Leigh Thomas

Leigh was born in Neath, South Wales and has been playing woodwind, percussion and conducting since the age of 11. While a pupil at Neath Grammar School, Leigh played with the Glamorgan Youth Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Wales and the Franco-Welsh Students Orchestra.

Leigh went to University of Wales, Aberystwyth and gained a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and Geology, as well as conducting the College Orchestra and acting as soloist. He moved to East London in 1963 to teach, 25 years Economics, 10 years Music and finishing as Deputy Head of the Music Service in Waltham Forest. Leigh continued his studies and was awarded an M.Ed by the UEL and gained an LTCL diploma.

Over the years Leigh has played, mostly oboe, with many amateur (Forest Philharmonic, Downs Sinfonia, Royal Amateurs, Redbridge Symphony, Havering Concert Orchestra, Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra (for 12 years), Stevenage Symphony, Malcolm Sargent Symphony Orchestra, London Charity Orchestra, Ernest Reed, Jersey Chamber Orchestra, BBC amateur opera, etc) and some of the lesser professional orchestras (Aminta Chamber Orchestra, Aminta Concert Orchestra, London Cantamus Bach Orchestra, Welsh Chamber Orchestra).

Leigh also played timpani and percussion in the UEL Concert Band for many years including 2 concert tours to Germany.

For 10 years Leigh played in a swing band the Moonlight Serenaders and led a semi-professional Saxophone quartet – Sax4U.

Leigh has conducted orchestras, operas, wind bands, brass bands and musicals. He enjoyed conducting an all British concert with the BPO in 2013 before retreating back to the comparative safety of the oboe section!