Symphony of Southeast Texas Music Director
American conductor Chelsea Tipton II has won over audiences and critics with his vibrant musicality, versatility, accessibility, and commitment to art education. He served as Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra for seven exceptionally successful seasons and was Associate Conductor of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra for four seasons. He is currently in his fourteenth season as Music Director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and eighth season as Principal Pops Conductor with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
As a sought-after guest conductor, Tipton has appeared with numerous major orchestras, including, among others, 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.
This 2022-23 season, when not on stage at the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont, Tipton can be found guest conducting the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, Lake Charles Symphony, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and the Indiana University Concert Orchestra. In August, Maestro Tipton will make his opera debut with the Toledo Opera.
One venue spotlighted the maestro’s versatility during the summer of 2011 when he was chosen to accompany Sting on an extensive European tour covering fifteen countries. Tipton prepared and rehearsed the musicians of nineteen different orchestras. He performed in concert with Sting in the Canary Islands, Granada, and Cap Roig, Spain. In November 2021, Sting and Tipton reunited for a special show with his hometown orchestra, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra recognized Tipton with its first annual Aspire Award recipient. The Neches River Festival in Beaumont honored him as Citizen of the Year, in addition to receiving the Community Spotlight Award from Capital One Bank for community leadership in Beaumont. In April 2022, the Spindletop Rotary Club recognized Tipton at its annual Celebrity Roast. Another highlight of Maestro Tipton’s career transpired when Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner requested him to serve as conductor for the memorial concert celebrating the life of Former President George H. W. Bush on the steps of City Hall with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. In April of 2022, Tipton was invited to perform at the world-famous Apollo Theater in New York City with the American Composers Orchestra, presenting new music by African American composers and various featured guest artists.
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. He has also studied at 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 Markand Thakar. As an avid learner, he continues to engage in professional development opportunities, and as one committed to arts education, he mentors college students with aspirations in classical music.
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.