The VOCI Board of Trustees welcomes Dr. James Leatherbarrow, of Stark State College. Mr. Leatherbarrow was born in Devon, England. He has taught music theory, history, and musicianship at Kent State University, Youngstown State University, and the University of Akron. In 2011, he received his Ph.D. in music theory and composition from Kent State University. Mr. Leatherbarrow is an assistant professor at Stark State College, where he runs the Music Production and Engineering program.
Mr. Leatherbarrow has had his music performed throughout Europe and the United States. In 1998, the Elektra Quartet presented Mr. Leatherbarrow’s Liquorice Allsorts (for four electric violins) in London’s Royal Albert Hall. The piece subsequently won the Music for Youth composition prize. . In 2007, Centaur records released the CD Romances for Saxophone and Orchestra, which includes Mr. Leatherbarrow’s Don Quixote in Love, recorded in Krakow, Poland, by Greg Banaszak (saxophone) and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra under the direction of Piotr Brokowski. Recently, he has written works for renowned Israeli pianist Dror Biran, and Canadian/American piano group duoARtia (Jeri-Mae Astolfi and Holly Roadfeldt).
Mr. Leatherbarrow is an active music educator and an advocate of outreach projects for younger musicians. In 2004, the Sioux City Youth Symphony program in Iowa commissioned Mr. Leatherbarrow to create an anniversary piece for three combined youth orchestras of varying levels of ability. The resulting work, Sinfonietta: To the Future, received its world premiere in May 2005, at a concert celebrating 50 years of the program. Since then he has continued to write works for children, including Symphonies of String Instruments (2007) for combined string quartet and four ability-levels of string orchestra, which was commissioned by the Euclid Quartet.