A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Leslie Stewart holds Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music Performance from the University of Southern California. She was a violinist with the Puerto Rico Symphony and Alabama Symphony before moving to Northern California in 1989 to conduct the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra and direct the Marin Symphony’s Youth Programs. While in Alabama, she served as Music Director of the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra (a community ensemble) and Choir Director at the Birmingham Unitarian Church.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, she performed regularly with the Women’s Philharmonic, California Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony and Marin Symphony. She was also a member of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra in Santa Cruz for 32 summers and played in the Peter Britt Festival Orchestra in Oregon for 7 summers.
Beginning in 1998, she served as Music Director and Conductor of the Bay Youth Orchestra of Virginia culminating in the Bay Youth Symphony’s performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2006. She also served on the faculties of Chowan College (North Carolina), Christopher Newport University and Old Dominion University where she received the “Most Inspiring Faculty Award” by the College of Arts and Letters in 2006.
Ms. Stewart is currently in her 15th year as Founding Conductor of the Health and Wellness Community Orchestra. In 2013 she was honored with the “Outstanding Service Award” by the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University for her work with this ensemble and her accomplishments as Director of CSU’s Summer Master of Music Education degree with a Specialization in Conducting. In addition, Ms. Stewart is Director of the CSU String Pedagogy Program, conducts the CSU Concert Orchestra and frequently performs on CSU Virtuoso Series faculty recitals. The Mayor and City Council of Ft. Collins proclaimed February 20, 2018 as “Leslie Stewart Day” in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Health and Wellness Community Orchestra.
Ms. Stewart has guest conducted honor orchestras, youth symphonies, and community orchestras throughout the United States and in Germany and Brazil. She has also coached chamber music and given violin and conducting masterclasses in Vietnam.
She has performed regularly with the Fort Collins Symphony since 2006 and has served as Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Cheyenne Symphony since 2015. She also performs occasionally with the Greeley Philharmonic, Colorado Pro Musica Orchestra and Wyoming Symphony. Ms. Stewart maintains a private violin studio in Fort Collins.
Leslie Stewart is available for hire as a violin instructor. To learn more, please email her directly at Leslie2.Stewart@colostate.edu