Mitch Leigh (born Irwin Michnick, 30 January 30, 1928, Brooklyn, N.Y. – 16 March 2014, Manhattan) was an American musical theatre composer and theatrical producer best known for the musical Man of La Mancha.
He studied music at Yale University and privately with Paul Hindemith. He first went into commercial music production. He wrote jazz and incidental music, but his biggest success was the music to Man of La Mancha. Michnick composed under the pseudonym Mitch Leigh. He wrote several other less successful shows and then concentrated on creating music for commercials, including the jingle: "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee".
He established Music Makers, Inc., in 1957 as a radio and television commercial production house and was its creative director. He also composed the instrumental music for the ABC Color Logo (1962-65) and the Benson and Hedges theme The Dis-Advantages Of You, which reached the Top 40 for The Brass Ring, 1967.
In 1977, Leigh and others at the Yale School of Music established the Keith Wilson scholarship, to be awarded "to an outstanding major in wind instrument playing."
Works for Winds
- Dulcinea from "Man of La Mancha" (1966)
- Impossible Dream, The, from "Man of La Mancha"
- Little Bird from "Man of La Mancha" (1966)
- Man of La Mancha (arr. Erickson) (1966)
- Suite from "Man of La Mancha" (arr. Williams) (1966/2012)
- Mitch Leigh, Wikipedia
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Man of La Mancha." Accessed 24 November 2014.