Justin Leach '20

Music Performance Major

Why did you choose UNH?

I chose UNH because of the wonderful experiences I had visiting the music department when I was doing my college audition process. My private instructor, Nic Orovich, seemed really interested in me, and really wanted me to come to UNH. Plus I got to see what being a music major was like. I also really enjoyed the food! And the campus was the nicest out of any other college.

How did you choose your major and why?

For me it was a no-brainer, I really wanted to do music. I played trombone in a ton of ensembles of high school, from my high school band to the Boston Youth Symphony. Back then I wasn't fond of being an educator (but looking back on it, I definitely could have been a music education major!) so I went with the performance option.

What is particularly awesome about being in the College of Liberal Arts?

The crossover events that include multiple departments! There are still very few of these, but over my four years they have started happening more frequently. Ones that come to mind are the UNH orchestra and UNH dance putting on a performance,  all of the UNH performing arts ensembles putting on a show at the Palace Theater last year, and playing some light music for a play that Classics/Italian put on. Plus being in a building where the arts are on full display (the PCAC). I miss seeing and hearing art every day.

Describe any experiential learning you've undertaken (internships, study abroad, research, etc.).

I went with the Jazz Band to Switzerland and Italy in the summer of 2017. I also recently put on my senior recital. Every music major does a capstone recital their senior year: an hour of music featuring you. My recital was scheduled for April 25th, so technically it was cancelled. However, through lots of work and determination, I still put on a full performance making use of solo pieces, prerecorded compositions of my own, and backing tracks that I created. It is up on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up2ukxO1tDE

Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?

Yes, Kappa Kappa Psi. I was also a member of the Music Department Fellowship Crew, which involves setting up and recording concerts.

How is COLA preparing you for career and professional success?

Gives me a broad base of knowledge to rely on.

What are your post-graduation plans at this point?

Due to everything being cancelled, I can't gig (which was my primary source of income). Thankfully I have a fallback, which comes from my IT minor. I know a bunch of different programming languages. I've already done an interview, so we will see how that turns out. I'll probably work remotely until COVID dies down. I may also consider grad school for '21- I would love to merge my interest in music and IT and go for music technology somewhere.

What is the one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I primarily play trombone for the free food/shirt opportunities. If you have a gig that gets you free food- great. If you also get paid -- excellent.  If you also get a shirt or some other accessory -- priceless.