[ alumni ]
Mitch Leigh, a Yale graduate and benefactor, died yesterday morning, March 16. He had a stroke a little over a week ago. Dean Blocker announced the news to the School’s community “with immense gratitude for his life and unspeakable sadness for our loss.”
Mitch Leigh was born in 1928 in Brooklyn. His parents, who had arrived in New York in 1921, made it a priority for him to study music. After attending the High School of Music and Art, he joined the army in 1946 in order to take advantage of the G.I. Bill. While recovering at Walter Reed Army Hospital from a baseball injury, he heard music by Paul Hindemith on the radio and wrote to him at Yale. The next fall he enrolled, earning his bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1951 and his master’s from the Yale School of Music in 1952.
Dean Blocker noted, “Mitch Leigh continually maintained that his time at Yale was the turning point in his life. His love and admiration for Keith Wilson, his lifelong friendship with Willie Ruff, and his gratitude for having Paul Hindemith as his teacher were all dominant themes in his Yale experience.” MORE