Senior Spotlight: Chris Leggett, musician and student

If you go to Randolph-Macon, chances are one of your favorite local musicians is senior arts management major Chris Leggett. Leggett has been performing and writing music since a young age and often plays shows locally at fraternity houses or bars in the Ashland/Richmond area. Leggett chose to attend R-MC for its proximity to Richmond and for its rare arts management program.

“I knew coming out of high school that I wanted to study and eventually work in something involving music,” Leggett said.

Leggett said he attributes his musicality to his father, also a singer-songwriter. Leggett’s father, Carlisle, bought him his first drum set in fourth grade. Leggett played drums for several years until he picked up the guitar.

Leggett said he started his first band in fifth grade, and early gigs included shows in the Leggett family garage as well as elementary school talent shows.

“I learned three chords from my dad when I was about 12,” Leggett said, “and have been playing guitar and singing ever since.”

Not many young musicians can cover artists from Hootie and the Blowfish to R. Kelly’s “Remix to Ignition.”

Leggett described his musical style as pop/rock and “folkish” which are elements that have influenced much of his original work with indie band, The Weather, of which he was a part for about six years. Other major influences include Jason Mraz and Dave Mathews Band.

“Whenever I play bar and club gigs,” Leggett said, “I play everything from rock to country to hip-hop, or anything that I think would be a crowd-pleaser.”

Crowd-pleasing is an adequate description of Leggett’s shows according to junior and close friend Sarah James Snead. Snead said one of her favorite memories of Leggett performing was at his fraternity after the Hampden-Sydney game in 2014.

“All his fraternity brothers were surrounding him and were so proud of him,” Snead said. “Everyone was dancing, current students and alumni, young and old. It was perfect– Randolph-Macon in a nutshell.”

Leggett’s friend and roommate Judd Fleming said he feels similarly.

“My favorite memory of Leggett performing was the first time he played at Breaktime,” Fleming said. “The place was packed; everyone was singing and dancing along with him.”

Leggett said the greatest risk he has taken in his musical career was recording an EP of original music a few years ago, his first time recording without a band.

Other major accomplishments include playing at the XL Chili Cookoff in 2012 with bands like Cake, Cage the Elephant and Neon Trees.

“I would love to be able to play music or be a songwriter for a living,” Leggett said. “Nashville has always seemed like somewhere I’d like to go, but for now, the future is wide open.”

For now, students should keep an eye out for his shows at England Street Tavern (formerly Breaktime) on the second Thursday of each month.

Leggett is also in the process of writing and recording new songs for a full album set to be released before his graduation from R-MC in May 2015.

-May McNeil ’16, Junior Features Editor

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