About Tom

Tom Leighton:    “Plays Well with Others”

Musician, Conductor, Composer, Arranger

A multi instrumentalist, Tom plays piano, accordion, accordion bass, bouzouki, bodhran, whistles, jaw harps, mandolin and trombone— sometimes several of them at the same time!   He regularly accompanies Canadian fiddle greats on piano, accordion and bouzouki, in styles including Celtic, East Coast, Folk and swing.

Tom is half of the celebrated Canadian duo Mark Haines & Tom Leighton.  Haines and Leighton have three CDs, “Foot to Floor”,  “Optimists Jig” and “Hand to Hand”, the latter two with Borealis records. Haines and Leighton’s third album, Hand To Hand, won two PEI Music Awards and was nominated for an East Coast Music Award. “Leighton Life” followed “Leighton Tendencies” are Tom’s most recent CD release, featuring his own compositions that he performs with many of his favourite musicians.

Tom also plays regularly with Anne Lederman, Conrad Kipping, and Danny Bakan. You will hear Tom on a number of prominent recordings including Ron Hynes’ last three CDs, and recordings by the Irish Descendants, Danny Bakan, Ron Nigrini, Nancy White, Jed Marum, Marie Lynn Hammond, Michael Cavan Kelly, Georgette Fry, Anne Lederman and many others.

© Eric Fefferman

Long active in musical theatre, Tom recently was co-writer (with Suzanne Pasternak and Marion deVries) and musical director of Ship of Fire produced by the Festival Players of Prince Edward County 2009.  He has also been musical director of numerous productions of the folk musical Minerva, which he co-authored with Suzanne Pasternak. Other music direction credits include the musicals “Exile“, “Picton Papers“, “Hank Williams, the Show He Never Gave”, “Fiddler On the Roof”, and “Urinetown”, and “RENT”.  Tom has also been music director for the Riverdale Share Christmas revue for the past 16 years.

Orchestrating credits include the musical Anne and Gilbert (with Bob Johnston) winning accolades from public and press. Tom orchestrated several works performed by the Kingston Symphony and  featuring guest artists Georgette Fry, Haines & Leighton and Ryan Malcolm  – Canadian Idol winner.

Tom has recently retired from the Music Theatre team at Wexford School for the Arts where he lead the pit band and co-taught the vocal repertoire.

Tom has been awarded the Cec McEachern Award as a diverse accompanist by CIUT FM.