We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Crane and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have always loved to perform and bring joy to others. I distinctly remember asking my parents, their friends and family watch while I showed them my latest dance routine or song I had been learning. In the beginning for me it was dance, and my parents drove me to dance lessons every night of the week for many years. I thrived on learning a new routine, practicing it to make it the best of my ability, and being able to perform in competitions. Wanting to make my parents proud and make people smile was always the goal. At the age of 8, I entered my first competition singing the “Rainbow Connection.” I knew by the time I got to high school that I couldn’t live without music. My show choir teacher, Mr. Jim Fronczeck sat me down my senior year and told me he thought I should pursue a vocal performance degree. He said he didn’t think I would ever really be happy doing anything else. He was absolutely right. I completed my degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and decided to get my Masters in Social Work afterwards. I felt like God was calling me to serve others in a different way, but I missed singing and sharing my gift. Over time, I have learned that I need the creative outlet and a method to share my artistry. It has been a joy to be a part of people’s most important moments at weddings, funerals, church services, and private parties. Seeing people be moved, creating memories, and being able to celebrate with them has been irreplaceable. I am still a social worker and helping others in that way. However, I cannot live my life without music. Having these opportunities to sing and make music give me so much joy.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a studio session singer, choral artist, and classically trained musician who has been singing in a Latin Jazz & Salsa band for the past 5 years. Sounds crazy, right? My dedication, work ethic and versatility set me apart from many other singers out there. Not many people can say they can sing classical music, sight read, and then go sing in another language with a completely different genre of music. Of course none of this has been “easy,” but it has been worth it. I have been able to experience a completely different culture than my own, and I have been blown away by the acceptance and encouragement I have gotten from the Latinx community. My biggest support in learning all of this is our band leader and pianist, Pavel. He has helped me with my pronunciation, the style of music and understanding of Latin culture. I’m still just a gringa that is trying her best to sing some salsa tunes, but people see the level of commitment that I have given and are appreciative. I would love to encourage others to try something different and new that stretches you. A new food, listening to different music, learning a new language are all things that can help us to have a better understanding of others and the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Indianapolis has many wonderful spots to check out. I absolutely love Delicia and cannot get enough of the spicy margaritas. Depending on the time of year, we have the Indianapolis Colts, Pacers, and the Indy 500 for the chance to see the “greatest spectacle in racing”! The monument circle downtown is always fun at holidays for Circle of Lights. For brunch, I recommend Garden Table or Cafe Patachou. No friend weekend would be complete without a pedicure, and Zen Nail Lounge in Broad Ripple is a great spot. I really want to check out The W Nail Bar at Bottleworks. Bottleworks is a great place to spend time for fun at Pins Mechanical and food/drinks at the Garage. We love the Bottleworks hotel too for a Great Gatsby vibe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not be where I am today without my husband, Jeff Crane. He has supported and encouraged me to continue following my dreams. Jeff is supportive and truly my biggest fan. He never tires of hearing my latest song or coming to see me sing somewhere. Love you, Jeff.
Facebook: Leah Crane, Vocalist
Mark Sheldon, Monroe Bush, Charrie Stambaugh, Larry Goshen