Symphony of Southeast Texas Music Director
American conductor, Chelsea Tipton, II has won over audiences and critics alike with his vibrant musicality, accessibility, versatility and commitment to arts education. The son of two music educators, Tipton has a natural affinity with young audiences. This season marks his 11th as Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and 6th as Principal Guest conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his post in Texas, he served the Toledo Symphony Orchestra as Resident Conductor for seven progressively successful seasons as well as Associate Conductor of the Savannah (GA) Symphony. This year, when not in Texas or Connecticut, Tipton can be found conducting the Fresno Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, South Bend Symphony, IN, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and Charleston, SC’s festival, The Colour of Music Festival.
Over the past twenty years, Tipton has enjoyed working with nationally recognized orchestra throughout the US and Europe, including The Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, symphonies in Detroit, Houston, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Atlanta, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Nashville, San Antonio and others. European orchestras include the Dohnanyi Symphony,(Budapest), Sinfonia Siciliana,(Palermo, Italy), and others.
As conductors’ careers are often launched by last minute appearances, Tipton’s has enjoyed three major opportunities. Most recently, he was called upon by Mayor Sylvester Turner to lead Houston Symphony’s Memorial concert for the late President George Walker Bush, performed on the steps of Houston City Hall, receiving national recognition. He was also asked to conduct the Brooklyn Philharmonic in an all Gershwin program as a last minute substitute for conductor Robert Spano. He was also honored by the Sphinx Competition to conduct in Carnegie Hall as a result of a ten-city tour with the orchestra.
Perhaps the most novel opportunity was his work with pop music legend, Sting, working on a 15 country tour. Tipton traveled ahead and prepared as many as 19 orchestras for the pop artist, then joining him on concerts in the Canary Islands, Granada, and Cap Roig, Spain.
National and local awards include the Aspire Award, by the Atlanta Symphony, recognizing musicians who are African American or of Latino origins. He also has been recognized locally by Capital One Bank, NA, and The Neches River Festival for outstanding commitment to Beaumont.
Tipton was graduated from The Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance, as well as a Master’s Degree in Conducting from Northern Illinois University; additional studies in conducting from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has also participated in advanced conducting programs including the Retreat at Medomak, the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors both in Maine, as well as the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra Conductor’s workshop.
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.