Dr. Nathan Leaf
Director of Choral Activities
Associate Teaching Professor
919-515-8280 (Price Line)
Nathan Leaf is the Director of Choral Activities at North Carolina State University, where he directs three choirs, heads the choral and vocal programs, and teaches voice and voice class. He is also the founder and artistic director of the dynamic new Triangle chamber consort, Voices of a New Renaissance, and the Choir Director at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Durham, where he serves on the board of the St. Stephens Concert Series and mentors the church’s post-graduate music fellow. A versatile musician, he has garnered critical praise for his work as a conductor and teacher, and he performs as singer with some of the top vocal ensembles in the country. He was previously on the music faculties of University of Wyoming and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. During his tenure at NC State, the choral and vocal areas have experienced significant growth, with nearly twice as many students singing than before he came. His work with young singers emphasizes thoughtful musicality and healthy vocal production. From 2008-2012, Dr. Leaf was the Chorus Master for North Carolina Opera, and in 2012, he was selected through national audition as one of six conductors featured at the Providence Renaissance Institute workshops and master classes with the British early music ensemble, I Fagiolini.
Dr. Leaf has sung for eight seasons as a member of the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus in Eugene, Oregon, performing under the batons of Helmuth Rilling and Matthew Halls, as well as leading conductors including Marin Alsop, Nicholas McGegan, and Jeffrey Kahane. He has also performed with Conspirare-Company of Voices in Austin, Texas, the Tucson Chamber Artists in Arizona, the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus in New York City, and in the Triangle area with the North Carolina Master Chorale Chamber Choir and the Durham Vocal Arts Ensemble. In 2004, he toured Central Europe as member of the Swedish male choir Orphei Drängar. He occasionally appears as a tenor soloist in both concert and recital settings. His stage credits as a conductor, singer, and orchestra member include productions of La Cenerentola, Rigoletto, Tosca, Faust, Carmen, Il Trovatore, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Le Nozze di Figaro, A Little Night Music, and A Chorus Line, among others.
Dr. Leaf earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Valparaiso University (Indiana) and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in choral conducting from the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin. A recipient of UT’s Bruton Graduate Fellowship, his research on Swedish choral music has earned several publications, including in a feature article in Choral Journal, the primary publication of the American Choral Directors Association. He lives in Raleigh with his wife, soprano Kathryn Mueller.