Thomas Leslie

As Director of the Division of Wind Band Studies and Professor of Conducting, Thomas G. Leslie has earned recognition for high-quality performances of the UNLV Bands. During his tenure at UNLV, his bands have received critical acclaim from fellow musicians internationally, from Grammy Award-winning recording artists to decorated members of the United States Marine Band, Air Force Band, Navy Band, and esteemed educators. 

Recognized for a fresh, interpretative style among collegiate wind orchestras, Leslie and the UNLV Wind Orchestra excel in their commitment to commission new works by the next generation of the world’s finest young composers. This ensemble, under Professor Leslie’s baton, has received multiple American Prize and Ernst Bacon Awards. Leslie has conducted and recorded 22 compact disc recordings with the UNLV Wind Orchestra, all of which have received noteworthy acclaim in professional review journals in addition to high praise from colleagues throughout the world. Several of the UNLV Wind Orchestra Series recordings have received nominations for Grammy Award consideration in the “best classical performance” category. 

As a high school band director, Leslie won numerous state and national championships while teaching in Iowa, Indiana, and Arizona. While teaching at UNLV starting in 1985, Leslie was featured as an adjudicator and conductor throughout the United States, and has been invited to conduct performances and clinics internationally. The UNLV College of Fine Arts awarded Leslie the College of Fine Arts Teacher of the Year Award in 2006. Most recently, Leslie and the UNLV Wind Orchestra were awarded the American Prize for Best American Collegiate Wind Ensemble for 2021. 

Leslie received degrees in Music Education from The University of Iowa and Indiana State University. Elected in March of 2012, Leslie served in office as the 75th president of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and currently serves as a member of the ABA Nominating Committee, the ABA Membership Committee, and the ABA Past President’s Ad Hoc Committee. He was inducted to membership in 1997 and he hosted the National Convention of this very distinguished group in Las Vegas in March 2001. He continues to be a long-standing member of the College Band Directors National Association, and has served as Western Division Chair for the National Band Association. Leslie currently serves on the Board of Directors for the John Philip Sousa Foundation.


Joe’s Tango

Release Date: November 10, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6572
21st Century
Wind Ensemble
There is something very special about the symbiosis of a great composer and a talented performing musician: many of the great moments in musical history were born of such collaborations. This rare joy is now to be felt in our time: JOE’S TANGO features the world premiere recording Concerto for Trombone by none other than jazz legend Chick Corea, tailor-made for virtuoso solo trombonist Joseph Alessi. It's a riveting, marvelous work — classical in scope, but contemporary in rhythm and feeling. Conductor Thomas G. Leslie, his University of Nevada Las Vegas Wind Orchestra, and the Boston Brass Quintet empathetically frame this centerpiece with works by Hugo Montenegro and the young Jorge Machain, who offers the world premiere recording of his Five Cities to the mix. The resulting album — as one might expect — is altogether outstanding.