In a chorus with so much talent, it is not surprising to find that many of its members have at least some history in music. However, I never expected to find as thorough a background as Second Tenor Ron Leon. Having been enrolled in a singing nursery school, Ron started singing at the age of 3. His school would perform at luncheons, community gatherings, etc. in cowboy suits complete with a wooden stick horse. He went on to sing with the Occidental College Glee Club, one of the finest Glee Clubs in the country, and attended the Music Academy of the West where he studied under a lead of the Metropolitan Opera and received the Lotte Lehman Award.
After studying music, Ron began working as an elementary and Special Education teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and eventually working as Superintendent of a district with 2000 employees serving nearly 20,000 students. As someone who is career-oriented, holding that position was most rewarding for him; being able to influence and impact learning opportunities for many young people and an entire community. He is currently a full Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Cal Poly Pomona.
The only thing to rival that feeling are his two children and two grandchildren, all of whom are loving and very supportive of Ron, his wonderful partner Paul and his participation with the chorus. His ex-wife, mother, and children attend the concerts along with the occasional friend and co-worker.
When asked what his finest moment has been with MenAlive, Ron states that there is no single finest moment. There are songs and music that touch and inspire the audience and Ron, himself, and he has found that music in each concert he has participated in. He did mention, though, his chance to play Gene Simmons with full make-up and costuming in Rock Concert and Sister Andrea in the recent VonTrapped as a chance to extricate himself from his usually conservative demeanor.
That ability to be part of a chorus family, participate in something creative and musically satisfying and ultimately reaching out to our diverse audiences is what Ron loves about MenAlive. He says, “It is so much more than just a singing chorus. It is a special community of men and has become a place of safety for its members." In this special setting each person can find support as they continue their journey of self-discovery.