About The Director
Dr. Anthony T. Leach
Anthony T. Leach, retired professor of music/music education, was director and founder of Essence of Joy. He served as conductor of the Penn State University Choir from 1994 – 2015 and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in choral music education. Leach also coordinated the African American Music Festival at Penn State. Leach holds a PhD in music education and a M.M. in conducting from Penn State, as well as a B.S. in music education from Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA.
Leach received the President’s Award for Engagement with Students in 2007. During the 2009 – 2010 academic year, Leach served as Penn State University Laureate. Leach received the Brazeal Dennard Award from Chorus America in 2017 and the Penn State Lion’s Paw Association Award in 2018.
Leach taught music in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York City for fourteen years. His choirs have performed at festivals throughout the United States and Canada as well as tours of England, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Spain, France, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, St. Thomas/U.S. Virgin Islands and South Africa. He has appeared as guest conductor for choral festivals and workshops in Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina, New York, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Kentucky, Nebraska and Massachusetts. He has also served as guest conductor for festivals in France, Japan, Venezuela, Czech Republic and Norway. In 2004, Leach was co-conductor of the World Youth Choir sponsored by the International Federation of Choral Musicians (IFCM) in South Korea and Japan.
Leach continues to serves as conductor of the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers and Essence 2 Ltd. He is also director of music, worship and the arts at Monumental AME, Steelton, PA. Dr. Leach is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association. Professional affiliations also include the Gospel Music Workshop of America and the National Association for Music Education.
About Essence of Joy Alumni Singers
The Essence of Joy Alumni Singers®, under the direction of Dr. Anthony T. Leach, perform sacred and secular music from the African and African-American choral traditions. The choir, founded in 2005, is composed of alumni of the Essence of Joy choir of The Pennsylvania State University.
EOJAS has performed extensively in locations such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, New York, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington D.C., Belgium, Luxembourg, South Korea, South Africa, and France. The choir released its first CD, "Joy" in July 2011.
EOJAS' mission is to learn, present, and promote African and African-American sacred and secular music in an effort to entertain, inspire, affirm and unify the worldwide community.