Fred Lehto started working at the Music Academy of the West part time in 1977 and became full time in 1978. Fred is looking forward to his 41st Summer Festival in 2018.
Mr. Lehto graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1975 and came to Santa Barbara a few years later. In 1978, Fred joined a band The Tomfoolery Show as the lead singer. He also sang jazz and swing with the band The Hot Club. In 1984, Fred Lehto’s band Cloudburst (known as High Society in Santa Barbara) sang on several cruise ships and at many casinos in Las Vegas. Fred Lehto then joined the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera and had leading roles in 15 musicals. His favorite roles include the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of OZ, Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, and Fagan in Oliver! Fred Lehto’s silver screen credits include the strange man in Steal Big, Steal Little and a Modernair in 1991’s Oscar-nominated Bugsy. Fred Lehto married the beautiful and talented Paula Re in 1998 and his hobbies include gardening, cooking, song writing, and playing poker.