Leland Clarke


Professor of the Practice Musicology & Ethnomusicology


BA, Wheelock College; MA, Lesley College; Ed.D, Boston University


808 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 265


Leland Clarke started playing piano when he was six years old and composed his first song at seventeen. Classically trained by Helen Ewing, Dorsha Dockett and John Ross, the Boston, Massachusetts raised pianist increasingly turned to his songwriting as a way of expressing himself, and by the time Leland was a sophomore in college, he had a stirring collection of original pieces that made up his debut album, “My Little Man”. Leland’s compositions offer listeners soothing, melodic arrangements bursting with an emotional energy that is straight from the heart.  A multi-talented musician, teacher, composer and recording artist, Leland Clarke has produced through his company Andell Recording Co. (BMI) founded in 1970 nine albums: “Variations Of A Lonely Day”; “Somewhere in Heaven”; “Reflections”; “Bravo”; “Summer Into Fall”; “In My Solitude”; “My Lord What a Morning” and “I Sing a World”. This 8 CD box set includes a collection of lullabies, spirituals and folk songs from around the world. His composition, “Foolish Dreams”, was produced in a music box by Reuge, Switzerland. Leland Clarke has performed as a solo artist throughout the United States, Bermuda, Spain and China, and has worked with recording artists including Kristine Key, Arlene Bailey, Ray Greene, Marshall Hughes, Donna Summer, Wintley Phipps and Bishop Marvin Winans.

Dr. Clarke comes to Boston University as Professor of the Practice in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts, after 31 years of service at Wheelock College as Professor of Education and Music.
While there he served on many committees and boards including, the Scholastic Review Board, Academic Appeals Board and Chair of the Arts Department. He also created seven new undergraduate music courses: MUS 115 Rhythm and Resistance: Social Justice Through Music, GEC 240 Cultural History of Roxbury, MUS 355 Music of the Beatles, MUS 245 Black Heritage Musical Films: 1920’s-1950s, MUS 126 Introduction to Music, MUS 126 Handbell Performance and MUS 380 Advance Handbell Performance.

Prior to Wheelock College, Leland was an early childhood special education teacher in the Boston Public School for 18 years. He received many local, state and national awards for teaching and curriculum design, including: Have Passport Will Travel; Writing on the Waves: A Musical Journey in Creative Writing; and Building Self Esteem in Young Children Through Music and Creative Movement. He was also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Trotter Ballet and Modern Dance Company.

Leland Clarke has held and continues to hold several leadership positions in Massachusetts including, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Randolph; Pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Hyde Park and Special Police Officer and Chaplain for the Randolph Police Department. His research interests include, African-American worship: its heritage, character, and quality; A philosophy of student-centered music and social justice learning; The effect of music therapy on anxiety and depression in patients with Alzheimer’s type dementia; and the Impact of music lyrics and music videos on children and youth.