Junior Ian LeRoy Shows Off Skills as Musician

April 11, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio—University of Mount Union music performance major Ian LeRoy, a junior of Orwell, OH, has demonstrated his music skills through multiple leadership roles in recent years.

Since transferring to Mount Union at the start of his sophomore year, LeRoy has served as a pianist for Grand Valley High School’s performance of “Disco Inferno” and acted as music director for “Little Shop of Horrors,” also performed by his alma mater of Grand Valley High School. LeRoy is also a founding director of the Christmas Choir at the Geauga Cultural Arts Center and acted last semester as the assistant conductor of Cantus Femina, Mount Union’s women’s chorus.

In addition to these accomplishments, LeRoy has served as music director for the Geauga Lyric Theater’s production of “Godspell,” acted as pianist for Mount Union’s recent musical theater workshop and was the music director of both “Footloose” and “Godspell” for Grand Valley High School.

A recent winner of the Solo con Tutti Concerto Competition, LeRoy will perform Macdowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Alliance Symphony Orchestra on April 14.

“My parents are the only reason I was able to pursue music, because they pushed me and footed the bill for all of the lessons and ensembles I participated in,” said LeRoy. “My high school choir teacher is my biggest musical inspiration and the main reason why I chose to pursue music.”

Before coming to Mount Union, LeRoy spent one year at Baldwin Wallace University where he served as assistant music director for “Willy Wonka” and pianist for “Nunsense,” both at the Geauga Lyric Theater. He was also pianist for Grand Valley High School’s production of “Seussical the Musical” and Baldwin Wallace’s “Dare2Care HRC” performance, as well as music director for Grand Valley High School’s performance of “Nunsense.”

LeRoy was recently asked to be the music director at the Beck Center, a professional theater located in Lakewood, OH, for their regional premiere performance of “Avenue Q: School Edition,” a musical focusing on the issues and anxieties of entering adulthood.  The performance received rave reviews under LeRoy’s direction.

“Musical theater is a collaboration of so many different fields of study,” said LeRoy. “When a production comes together successfully, it is the ultimate act of collaboration.”

Last semester, LeRoy presented an hour-long collaborative recital at the University. He has also taken on the task of vocal coaching cast members of the University of Mount Union’s current production of “Company,” which will perform its final three shows April 11-13.

“There is a great musical written for almost every style of music, and the world of music directing is so challenging and rewarding for that reason,” said LeRoy. “In one show I can be conducting a 30-piece classical pit orchestra with operatic singing, and in the next show I will be playing piano in a rock combo.”

Summer plans for LeRoy include a “Best of Broadway” summer camp at the Beck Center, where he will act as associate music director. He will also act as the music director for “Chicago” at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, a professional theater in Montana where some of the best musical theater performers in the United States go to perform during the summer. The cast of this summer’s production was chosen from more than 3,000 auditions. While at Bigfork, LeRoy will be working alongside assistant professor of theater Kevin Kern.

LeRoy is looking to attend graduate school for music direction in musical theater, a competitive degree offered at few schools in which only one to two students per year are generally accepted. Current candidates for LeRoy include the University of Cincinnati, the Boston Conservatory, Arizona State University, the University of Montana and the Royal Academy of Music in London, England.

“I grew up listening to such a wide variety of music that musical theatre seemed like a natural career path,” said LeRoy. “I absolutely love the art form.”

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