Leslie Fillmer, Chairman Emeritus of the Alabama School of Fine Arts Department of Music, began his professional career in 1967 as an arranger for Apostolic Recording Studios in New York City. He then served as a staff musician and arranger with the United States Air Force Academy Band. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by Arthur Fiedler and Richard Hayman, both long associated with the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as orchestras and choirs throughout the country.
He has been music director/conductor for Alabama Ballet since 1995. In this capacity he has conducted the San Antonio Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, members of the Atlanta Symphony, and the Alabama Symphony in dozens of full-length dance productions. In addition, he was appointed music director/conductor of the Gadsden Symphony in 2000. In June 2009 he conducted the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for the Third Annual World Ballet Competition Gala of the Stars, featuring such dance luminaries as Daniel Ulbricht, Misa Kuranaga, Taras Domitro and Mary Carmen Catoya.
Between 1980 and 1993 he was a popular guest host and producer of music programming at FM 90.3, WBHM. He taught music at the Alabama School of Fine Arts for 28 years, serving concurrently as an adjunct instructor of music at the University of Alabama, the University of Montevallo, Birmingham-Southern College, and as music director of both the Alabama Youth Symphony and the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra. He is a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters, Pi Kappa Lambda, and 1982 recipient of the Silver Bowl Award for his varied contributions to the musical life of Birmingham.