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Ashley R. Leigh, Assistant Principal/Second Clarinet

Ashley R. Leigh, assistant principal clarinet, has performed with the National Orchestral Institute, the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, Musica Riva Festival (Italy) and the Tanglewood Festival.

Leigh was awarded the grand prize at the 2006 Buffet-Crampon Young Artists Clarinet Competition in New York. Recently, she was chosen as a finalist for a clarinet position with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as a finalist for the principal clarinet position with the Chicago Symphony.

Leigh holds a B.M. degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and has completed additional graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Paul Garner, Alessandro Carbonare and Richard Hawley. She has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic since 2005.

Ashley R. Leigh is underwritten by Donna & Don Comstock.

Name: Ashley R. Leigh

Instrument: Clarinet

Hometown: Allen, TX

At what age did you begin playing your instrument? 11

Who have been your greatest musical influences? My band director from sixth grade through much of high school, Billy Walker. He started me on the clarinet and was a positive and wonderful role model for me. He selflessly stayed after school many times helping me prepare for auditions and was always a good friend to me. Another musical influence for me was my clarinet teacher for seven years, Paul Garner. It is because of him that I decided to play clarinet professionally. My favorite clarinet player is Alessandro Carbonare, who lives in Italy.

Who are your favorite composers? I love Shostakovich.

What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? Medicine.

What's currently playing on your iPod or CD player? Imogen Heap.

Your hobbies and interests: I like to cook, ride my bike and read. I am interested in studying and discussing the Bible.

Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: I am sixth generation Texan. I lived in Paris for a semester. I love dark chocolate!

Funniest concert moment: One of the keys fell off my clarinet during my junior clarinet recital in college!

Daily practice rituals: I can practice anywhere from one hour to eight hours in one day, depending on what I'm working on. Scales and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto often show up in my practice session.

The question you're asked most often about your instrument: Sometimes I get asked about reeds. I probably go through an entire box of reeds every week or two!

Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic: Playing in Naples is musically rewarding and the general spirit within the group is amazing – it's like one big family!

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