Lesley Leighton

Lesley L.

Pasadena, CA

Lesson Details

Music Performance

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have more than 20 years of professional singing experience on stage and in the studio. Need help with your performance? I can help you refine it, and get you ready for your next step!
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Lesley teaches



Lesley delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 8+

Teaching since:

Whether you're looking to up your career game, trying to break-in, or you love to sing and just want to be more accomplished, I can help you! I have been singing professionally since 1991 with Los Angeles Opera, NY City Opera, Köln Opera, Covent Garden, Glimmerglass, Glyndbourne, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and as a session singer on film soundtracks and albums. More recently I've started producing albums. I have an MM in vocal performance and a DMA in music from USC, and can ensure that you will learn to sing safely and correctly no matter what style of music you are singing! I work with choirs all the time on stage and in the studio, and can help you with blend, or help you prepare for your auditions at any level.

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Adjunct Voice Faculty
Feb 2017 - Present

I am baritone Rod Gilfry's sub when he leaves for weeks at a time to travel, teaching the students in his studio, which are a mix of classical opera singers, art song singers, and music theatre students.

Artistic Director
Aug 2008 - Present
Master Chorale

I am the artistic director and conductor of the 100 voice volunteer chorus in Ventura County, CA!

Studio Session Artist
Sep 1990 - Present
Warner Bros; Sony; Disney; Paramount, et al

Studio session singer for major film companies and composers in Los Angeles. I've recorded more than 65 major films and have sung on Josh Groban albums (most recently Stages), and am on the soundtrack at Epcot Center for Mission: Space, coming soon! Most recent pictures include: Jumanji; Star Trek Beyond; Pixels; Stocks; Suicide Squad; Minions 2 and 3; Transformers 5; and Frozen.

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Interim Director of Choral Activities & Voice
Aug 2016 - Aug 2017
California State University San Bernardino

Taught class voice, diction, repertoire, choral music, and musicianship.

Associate Conductor
Jul 2010 - Jul 2016
Los Angeles Master Chorale

Conducted and rehearsed the chorale for performances, and prepared them for LA Philharmonic and Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl. Worked with the High School groups vocally. LAMC is a 100 voice professional union chorus that performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.

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Interim Director of Choruses
Jun 2014 - Jun 2016
University of California, Los Angeles

Taught the choruses.

Interim Director of Choruses
Sep 2013 - Jun 2014
La Sierra University

Taught chorus and conducting.


DMA Choral & Instrumental Conducting
Aug 2008 - May 2012
University of Southern California
AS in Culinary Arts
Jul 2004 - Jun 2005
California School of Culinary Arts, Le Cordon Bleu
MM in Vocal Performance
Aug 1989 - May 1991
University of Southern California
BA in conducting
Aug 1980 - May 1984
Loyola Marymount University


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency
Professional Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


Order of Areté
May 2012
University of Southern California
Choral Department Award for Excellence
May 2012
Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Et Chapter
May 2011
University of Southern California, Eta Chapter
Choral Department Award for Excellence
May 2010
Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Remarkable Women Awards
May 2009
University of Southern California
Raymond Moremen Award for Choral Excellence
Jun 1986
University of California, Los Angeles
Outstanding Achievement Choral Award
May 1984
Loyola Marymount University


American Federation of Musicians
Dec 2016

A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

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Pi Kappa Lambda
May 2011

An American honor society for undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors of music. There are currently 205 active chapters and approximately 64,500 individual members.

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Aug 2010

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

American Guild of Musical Artists
Sep 1991

An American labor union that represents 8,000 current and retired opera singers, ballet and other dancers, opera directors, backstage production personnel at opera and dance companies, and figure skaters.

Sep 1990

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

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American Choral Directors Association
Sep 1982

Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose expressed purposes outline the associations dedication to the advancement of choral music. The mission of ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

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Photos & Videos

On my way to Warner Bros to record Mission: Space

Welcome to potential students of voice!
Cloudburst by Eric Whitacre
Interview on Explain Things to Me
Interview on Explain Things to Me
Voices I've trained in a preview video
With two of my students from La Sierra University

Me with Composer David Lang, co-producer an album

Me and Gustavo Dudamel backstage after a performance at Hollywood Bowl
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3 Reviews

Write a Review
Stacey Fraser Aug 13, 2017
Opera Voice · In studio

Lesley Leighton is a superb teacher and singer - she absolutely knows the voice inside and out. A great pedagogue and musician with a fantastic spirit. I highly recommend Lesley!

Lynn Aug 10, 2017
Classical Voice · In studio

Lesley Leighton is the best voice teacher I have encountered over the years. Her technical knowledge of the human voice and skill of teaching are a great combination. She is able to demonstrate for her students and encourages them to excel. I recommend her highly!

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Karen Aug 9, 2017
Classical Voice · In studio

Lesley is an extremely knowledgeable voice teacher who has helped my voice tremendously. I was having trouble singing lower notes and she made me realize that I had very little support when singing. Now she has me doing exercises to strengthen my muscles and has given me great feedback during my lessons which has helped my voice tremendously. I highly recommend this teacher!

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