Chelsea Tipton, II
American conductor Chelsea Tipton, II has won over audiences and critics alike with his vibrant musicality, accessibility, versatility and extraordinary commitment to arts education. Tipton is now celebrating his sixth season as Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas in Beaumont. He was recently appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the New Haven Symphony beginning in the 2014-15 Season. (See details on the New Haven Symphony Pops series here.) The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra also recognized Tipton with their first annual Aspire Award in October of 2013. This award identifies accomplished, professional musicians who are African-American or Latino who also demonstrate a tremendous commitment to community and inclusiveness. In April of 2014, the Neches River Festival in Beaumont also honored Tipton with the Citizen of the Year Award.
As a sought after guest conductor, Tipton has appeared with numerous major orchestras in the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana (Palermo), Dohnanyi Symphony Orchestra (Budapest), Atlanta Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra among others.
The 2014-15 season sees Tipton working with the Houston Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and New Haven Symphony. Tipton has conducted in Carnegie Hall conducting the Sphinx Competition Showcase gala concert that was the culmination of a ten-city tour with the orchestra. Other highlights include a last minute replacement for Robert Spano to conduct an all-Gershwin season finale with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times applauded Tipton for "leading sweeping and vibrant performances of ‘Rhapsody’ and ‘An American in Paris.’”
During the summer of 2011, Tipton was part of an extensive European tour with pop artist Sting that took him to 15 countries and working with 19 different European orchestras. He prepared the orchestras for the concerts and performed with Sting in concert in the Canary Islands, Granada and Cap Roig Spain. (Click here for an article from Tipton's summer as Sting's Behind-the-Scenes Conductor.)
Tipton earned a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from the Eastman School of Music, with additional studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, The Conductors Retreat at Medomak, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conductor's Workshop under Markand Thakar.