Akua Leith is currently a part-time lecturer in the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) he also holds the title of Vice Principal of Performance at the Trinity All Generation School of the Arts (TAGS), as well as the Music Director of the TAGS Prodigies. He is a Musician with the National Steel Symphony Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago and also teaches steel pan techniques and performance at the Holistic Music School and with the City Angels Music programme.
Mr Leith is an Honours graduate from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Musical Arts. In 2008, he also graduated with Distinction from the Certificate in Music programme with an emphasis in Steel pan. At the early age of 12, Mr. Leith realized that he had a passion for music and specifically the Steel pan when he began playing with his Alma mater, South East Port of Spain Secondary School.
In 2003, he decided to get some formal training in rudimentary music theory to complement his natural playing abilities and started classes at the Trinity All Generation School of the Arts (TAGS). By 2005, Mr. Leith rose to the ranks of Steel pan Tutor and Arranger at TAGS. In 2008, the school bestowed upon him the ‘Teacher of the Year’ award. In that same year, Akua was also nominated to receive National Youth Awards from the Ministry of Youth and Gender Affairs in the areas of Education, and for his Contribution to the Steel pan Fraternity. He was also among the top twenty National Youth Awardees from the National Youth Action Committee in 2010.
In 2009, Mr. Leith entered the TAGS in the National Junior Panorama competition. It was his first time arranging for a competition and the school’s first time entering the panorama competition. TAGS placed third in the National Finals. In 2010 he led TAGS to capture First place in both the Steel Ensemble category, as well as, the Chamber Steel pan Orchestra category at the Championship of the Trinidad and Tobago Biennial Music Festival. It was also a Record breaking moment as they gained 100 per cent in the Steel Ensemble category. At the 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Biennial Music Festival, Mr Leith won titles of Best Steel pan Composition and Best Overall Composition.
In 2013 Mr. Leith took the Chord Masters Steel orchestra to 4th place in the national single pan competition. He also conducted the Sforzata steel orchestra in the orchestra category in the 12th biennial Pan is Beautiful Music Festival.
Mr Leith is committed to the promotion of music and the Steel pan, as a means for youths to channel their energies in a positive direction. He believes that it is a vehicle that can foster self-confidence and self-worth in others. As part of his Final year project at the University of the West Indies, Mr. Leith created a Steel pan group called Highlights, for persons age 40 years and over. The purpose of this project was two-fold. Firstly, it satisfied his desire to promote and expose the National instrument to citizens who never had the opportunity to play or learn about the Steel pan. Secondly, he wanted to build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment among the participants.
Mr. Leith has toured extensively, and has promoted the National instrument throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.