Leslee Wood is an active composer, performer and researcher currently pursuing concurrent graduate degrees in composition (M.M.) and musicology (PhD) at the University of Kansas. In 2016, Wood was a prizewinner at the Annual New Music Festival of the International Alliance for Women in Music and selected for presentation at the Society of Composers, Inc. National Student Conference in 2018. Ms. Wood serves as the Artistic Director of the professional ensemble Ignea Strata, and as Composer-in-Residence for new music group KC VITAs, an internationally recognized organization dedicated to the performance and cultivation of contemporary choral and vocal music.
Wood’s work as the Artistic Director of Ignea Strata has allowed her to marry vigorous musicological research with composition. Ms. Wood’s musicological research has largely focused on music of the medieval and early renaissance periods and Ignea Strata has performed many seldom-heard works in new editions transcribed and edited from primary sources from the middle ages, renaissance, and baroque periods. Ignea Strata’s programs frequently pair contemporary compositions with much earlier works, highlighting both the passage of time and the evolution and continuity of artistic and aesthetic tastes, including the premieres of many of Wood’s own compositions.
Wood was a founding member of KC VITAs, a new music ensemble that performs only works by living composers. She performed both as a singer and composer during the ensemble’s inaugural season and since then has served on the board of directors and has been fundamentally involved in both the artistic and administrative growth of the organization and has collaborated extensively with KC VITAs to compose and premiere new works since its inception.