Leiker headed for NY City

For one Marion High School senior, performing at New York City?s Carnegie Hall on Feb, 19, his 18th birthday, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Landon Leiker, along with only the highest rated high school performers nationwide, was selected for the 2011 North American Honor Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.

?I am absolutely thrilled to be going,? he said.

Leiker started playing the trumpet as a fifth grade student, continuing through middle and high school.

As a freshman, he was selected to perform in the honor band and state band.

His successes continued with his appearances in district and state bands as a sophomore, junior and senior.

The chance to perform at Carnegie Hall first materialized at state band competition while Leiker was first chair on trumpet.

?There are two ways someone can be selected,? he said, ?one is by invitation and the other by nomination from a band director.?

For Leiker, it was by invitation and he auditioned last fall for a place in the band.

He said he chose three musical pieces to include ?Oliver?s Birthday,? ?Petite Piece Concerto? and ?Concert Etude.?

?These are classic trumpet selections,? he said, which he played solo or at a state or district contest.

He sent his trumpet selections on a CD to the Series Selection Board committee and was accepted.

According to information provided by the Honors Performance Series selection committee, acceptance of a candidate is a direct result of the talent, dedication and achievements in the student?s application and audition recording.

Leiker studies trumpet music under the direction of Jim Phillips, trumpet instructor, and Adam Johnson, MHS band director.

In addition to his musical abilities, he is also active in choir, drama, forensics and golf.

The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers allowing them to study under master conductors and perform at Carnegie Hall, according to information provided by the committee.

?We are leaving for New York Wednesday (Feb. 16) and for the first three days we will be rehearsing until Saturday?s performance,? he said.

After the concert, Leiker said he will have two days free time with his parents, Lee and Diane Leiker of Marion, and his brother, Jordan, who is a high school science teacher in Jetmore.

Following graduation, Leiker said he plans to attend Kansas State University and major in secondary math education and math.

?I do want to play in either the winds ensemble, brass or trumpet ensemble (while attending KSU),? he said.

Although Leiker did not choose music as a major, he said he wants to keep music in his life.

?I love music,? he said.

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