Dr. John Leonard joined the University of Minnesota band faculty in the fall of 2021 after completing his DMA in Wind Conducting at the University of Kansas. In 2018 he was the Interim Assistant Director of Bands, and Director of the Bronco Marching Band at Western Michigan University. Previously, John was the Assistant Director of Bands at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and worked as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst teaching music arranging techniques as well as leading the UMass “Hoop” Band and assisting with the Minuteman Marching Band. A prolific arranger, Leonard writes music for many university marching bands, as well as working on new arrangements and transcriptions for wind band. In the summers he teaches at the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy where he is both a Lead Clinician, as well as the Staff Manager for the company.
Dr. Leonard is an honorary member of the Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma Band Fraternities and served as governor for the Northeast district of Kappa Kappa Psi in 2015–16. He is also a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, and the UMass Marching Band Hall of Fame.
In recognition of his work as a graduate student at Western Michigan University, Leonard received both the department level and all-university level awards for achievement in teaching effectiveness.
- Doctor of Musical Arts: wind conducting, University of Kansas, 2021
- Master of Music: wind conducting, Western Michigan University, 2018
- Master of Music: jazz arranging and composition, University of Massachusetts–Amherst, 2013
- Bachelor of Music: instrumental music education, University of Massachusetts–Amherst, 2002