Ted Leith’s varied and accomplished career in drumming had an early beginning. Leith showed an aptitude and passion for all things percussion at the age of four years old. Hungry to express rhythm in any way, Leith began learning to play the drum set and snare drum as soon as his hands could grasp a pair of drum sticks. He received his initial instruction from his father, Tom Leith, who achieved a legendary status as a snare drummer and instructor for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps from the organization’s inception in 1964 to 1974.
At the age of nine, Leith gave his first public performance with his father in a gospel drum set duet. His love for performing ignited almost instantly and he began winning multiple talent competitions at the age of eleven. During Leith’s high school years, he continued to develop his drumming skill and talent through solo performances, private instruction, and traveling with successful gospel groups. Beginning in college, Leith performed with the University of Kentucky drum line receiving several leadership awards throughout his involvement.
Leith has developed a diverse resume as a performer and as an instructor. His long and thrilling competitive performance career began when Leith competed with the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps (Portland, Oregon), then performed with the world-renowned Cavalier Drum and Bugle Corps (Rosemont, Illinois), winning two bronze medals at the 2007 and 2008 World Championships. Leith continued his marching career with an amazing four year competitive stint with Winter Guard International’s Rhythm X (Columbus, Ohio), winning the ensemble’s first two gold medals in 2008 and 2009, and a silver medal in 2010.
Leith’s reputation for commitment, competence, and passion soon became known globally when he began his four year involvement with Switzerland’s internationally known drumming ensemble, Top Secret Drum Corps (Basil, Switzerland), Japan’s Aimachi Marching Band (Nagoya, Japan) securing a gold medal in 2008, and a musical stage production in SeaWorld San Diego known as Riptide. During this time, Leith also thrived in the greater Kentucky region as a successful gospel drummer. He stayed involved throughout his young adult life performing in conferences, leading rallies, and arranging and recording original music.
Moving into the field of percussion instructor was a natural progression for Leith. He was Percussion Coordinator for the Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) Marching Band percussion program, and sole Percussion Instructor for a competitive drum corps in Bangkok, Thailand. Leith held the position of Percussion Director at Centerville High School (Centerville, OH) from 2012-2013, taking his students into Scholastic World Finals at Winter Guard International World Championships in 2012. In addition Leith instructed the very prestigious Rhythm X performance ensemble from 2012-2014, winning the gold medal in 2013.
Ted proudly endorses Heartbeat cymbals, Innovative Percussion and Pearl Drums. Leith currently teaches Centerville High School (OH), Rhythm X, and is active in the gospel drumming community.