Cherry Hill Teacher at the Grammys


Sean Tomasetto, Staff Writer

It is a rare opportunity to be invited to attend the Grammys, but our own Applied Technology teacher, Mr. Leonard, was there for the show.

At Cherry Hill East (where Mr. Leonard teaches Small Engines in addition to Applied Technology), Mr. Leonard directs Inspiration East, which is a funk/fusion band that takes cues from such things as gospel, R&B, and jazz. A graduated student member of Inspiration East had a running joke with Mr. Leonard, where if he ever made it to the Grammys, he would send Mr. Leonard a ticket. Sure enough, the graduate got the tickets for real, and the joke turned into a reality.

“It was great seeing [the musicians] deliver their art with passion.” Mr. Leonard says, describing the performances as wonderful things, calling the event the ‘Superbowl of Music.’

When asked about celebrity encounters, Mr. Leonard described his reunion with jazz bassist Christian McBride, who he grew up together with in Settlement Music School and hasn’t seen in 16 years. “It was a surprise.” He says, reminiscing.

Mr. Leonard spent his first two years of college studying string bass as a music major, and he changed his major to Industrial Technology in his last two years. He is passionate about music, playing for his church and a group called Impact. “It’s a pack of musical beasts who want a positive impact with music,” Mr. Leonard says. The group is made up of former students who record in Philadelphia.