to Australian music and culture, including graduates and students from Southern Cross University. In a regional area especially, women students in non-traditional areas often lack support, and this website is one way of providing them with information, resources, contacts, mentors, and inspiration. http://www.scu.edu.au/womeninmusic/index.php

For over a decade Leigh has coordinated the APRA AMCOS Songwriters Seminars with artists such as: Blue King Brown, Hiatus Kaiyote, Lisa Gerard, Rob Hirst, Kerrianne Cox, Nerida Tyson-Chew, The Stiff Gins, Katie Noonan, Jon Hume, Elana Stone, Neil Murray and Mia Dyson. The overall design is that Australian Songwriters are invited to discuss their individual and or collaborative approaches to songwriting.

Other festival performances include the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival USA as well as Wangaratta Jazz and Blues, Brisbane Jazz Festival, East Coast Blues and Roots, Woodford Folk Festival, Melbourne International Women's Jazz Festival and Mullum Music Festival, Sydney's Newport and Manly Festivals. Recently Leigh performed with her quartet at the Brisbane Festival in the famous Spiegeltent, along with two of Australia's most widely recognised jazz exports, Jamie Oehlers and Paul Grabowsky.

Research interests include vocal performance, vocal improvisation techniques, vocal artistry, vocal pedagogy and vocal recording. In 2015 at the International Jazz Voice Conference, Helsinki Finland, Leigh presented research on 'Hybridity in the music of Youn Sun Nah: New directions in jazz vocal style'. Leigh is currently engaged in researching and composing for her Ph.D. in Composition at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney University, in particular the hybridity of interactions in music collaboration. Leigh recently recorded two albums in Sydney at Studio 301, an original album Mandarin Skyline featuring Hamish Stuart, Jonathan Zwartz, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon, Sam Keevers, Steve Russell and Matt Smith. Mixed and mastered in LA by Grammy Award winning Engineer Helik Hadar. A ten track jazz album was also recorded featuring Brendan Clarke, Hamish Stuart, Steve Russell, Matt Smith. Mandarin Skyline was nominated for a National Bell Award in 2014.

Leigh recorded a new album Weave, featuring ten original compositions. Mixed by Jim Kelly and Mastered by William Bowden. Several pieces were written for large ensemble with horn and string sections: featuring violinists Lizzy Welsh and Natasha Conrau, cellist Charlotte Jacke, Violist Anna Webb, tenor saxophonist Julien Wilson, soprano saxophonist Carl Mackey, alto saxophonists Angela Davis and Tony Buchannan, baritone saxophonist Phil Noy, tenor saxophonist Carlo Barbaro, bassist Frank Di Sario, pianist Steve Russell, drummer Danny Fischer and guitarist Stephen Magnusson. Weave won Album of the Year in the North Coast Entertainment Industry Awards in 2016.

Experience

  • –present
    Lecturer in Music, Southern Cross University