Leonard Hayes is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California where he studies under the tutelage of concert pianist Bernadene Blaha. Also, he serves as the graduate teaching assistant in the Keyboard Studies department. Previously, Leonard served as the Head of Piano Studies and Assistant Director in the Music Conservatory at the Booker T. Washington HSPVA (Dallas, TX).
Leonard is a winner of numerous piano competitions including first prize in the 2015 National Piano Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Musicians. As recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Hayes has performed across the U.S. and abroad which include notable venues such as Sweelinkzaal at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Wisconsin Union Theater, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hammond Hall at the Winspear Opera House, Steinway Hall, Hatch Hall and Kilbourn Hall (Eastman School of Music), Memorial Chapel (Lawrence University), Ayers Recital Hall (Texas Lutheran University) and Thrasher Opera House (Green Lake, WI). As a scholar, Leonard was awarded the prestigious 2015 Links Scholarship. The award, a cooperative effort between the Rochester, New York Chapter, The Links, Incorporated and the Eastman School of Music, recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary talent of an African-American scholar musician.
A deeply committed teacher, Leonard’s former students have been accepted into undergraduate music programs such as the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, Peabody Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, Loyola University and University of Nebraska – Lincoln. His students have participated in summer music programs at the Interlochen Center for the Arts High School Piano Institute and the Miami Summer Music Festival. During the 2016-2017 School Year, the Booker T. Washington Piano Program achieved excellent ratings at the Texas State UIL Solo and Ensemble. Mr. Hayes’s students have been selected to perform in master classes for world renowned pianists such as Alexander Kobrin, Pamela Paul, Gustavo Romero, Artina McCain, and Daria Rabotkina. In 2017, Leonard received the distinction as a Steinway & Sons Educational Partner; and received the Steinway’s prestigious 2017 Top Teacher Award for his commitment to piano education in the Dallas community.
Leonard received a High School Diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University with additional studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; and a Master of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music. Leonard’s previous teacher-mentors include Antoinette Perry, Douglas Humpherys, Catherine Kautsky, and T.J. Lymenstull.