Kaarin Record Leach
For 28 years, The Record Studio has been providing private piano instruction, collaborative piano/vocal coaching sessions, choral directing, and accompanying services at the highest level of quality. She is sought after for performance engagements and private instruction because of her musicality, professionalism, and dedication to the development of the emerging artist as a whole.
Kaarin Record Leach received her undergraduate degree from world-renowned Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, with additional studies at Princeton University, in Music Education with an emphasis on Piano and Voice Performance. Due to her experiences at her alma mater, she has had the incredibly fortunate experience to be on stage under the direction of such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Zubin Mehta at halls including Juilliard, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. World-class orchestras that she has performed with include the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Juilliard Orchestra.
After completing her studies, she founded The Record Studio as the basis for her music programs, encompassing her private piano instruction business and public school music education programs. She spent almost two decades as a choral director of several Kodály-based, public school music programs in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Monroe-Woodbury, New York where she conducted and accompanied countless choral concerts and musicals. She contributed to the community for 14 years as Minister of Music, first at First Baptist Church of Bordentown (NJ) and then at Mount Freedom Presbyterian Church (NJ) by leading adult choirs, youth choirs, handbell choirs, ecumenical festivals, and creating the New Jersey-based, award-winning male gospel quartet “Higher Ground.” During her years working with vocal groups and music productions, she wrote dozens of choral and small ensemble arrangements, most recently for Princeton University based a cappella Rhythm and Blues group Old NasSoul.
As a pianist, Kaarin has studied under three highly respected piano instructors. The first, Philippe Drevet, is a French concert pianist and graduate of L`Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. The second, noted composer and pianist Harold Zabrack (1929-1995), was a composition student of the renowned Nadia Boulanger. As of 2016, her piano teacher and mentor is the distinguished Dr. J.J. Penna, who is on faculty at both Westminster and The Juilliard School. Esteemed for his distinctive technique and masterful artistry, Dr. Penna has collaborated with such eminent singers as Kathleen Battle and Denyce Graves, while performing and holding fellowships at prestigious festivals such as Tanglewood Music Center and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
From 2016-2018 she was a two-time awardee of the Beatrice B. Pearman Endowed Scholarship from Westminster Choir College, where she recently completed a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying and Coaching. She was also honored to be a national semifinalist for the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, with the University of Pretoria Music Department of South Africa offering their full support for her proposal titled “The Multicultural Songbridge: A Musicultural Exchange Between South Africa and the U.S.”
Kaarin is currently serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Westminster Foundation of Princeton, dedicated to the preservation of historic Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. She is the Music Director at the Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church in Charlotte, NC.