Lindsay Leach - Biography

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., Lindsay Leach Sparks is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Flute at Valdosta State University.

Dr. Sparks enjoys a varied performance and teaching career in the U.S and abroad having given recitals in Europe, North America, and Asia. As a soloist, she has been featured with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Academy Modern Instrument Baroque Orchestra, the Adastra Ensemble, the W.S. Newman Series Ensembles, and in recital at Le Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice, France. She has been honored in the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition in Paris, the Maxence Larrieu International Flute Competition in Nice, and the National Flute Association’s Young Artist, Piccolo Artist, and Baroque Artist competitions. In 2010, she was one of two American representatives in the Beijing Nicolet International Flute Competition in China.

An avid orchestral musician, she has performed under the batons of David Zinman, James Conlon, André Previn, Gustav Meyer, David Robertson, Edward Polochick, Lan Shui, Maris Jansens, Edward Cumming, Murry Sidlin, Charles Jones Evans, and Josep Caballé-Domenech in groups such as the Moscow Ballet Orchestra, the Opera Carolina, the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, the Amadeus Orchestra and Chorus in the UK, the Peter Maxwell Davies Ensemble (RAM), the Charlotte Symphony, the Columbus Symphony (OH), and the North Carolina Symphony. She currently holds the piccolo position with the Symphony Orchestra Augusta (GA).

Prior to her appointment at VSU, Dr. Sparks served as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Akron School of Music, and as the Interim Professor of Flute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has also held positions at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. She has had extensive experience as an online educator, serving as the Online Professor of Jazz History and World Music in the graduate school at Rutgers University and Music Instructional Leader for the North Carolina Virtual Public School, creating the online music programs at both institutions. She was a recipient of the PEO Scholar Award as well as the North Carolina Arts Council’s Regional Artist Grant (funding from the state of North Carolina and local arts councils in Cumberland, Lee, Moore, New Hanover, Harnett and Richmond counties), through which she had the opportunity to produce her first solo flute CD "One of a Kind" with London-based pianist Philip Richardson. In 2015, the Orange County Arts Council Artist Grant helped in part to fund her newest chamber recording, expanding her doctoral research, "Rediscovering Hugo Kauder" currently available on the Albany label.

Dr. Sparks coordinates the High School Flute Choir Competition (2019-2023) for the National Flute Association, and remains active in research and performance on historical flutes. She holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory (BM: Flute and MM: Piccolo), the Royal Academy of Music (PG Diploma), and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (DMA), and her European studies culminated at the Académie International d’Eté de Nice, France with Philippe Bernold. Her major teachers are Laurie Sokoloff, Clare Southworth, and Randy Bowman. She is a registered yoga instructor, certified health coach, and lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband and three young children.