Diane Leah is an experienced pianist, composer / arranger, educator, and music director, with credits that span 40 years in Canadian music.
As a young musician, she founded her own jazz vocal group, Cloudburst, which performed during the 1970s and 80s. She went on to serve as music director for Catherine McKinnon and Don Harron from 1983 to 2000.
From 1999 until September 2019, Diane served as the Director of Music for the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. Her keen musical sense and original compositions were instrumental in growing its choir into an acclaimed and sought-after vocal ensemble that has sung at events ranging from sports awards to the Celebration of Life for NDP leader Jack Layton.
Upon her retirement from MCCT, Diane received a scroll from the City of Toronto acknowledging her “leadership and dedication” and proclaiming her “an inspiration and an example of what makes Toronto a special place.”
Since 2011, Diane has been music director for Toronto’s Broadsway, also featuring Julie Michels and Heather Bambrick. The trio have performed in theatres across Canada and the US.Broadsway’s symphony concert, Broadsway with Symphony, has been a favourite of audiences from Ontario to Newfoundland.
Diane’s many music theatre credits include Beauty and The Beast (Music Director–Young People’s Theatre [YPT]) and We Will Rock You (Associate Music Director–Mirvish).
She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her work on YPT’s production of A Year with Frog and Toad, and in January of 2013, Diane was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service.
Diane has worked with a vast array of artists, including Jackie Richardson (Cookin’ at the Cookery), Alana Bridgewater (We Will Rock You), Thom Allison (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Over the Rainbow) and Micah Barnes (Micah at The Sands). She was pianist and arranger for Thom’s album Whole Lotta Sunlight and recently performed with Thom in his seasonal show, Shut Up! It’s Christmas.
As long-time music director / pianist for Tony Award–nominated Louise Pitre (Mama Mia), Diane has performed in various concert formats, from duo to symphony orchestra, throughout Canada and the U.S. She helped create (with Joe Matheson), Could You Wait (Grand Theatre, London) and On the Rocks, Louise’s well-received biographical show. Diane also collaborated on Pitre’s album La Vie en Rouge, a tribute to Edith Piaf.
As an educator, Diane currently works with aspiring actors at Toronto’s Randolph Academy, a connection she has enjoyed since 2001.