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James D. Leach


Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Music


Email: James Leach
Phone: 937-229-3969
Website: Visit Site


  • D.M.A., Boston University
  • M.M., University of Central Arkansas
  • B.S.E, University of Arkansas


Primarily a trumpet performer, Jimmy Leach also sings, plays piano and organ, conducts, and arranges and composes in classical, jazz, and early music genres.

Jimmy’s most recent credential comes from the Berklee School of Music in Boston where he earned a certificate in Jazz Composition and Arranging in 2016, getting to study with vibraphonist Gary Burton. In 2003, Jimmy completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance at Boston University, where he studied with Tom Rolfs, principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Jimmy’s dissertation was on the vocal and trumpet performances of Louis Armstrong.

As a trumpeter, Jimmy’s classical performances include the Boston Symphony Brass and Percussion in Fenway Park, Boston Classical Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Granite State Symphony and Opera, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, and the Brass Company Brass Quintet.

Jimmy’s jazz and commercial performances include Johnny Mathis, Shirley Jones, Buddy Greco, Rich Matteson, George Roberts, Alan Dawson, Marlena Shaw, Thelonious Monk Jr. Opryland, Disney World, Aspen Jazz Ensemble, and around the world on Holland American Line.

On the valveless, natural/Baroque trumpet, Jimmy’s early music performances include Handel and Haydn Society, American Bach Soloists, Brown University Early Music Orchestra, Oberlin Baroque Performance Workshop, and the Grand Valley Baroque.

As a church musician, Jimmy has played organ, trumpet, or sung at Trinity Church in Boston, St. Peter’s in Weston, (MA), St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Little Rock, Calvary Episcopal in Memphis, St. Paul’s and St. Andrew’s in Grand Rapids.

With a BSE in instrumental music education, Jimmy’s first job took him to rural Arkansas where he taught band, choir, and elementary music in grades 1-12 while also playing organ at both the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Jimmy’s university teaching experience includes positions at Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford; Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas; Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota; Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts; and Harvard University where as a teaching assistant Jimmy received three teaching awards for courses in music history, music theory, and jazz history.