Leigh is one of Australia's leading contemporary vocalists and contemporary vocal educators. Leigh's singing is both masterful and passionate. 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. For the past decade 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 Leigh also been the coordinator of the APRA Songwriters Seminars with artists such as: Blue King Brown, Rai Thistlethewaite, Rob Hirst, Lisa Gerard, Nerida Tyson-Chew, The Stiff Gins, Lucie Thorne, Katie Noonan & Felicity Urquhart. The overall design is that Australian Songwriters are invited to discuss their individual and or collaborative approaches to songwriting. The program gives students the opportunity to experience first-hand the diversity of professionals working in the contemporary music industry; to meet, be taught by and network with some leading Australian practitioners — something which otherwise they experience less often in a regional area. Other festival performances include the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival as well as Brisbane Jazz Festival, Byron Bay Blues and Roots, Woodford Folk Festival, Melbourne International Women's Jazz Festival and Sydney's Newport and Manly Festivals and more recently the North Coast Bangalow Jazz Festival. Leigh's first critically acclaimed CD, 'Until', was released in 2004. In 2006 she released a dynamic live recording, 'On Impulse', featuring her original compositions Treading Water, Don't Want You To Go and Going Home. Research interests include vocal performance, vocal improvisation techniques, vocal artistry, vocal pedagogy and vocal recording as well as a current project researching the work of The Pacific Curls, a trio from New Zealand that combines Taonga Puoro (Maori traditional instruments) with voice, ukuleles, percussion, guitars and kalimba, blending contemporary indigenous and traditional Maori musics. 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. In February this year, Leigh recorded two albums in Sydney at Studio 301, an original album featuring Hamish Stuart, Jonathan Zwartz, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon, Sam Keevers, Steve Russell and Matt Smith the album has just arrived back from LA where it was mixed and mastered by Helik Hadar. A ten track jazz album was also recorded featuring Brendan Clarke on bass, Hamish Stuart on drums, Steve Russell on piano, Matt Smith on guitar. Both albums will be release later this year.
Southern Cross welcomes Katie Noonan, Voice of ANATS (Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing Inc.) (2008)
Book review : 'Women and music: a history' by K Pendle (ed.), Australian Feminist Studies (2002)
Book review : 'The inaudible music: jazz, gender and Australian modernity,' by Bruce Johnson (with Justine Lloyd), Australian Feminist Studies (2000)
The experience of contemporary Australian female vocalists: an exploratory study, Australian Voice (2000)
Heartlands: Kasey Chambers, Australian country music and Americana (with Philip Hayward), Heartlands: Casy Chambers, Australian country music and Americana (2003)
This book provides an in depth introduction to aspects of Australian country music. Individual chapters...
Repercussions of uniqueness for the 21st century vocalist, Taipei Municipal University of Education (2011)
In 2004 Californian singer and harpist Joanna Newsom, released her first album The Milk Eyed...
The Waifs and The Be Good Tanyas : two emerging contemporary folk trios trading parallel careers, Post- colonial Distances : the study of popular music in Canada and Australia : International Association for the Study of Popular Music Canada Conference (2005)
Australian improvisation : spontaneous vocal inventions, The history & future of jazz in the Asia-Pacific region: inaugural Asia-Pacific Jazz Conference (2003)
Australian improvisation: defining the vocal techniques of jazz singing, The history & future of jazz in the Asia-Pacific region: inaugural Asia-Pacific Jazz Conference (2003)
Kasey Chambers : vocal style and cultural identity, 20th International Country Music Conference (2003)
On Impulse, CD Baby (2005)
Research Background: Standard practice for contemporary vocal performance in a Jazz / improvisational context is...
Anthem, Fatherhood (2004)
"Fatherhood" is a musical celebration of fatherhood - having and being a father. It’s a...
Until, School of Arts and Social Sciences Papers (2004)
A rich and soulful jazz vocal album. Leigh is tied to a powerful storytelling instinct....
Just Before Dawn, School of Arts and Social Sciences Papers (2001)