- College Connections Stories
Get to know Jeff Lehman
Jeff Lehman speaks with an easy grace and moves with the poise of a conductor. He is the director of the Pride of Dayton marching band, or PoD to those in the know. Jeff has had an intense passion for music since he was in the 6th grade. He recounts that when the school first offered the music program every boy in class, including him, wanted to play the drums. His parents denied that request but were please that he began learning clarinet. His love of music led to his musical education.
He earned a Bachelor of Education, with an emphasis in instrumental music from Missouri State University. Jeff then earned a Master of Music at the University of Memphis and he is currently working on his Doctorate of Musical Arts with the University of Colorado-Boulder.
This passion for music ran in tandem with his love of baseball throughout his educational career. Jeff played baseball through his undergraduate studies before going onto his MA. He played minor league ball for the Mountain Ducks in Missouri. When baseball ended Jeff always came back to music, which is the reason he is here at the University of Dayton. Jeff has extensive experience in conducting and has done so with more than 18 different bands and ensembles.
“I love the collaboration with the students in discovering the music,” Jeff states with a smile. He likes one on one instruction but nothing is more fulfilling for him than working with a group of musicians. “The rehearsals are where the music comes alive, when each part meets.”
Jeff plays clarinet, saxophone, and piano. He has no favorites when it comes to music; he loves all types. In future performances of the PoD we could see anything from classical to alternative. Modern music is the trend right now for marching bands, so who knows what Jeff has in store for us - he isn’t telling. We will hear from Jeff this spring when the concert band performs.
When he isn’t marching to the beat, Jeff has been known to volunteer with disaster relief groups. He has a soft spot for tornado and hurricane victims having grown up in Oklahoma and seeing the devastating power of tornadoes first hand. He is an avid runner who also harbors a sweet tooth, especially for pastries.
When Jeff completes his dissertation he wants to travel. One of his future goals is to take his musical groups abroad to Europe or Asia. When he can, he tries to visit and stay in touch with his father and brother, both of whom are also professors. His father has since retired and still lives in Oklahoma where Jeff grew up. Jeff has learned so much from music but the most important lesson he has learned is, “be authentic in all of your encounters, if you bring your true self to it you will succeed.” Jeff has fallen in step here at UD and certainly brings joy and music wherever he goes.