Symphony of Southeast Texas Music Director
Sponsored by Becky Mason and Family for the 2023-24 Season
Chelsea Tipton II is a renowned American conductor who has earned widespread acclaim for his exceptional musicality, versatility, accessibility, and unwavering dedication to art education. He has held prominent positions as Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra for seven successful seasons and Associate Conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra for four seasons. Currently, he serves as Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas for his fifteenth season and Principal Pops Conductor with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra for his ninth season.
Tipton is a highly sought-after guest conductor, having collaborated with numerous major orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana (Palermo), Dohnanyi Symphony Orchestra (Budapest), Atlanta Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Memphis Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. One of his notable performances was in the summer of 2011, where he accompanied Sting on tour across fourteen European countries, performing with nineteen different orchestras. He reunited with Sting in November 2021 for a special show with his hometown orchestra, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.
In the current season, Tipton is found guest conducting the Austin Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, Lake Charles Symphony, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and New Haven Symphony Orchestra when not performing at the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont.
Tipton has received numerous recognitions for his outstanding contributions to music and his community. He was recently honored as the featured honoree at the Gift of Life Champagne and Ribs awards and was the guest “Roastee” at the Spindletop Rotary Club Celebrity Roast. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presented him with the Aspire Award, and he was named Citizen of the Year by the Neches River Festival in Beaumont. Capital One Bank also awarded him the Community Spotlight Award for his leadership in the Beaumont community. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner selected Tipton to conduct the memorial concert honoring the life of former President George H.W. Bush with the Houston Symphony Orchestra on the steps of City Hall. Additionally, he performed at the renowned Apollo Theater in New York City last season with the American Composers Orchestra, showcasing new music by African American composers and featuring various guest artists.
Tipton holds 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, where he also pursued additional studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has also participated in numerous professional development programs, including the International Conducting Workshop and Festival, Conductors Retreat at Medomak, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine, and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conductor’s Workshop with Markand Thakar. As a passionate advocate for arts education, he actively mentors college students aspiring to pursue classical music and the arts.
Maestro Chelsea Tipton II answers the question, What is Jazz, the topic for our 2020 Youth Education Concert that had to be cancelled. Discussion includes information about Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington.