Helen Leaf

Co-Founder & Musical Director

Helen graduated with first class honours from Trinity College of Music, London, where she won the Alan J Kirby Conducting Prize and the Louise Band Prize for Musicianship. She studied singing with Morag Noble and conducting with the distinguished Choral Conductor, James Gaddarn and attained Licentiate diplomas in Pianoforte and Singing and a Fellowship diploma in Singing. Helen attained a Masters Degree in Music Performance Studies from The City University, London and went on to found and direct Opera Shop before working with leading record producers both in London and in Los Angeles.

Helen has taught singing at Mountview Theatre School, Northern Ballet School, Renaissance-Arts, Harlequin Theatre School, and was part of the creative team at SLP College of Performing Arts in Leeds as Head of Musical Theatre and Director of Music. She was a children’s voice coach for The King and I National Tour in 2012 and many of her students have appeared in West End Shows, Off-Broadway Productions, National Tours and television programmes as well as professional pantomimes. Helen’s pupils have gone on to study at leading performing arts’ colleges such as Mountview, Trinity Laban, Bird, Italia Conti, Arts Ed, Laine Theatre Arts, Urdang, Central School of Speech & Drama, GSA, AMTA and Millennium. They have also been chosen to perform with the prestigious National Youth Music Theatre Company (Sweeney Todd, The Hired Man, The Dreaming, 13, West Side Story). In 2016, seven of Helen’s pupils were cast in the NYMT’s anniversary season which included Benjamin Till’s award-winning Brass and The Piper of Hamelin.

Presently, Helen is co-founder and musical director of danSing, Harrogate, for which she devises musical theatre performances, writes and arranges songs and teaches vocal technique, repertoire and harmony singing. She also teaches singing individually and her students follow the graded syllabus of the London College of Music, achieving outstanding results in the musical theatre examinations as well as popular vocals and classical singing. This has led to Helen being invited to contribute to the musical theatre exam syllabus and deliver lectures on its application.

In 2015, Helen conducted Brackenfield School Choir at the Music For Youth National Finals, winning an award for innovation. She was the musical director for danSing for Shine at the Harrogate Theatre, bringing over a hundred young performers together to help raise thousands of pounds for charity. This year Helen led danSing to the Music for Youth Nationals in Birmingham and arranged the group’s winning performance for the American Musical Theatre Academy’s worldwide musical theatre ensemble competition.