Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reception for Dr. Douglas Leightenheimer and Our Other School of Music Graduates

Dr. Douglas Leightenheimer with Alan Schultz. Photo by KCH.
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 602 N. Wilmot Road at 5th St., will congratulate its Director of Music, Douglas Blair Leightenheimer, with a Festive Brunch on Sunday, May 22 in the Smith Parish Center, after the 10:15 AM High Mass. On May 12, 2016, he officially became Dr. Leightenheimer, obtaining his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona's Fred Fox School of Music. He presented his doctoral lecture recital, “From Couperin to Vierne: Liturgical and Stylistic Connections between the French Baroque and French Romantic Organ Mass,” at the University of Arizona on January 15.

The reception is also in honor of the three graduating seniors in the St. Michael and All Angels Choir: longtime choir member Jeffrey John Simpson, Janis Lynn Hedin, and Sandy Delozier. All graduated from the Fred Fox School of Music.

Jeff Simpson was a featured performer of Alan Schultz's Oratorio at Christmas.
Douglas Leightenheimer is a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, and a 1982 graduate of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He earned the Master of Music degree in church music from Westminster Choir College in 1984. Before arriving in Arizona, Leightenheimer served as director of music ministries for Venice Presbyterian Church in Venice, FL. for more than 12 years, and then as director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, NC for 15 years. At First Presbyterian he had extensive experience playing a 1928 E. M. Skinner pipe organ (Op. 713), an earlier version of St. Michael’s glorious 1959 Æolian-Skinner organ. In 2012, he left Wilmington to pursue his doctorate at UA.

Upon the retirement of the previous choir director at St. Michael's, Jane Haman, in the fall of 2012, two parishioners recommended UA doctoral student Leightenheimer to fill the position. After an audition process, St. Michael’s was delighted to welcome Leightenheimer as its new music director, choir director and organist.

Doug at the organ, August 2015. Photo by KFB.

A board member of the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Douglas Leightenheimer has also served on the executive boards of the Sarasota-Manatee (Florida) and Wilmington (North Carolina) chapters of the same organization, including two terms as dean for each group. He is also a published composer and recitalist. In April 2013 and April 2014, he performed the Mildred Flood Mahoney Memorial Organ Series Concert at the University of Arizona. Recent solo performances include the 2015 summer series at Catalina United Methodist Church in Tucson. During UA's 2016 spring semester, he served as an assistant conductor with the University Community Chorus.

For more information please contact the church office at 520-886-7292, or see the church website at http://smallangelstucson.org/arts-and-culture/music/.