Calhoun Community College announced in October that after many years without a band, it’s created a new showband with a GRAMMY Quarterfinalist to lead it.
Dr. Matt Leder, a 20-year professional musician who studied with jazz legends such as Ellis Marsalis, Clyde Kerr, Irvin Mayfield, and many others, will lead the college’s new band. The musical veteran has performed throughout the United States, and was a member of the “Louis Armstrong Quintet,” funded through the Armstrong Foundation. Leder served over eight years as a Navy musician and four years as an Air Force musician. While a member of the armed forces, he performed for five US presidents. Dr. Leder had a wide variety of experiences, including selection into the International Association of Jazz Educators All Star Collegiate Big Band, performances at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and Boston’s Symphony Hall; a theater stint in Myrtle Beach that included shows with Steve Gatlin and the Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, a national tour with “In the Mood,” and has performed in supporting ensembles for Bob Mintzer Benny Green, Melton Mustafa, Nicholas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, Ana Popovic, Tasha Taylor and several others.
“I am very humbled and excited to be a part of Calhoun’s music faculty,” commented Dr. Matt Leder. “Music of all genres is my passion, and I can’t wait to recruit new members to join the band. We are looking for vocalists, drummers, pianists, guitarists, horn players, as well as sound crew. Not only can individuals join the band, but we are offering them scholarships as well to either pay or help pay for their education,” adds Leder.
Prior to this appointment, he served as Music Director/Instructor at Gadsden State Community College and was the director of the award winning GSCC Show Band. Dr. Leder was Chair of the Music Department at Northern New Mexico College and also has served as faculty at Brown University, University of Colorado at Denver, Community College of Rhode Island, and St. George’s School. He has notations in “Ala Breve,” Downbeat, All Hands Magazine, and ITG Journal. Leder is a current member of the Jazz Education Network, International Trumpet Guild, and NAfME. Dr. Leder was also named as a GRAMMY Educator of the Year Quarterfinalist for 2021 and 2022.