The Founder:

Eric Newcott Eric Newcott (fiddle/uilleann pipes/ballad singer/director) a graduate of Eastern Virginia
Medical School
resident in ophthalmology in the United Kingdom, studied Irish traditional fiddling, Uilleann pipering, ethnomusicology, Irish language, Irish music history, and Irish set/step dancing at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. He also completed a minor in violin performance at Old Domininon University in conjunction with his premedical studies and is a 1st violinist in the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra. Eric grew up in New Hampshire with the Strathspey and Reel Society of New Hampshire, a Scottish fiddle orchestra, and was also a regular in the Milford, NH contra dance band.

The Band:

Anthony Tip Ciotti Anthony "Tip" Ciotti (Accordion) is a dentist in Virginia Beach with an extensive education in classical accordion and past membership in the Accordion Pops Orchestra. He has traveled the world as a medical officer in the United States Navy from which he has developed an incredible repertoire of European folk and popular music. Tip is an especially avid devotee of the ballads and songs of Italy, France, Spain, and Germany in addition to having an undying love of Irish and Scottish traditional music.

Carol Ciotti (Percussion) is a dentist in the Virginia Beach area. As a member of the band, she plays a Anthony Tip Ciottiunique percussive instrument called he marimbula. This instrument is a type of “super sized wooden thumb piano” which produces a sound similar to a double base. She also plays claves, spoons and another unusual instrument called the Trik Ballak – a type of wooden tambourine. With lots of audience participation, she also leads sing-a-longs for a variety of Irish and American tunes.

Jay Taylor Jay Taylor (Tin whistle/Guitar/Voice) is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with older adults.  He also is involved in several non-profit organizations including Wetlands Watch, and the Norfolk Community Services Board. Jay’s passion for music has found expression in many ways. He has sung with the Virginia Opera Chorus and the Virginia Symphony Chorus. He has performed lead roles with the Virginia Beach  Little Theater, the Norfolk Savoyards and The Commonwealth Musical Stage. Jay has been a member of the Cavalier Consort, singing and performing early music; and, for the past several years, has performed with Aurora, a voice and harp duo, performing recitals at the Chrysler Museum of Art and at historic houses in Hampton Roads. Jay also plays Baroque recorders with  Old Dominion University's Collegium Musicum. Though Jay's love of music has carried him through many musical styles and periods, his first love was the folk music of the British Isles and Ireland.

Annie Gilstrap Annie Gilstrap (Flute & Vocals) is our public health advocate. Her work at WHRO, Hampton Roads Public Broadcasting Service, includes overseeing the scientific education of the children (and future healthcare professionals) of southeast Virginia. She has played with the Catholic Campus Ministry Choir, Sacred Heart Contemporary Choir, the Hampton Roads Flute Choir, Refuge Choir, and continued her flute training with Danielle Gerard of DnD Music. She has also trained her vocals with Dr. Tom DeGraaf of Sanctuary Music Ministries, Hurrah Players, and Danielle Gerard of DnD Music.

Jim Cook Jim Cook (Fiddle) now retired but still fiddling, divides his time between Symphonicity, the symphony orchestra of Virginia Beach, Leigheas and the Belfast Bay Fiddlers. He has studied Scottish fiddling with John Turner, and at the Gallic College in Cape Breton.




Elisa Dickon (Fiddle) Bachelors and Masters of Music harp performance from Cleveland Institute of Music,Elisa Dickson MS from ODU in education, certificate for Montessori Instructor in Children’s House level.  Former principal harpist with Florida Symphony and Virginia Symphony.  Performed with Norfolk Chamber Consort, Young Audiences of Virginia, Virginia Opera, Aurora Duo, Touch of Elegance Duo, solo recitals in and around Tidewater area, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Texas.  Taught at Old Dominion University, William and Mary, Norfolk Academy, Greenbrier Montessori and Chesapeake Montessori.  Has a private studio in her home.



Jim Edwards Jim Edwards (Fiddle/Bodhran) received his formal music training at the University of Southern Maine, Centenary College of Louisiana, and Old Dominion University, where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree. While there he studied violin with concert violist, Amadi Hummings. After graduating he continued his studies with Dora Mullins, former violin instructor at the Juilliard School in New York and concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Beach Symphony.

As a violinist (fiddler) and violist he has performed with numerous musicians in the Hampton
Roads area including the Virginia Beach Symphony. In 2007 he became a founding member
of the Virginia Beach Chamber Orchestra and currently holds the position of principal second
violin. He has also appeared as a soloist with the orchestra. Jim is a founding member of the
Irish band Leigheas, having appeared with them since their first gig in 1998.

Jim has served as a band and orchestra teacher in public and private schools since 1983 and has
taught general music, band and strings at Stonebridge School in Chesapeake, VA since 2003. He
has also served as a church music director in numerous churches, currently holding that position
at Foundry United Methodist in Virginia Beach. Jim and his wife, Jessica run a private music
academy, Lightshine Music Academy, and home-school their four children.

Bill Tew
Bill Tew (Keyboard) is a retired public school music teacher. He keeps busy in the Virginia Choral Societyand as a substitute organist-choir director healing the spiritual souls on the Peninsula at many churches.

Stephen Cunningham (Bodhran/tin whistles) is a physician and master of Irish slow airs. He is a former member of the Hampton/Newport News based-band Skellig Michael.

David March (Fiddle) is trained in the art of wilderness/survival medicine and is a professional animator. David is a violinist for the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra and has also been known to frequent nursing homes with his fiddle. He has spent many years in the Chicago and San Francisco Irish and Scottish musical communities.


Tom Schlater (Guitar) is a Naval officer and an optometrist.  Most of his off duty time is spent with his family.  He can frequently be found accompanying his wife, Rose, as she sings at local retirement homes, nursing homes, and in the summer time at the beach.  He has been known to give sporadic guitar performances for Grace Bible Church, the Tidewater Classical Guitar Society, the Tidewater Friends of Folk Music, and other groups.


Margaret Freeman (Guitar & Vocals)

In Memory of Tip Ciotti

February 5, 1951 - July 1, 2016


Upcoming Gigs

Current Leigheas Performances

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 @ 10:00 a.m.
Tidewater Arts Outreach - South Norfolk Community Center - Private Performance
1217 Godwin Ave,
Chesapeake, VA 23324

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 10:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help - Private Performance
4560 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach VA 23462

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 1:00 p.m.
Gardens of Virginia Beach - Private Performance
5620 Wesleyan Dr.
Virginia Beach VA 23455

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 3:30 p.m.
Commonwealth Senior Living - Private Performance
1030 Topping Ln
Hampton, VA 23666


Picture gallery now live.

Find the hidden Easter Eggs

Sample some of our songs on the Music page.

MySpaceLEIGHEAS are now on MySpace.
Click here to check them out.

FaceBookLEIGHEAS are now on Facebook.
Click here to check them out.

TwitterLEIGHEAS are now on Twitter.
Click here to check them out.