THE CAMERON LEACH PODCAST

International touring percussion soloist Cameron Leach sits down with friends, colleagues, and other Columbus natives to talk about the music business, life on the road, and forging a meaningful path both personally and professionally. Episodes are generally recorded once or twice per week, either in studio or via Skype, and released shortly thereafter. The podcast is recorded with both audio and video, and presented with as little editing as possible.

You can find The Cameron Leach Podcast on your favorite platforms:


#11 JEFF GERSHMAN

Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman is the Director of Wind Ensembles at the Capital University Conservatory of Music. He has held previous positions at both the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Texas A&M University-Commerce, in addition to past experience as a public school teacher. He is a frequent guest conductor for festivals and honor bands throughout the United States, and has worked with the Dallas Winds and Lone Star Wind Orchestra in past seasons.

Our conversation covered work-life balance, relationships between conductors and studio teachers, mortality and leading a meaningful life, the benefit of working professionally between degrees, and additional skills needed beyond university curricula.


#10 JOSH JONES

Josh Jones is the Principal Percussionist of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, a social media personality and influencer, and the author of Spatial Studies for Hitting Things. He has previously held fellowships with the Detroit and Pittsburgh Symphonies, been featured on programs such as From the Top and The TODAY Show, and recently performed Gareth Farr’s Hikoi Concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic.

Our conversation covered Josh’s recent battle with cancer, his concerto preparation with the CPO, personal challenges with social media and openness, technical precision and its relationship to musicality, Josh’s experience living in Canada, positivity, and more.


#9 FLYING SOLO: UPDATES, STRUGGLES, Q/A

On the second solo episode of the podcast, Cameron talks about the emotional highs and lows of life as a performer, the myth that graduation suddenly makes you a professional, self-respect and money as a freelancer, and more. He answers more submitted Q/A questions (listing below), with topics ranging from outside influences, practice efficiency/routines, the search for grad schools, self-promotion, taxes, and the differences in learning electroacoustic vs. acoustic pieces.

You can find a full listing of this episode’s questions and corresponding time stamps in the YouTube video description.

Thank you to the following people for submitting questions: Spencer Kocher, Danielle Moreau, Ty Gong, Zach Cook, Michael Yonchak, Noah Runninger, Bennett Coughlin, Nick Byrnes, Matthew Meunier, and Andrew Lauler.


#8 MICHAEL YONCHAK

Dr. Michael Yonchak currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at Otterbein University, where is the Director of Bands and Percussion Studies. He is an active freelancer in Central Ohio, performing in a variety of styles such as bluegrass, jazz, flamenco, and more. Dr. Yonchak’s dissertation explored the wind ensemble compositions of Frank Zappa, which has led to the publication of journal articles and numerous presentations on the composer. Prior to his college teaching appointment, he taught in the public schools of northeast Ohio for five years.

Our conversation covered Michael's research into Frank Zappa, his unique approach as a college band director, his experience performing in a range of different musical styles, adaptability as a positive trait, our new concerto collaboration, whiskey, and more.


#7 KSENIJA KOMLJENOVIC

Dr. Ksenija Komljenovic (Belgrade, Serbia) is an award-winning percussionist, composer, professor, and cofounder of the Balkan Percussion Duo. She is the newly minted Assistant Professor of Percussion at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and is the first woman from Serbia to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion. Read more at https://www.ksenijakomljenovic.com.

Our conversation covered Ksenija's path to her current position, her previous appointment in Hong Kong, life as a member of the Balkan Percussion Duo, a comparison of gateways to music for young percussionists in the US vs. Serbia, and issues of sexism/representation cross-culturally.


#6 SOLO PODCAST & Q/A

On the first solo episode of the podcast, Cameron talks about taking time off, upcoming podcast guests, and his recent/upcoming work. He answers a slew of submitted Q/A questions, with topics ranging from bookings, non-music influences, the impact of social media, and his process for commissioning composers.

You can find a full listing of this episode’s questions and corresponding time stamps in the YouTube video description.

Thank you to the following people for submitting questions: Janae Yates, Cat Cole, Matthew Meunier, Orson Abram, Andrew Creech, Brandon Arvay, Nick Byrnes, Peter Lewis, Gabriel Ammirata, Breanna Hagy, Pauline Roberts, Carlos Ibarra, and Anna Mellick.


#5 ADAM ROBERTS

Adam Roberts is a well-traveled, award-winning composer whose music has been performed by some of the very best, including the Arditti Quartet, JACK Quartet, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and many more. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Fromm Foundation Commission, Roberts currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at Kent State University, where he also co-directs the New Music Ensemble. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Harvard University.

Our conversation ranged from Adam's upcoming projects, his musical upbringing, compositional creativity in different career settings, deadlines as motivation, Adam's experience living in New York City (and abroad), our upcoming concerto collaboration for the 2020-2021 season, and more.


#4 KEVIN FITZGERALD

Kevin Fitzgerald is the Assistant Conductor for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Music Director for ÆPEX Contemporary Performance. He has participated in master classes and as a conducting fellow with some of the world’s most respected conductors, including Marin Alsop, Matthias Pintscher, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Cristian Măcelaru.

Our conversation covered Kevin's responsibilities with the ASO, programming considerations for soloists and conductors, effective and respectful communication in professional settings, best practices for using specific language when teaching, and Kevin's list of great living composers.


#3 JOSH MCCLELLAN

Josh McClellan is an Austin, Texas-based percussionist/musician with a diverse palette, minimalist aesthetic, and exuberant personality. He holds degrees in percussion performance from Belmont University and the Eastman School of Music, bringing his wealth of knowledge as a performer-educator, music businessperson, and insightful thinker to all that he does.

Our conversation ranged from the state and struggles of orchestras, the prescribed path from degrees to professorship, life in Austin, the (in)consequentiality of various performance situations, and the emotional rollercoaster that is a life in the music industry.


#2 DAVE VANLANINGHAM

Dave Vanlaningham is a freelance musician/drummer with a penchant for hiking and the outdoors. His current musical projects include Stranded Arrows, a folk rock band in which he sings & plays banjo/drums; Racket Man, a band that Dave will be touring with from September through the end of November as a guitarist, synth player, and drummer; and Joey Viola, whose sophomore album Truth features Dave on drums.

Our conversation ranged from life on the road, the pressures of performing, Dave’s time on the Pacific Crest Trail, cruise ships, and a possible future Christmas album? Lots of funny, lots of serious—thanks for listening!


#1 IVAN DE LA CRUZ

Ivan De La Cruz is a freelance drill designer, visual tech for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, and former band director. He is in demand as an adjudicator for marching band competitions and guest instructor at high school programs across the country.

Our conversation ranged from a recent Carlos Mencia comedy show in Columbus, self-employment and freelancing practices, work/life balance, the importance of an audience's experience, and client relationships within the visual design market. Great to get the podcast off and running with Ivan!