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Leanne Cianfrini - Conductor/Bells/Etc

Member since? 

March 2016 (picked up clarinet after 24 years of not playing since high school)

How did you hear about/find us? 

I saw a recruitment flyer near the bathroom at Crestwood Tavern and reached out on facebook. 


What is your musical background/history? 

  • Started playing piano around the age of 7. Hated practicing, but mom said if I wanted to quit, I'd have to be the one to tell my teacher. I was too chicken to disappoint someone, so I just stayed with it. First piano songs played in front of an audience were at a 4th grade school concert (Lionel Richie's Hello and Duran Duran's Wild Boys...The 80s, like, totally!!). Played 1st clarinet since elementary school band. Also played alto sax, bells/marimba, bass clarinet when needed. Tried cello, but my hands are small but with chubby fingers...could not figure that instrument out (although cello and French horn are my favorite instruments to listen to). Actually owned a pan flute like Zamfir and dabbled with the didgeridoo. I'm proud of my sight reading abilities, but I'm not spontaneous enough to improvise.

  • In high school, I overextended myself in jazz band, symphonic band, show choir band, musical pit band, local community band, and I was lucky enough to be the concert choir piano accompanist. I realized I was better at being in the background on piano than in the spotlight. Was head majorette for field and parade marching band. Voted "most musical" for senior yearbook, yada yada. Continued in college as a musical theatre piano accompanist.

  • Favorite musical experience was getting selected for the Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra. Yes, our 99% white suburban high school in Buffalo had a Caribbean steel drum band. I got to rock the huge basses, which surrounded me in a circle of 6 huge oil drums. We wore cute tropical outfits and played everything from Kokomo to Yellow Bird to In the Mood to Eine Kleine Nachtmusic on those things. Got to perform in Hawaii and on a Caribbean cruise in high school. I really miss it and still have dreams of starting my own steel drum band here in Birmingham.



What is your favorite “Band Song” to play? 

Thriller is actually fun to conduct and Zoot Suit Riot is a favorite. And, I thank you for indulging me with the polka. I love it!



What do you do when you are not playing music? (work/hobbies/for fun???)

  • I'm a clinical health psychologist at The Doleys Clinic, an outpatient chronic pain management clinic in Hoover. I teach at the graduate level at UAB, speak at regional and national conferences, write book chapters. I love doing the clinical work and the pain education classes, also doing biofeedback for stress management.

  • I don't prioritize time for play or self-care like I should, but I like dabbling with nature photography, knit/crochet, walking or hiking for exercise, reading on our front porch, binge watching good TV, trying new restaurants. My husband and I also love to travel. 



What type of animal/breed of dog/cat/bird/fish/other etc…. best reflects your personality and why? 

Although various Buzzfeed quizzes told me I'm either a sloth, gorilla, or trout (!), I think I have to go with "Short and ineffective arms of a T-Rex with the ability to nap and convey disdain like a cat."



Tell us something fun!  You know, like “That one time at band camp…” Or elsewhere.  (funny anecdote/story/amazing coincidence/hidden talent/celebrity encounter, etc…) 

  • This is cheating because I can't pick just one story I like --  I'm gonna play fast and loose with the answer to this question and instead play "9 Truths and 1 Lie." Y'all can guess which one of these things is untrue about me. The rest? Completely accurate.

  1. The name of my memoir would be "Spaghetti on Dyngus Day."

  2. I know how to beatbox.

  3. I once worked for a year as a school photographer.

  4. 1970s porn star Ron Jeremy once bought me a drink at a bar.

  5. I got engaged in London.

  6. I awkwardly said "Hey, gurrrrl" to Madonna at a Gloria Estefan CD release party in Miami.

  7. My favorite food is pizza, but I make the best guacamole. 

  8. A photo of my perfect mononucleosis cell was used in medical textbooks.

  9. In grad school, I was conducting an IQ test on a precious 6 year old boy. With my Yankee accent, I asked, "Name 3 types of coin" (e.g., quarter, nickel). He responded genuinely in his Southern accent after a minute of intense thought, "Creamed coin, canned coin...and coin on the cob!"

  10.  I know only 1 joke and it is *filthy*.

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