Tipton named pops conductor of New Haven Orchestra

Tipton named pops conductor of New Haven Orchestra

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) announced in a June 21 press release that Chelsea Tipton, music director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas (SOST), has been appointed as its new Principal Pops Conductor.

Chelsea will lead the NHSO Pops for three years, beginning with his debut in October, the release states, but Tipton told The Examiner he would remain director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas.

“I am so excited to be joining the conducting staff of the NHSO,” Tipton said. “One of the components of (NHSO’s) mission is to ‘increase the impact and value of orchestral music for our audiences through high quality, affordable performances and educational programming.’ With the musicians of (NHSO), Maestro Boughton and the staff, we are looking forward to creating a meaningful impact on the community. The thrill of learning about New Haven has me chomping at the bit to get started. We are excited to bring great Pops music to our audience next season and beyond.”

The Pops series is performed in both Hamden and Shelton, Connecticut, and features a season finale May 30-31 that will be performed at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connetictut.

“Chelsea Tipton is a remarkable addition to the Symphony’s leadership,” said Executive Director Elaine Carroll. “His diverse talents make him shine whether he is leading the Chicago Symphony or touring Europe with Sting. His dedication to community engagement makes him a superb choice to lead the NHSO. Chelsea Tipton’s American charm had won over audiences and critics alike. At his audition musicians and audiences noted his vibrant musicality, accessibility, and versatility.”

Tipton joins an orchestra with a rich history dating back to 1895. The NHSO is the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra to be formed in the U.S., after the New York Philharmonic (1842), the Boston Symphony (1881) and the Chicago Symphony (1891), according to the NHSO website.

“The New Haven Symphony is 120 years old making it one of the oldest orchestras in the country,” Tipton said. “It has a long history of music making, and so I am honored to be a part of that tradition.”

Tipton said despite accepting the new position in New Haven, he would remain director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas.

“My home base will remain Beaumont,” Tipton told The Examiner. “I am really enjoying the work we are doing with the Symphony of Southeast Texas. No worries, I am staying right here in Southeast Texas!”

Tipton said accepting the position as Principal Pops Conductor for NHSO presents him with an opportunity to brag about SOST as well.

“The more that I get out and work around the country, this gives me an opportunity to spread the good news about the wonderful orchestra that we have in Beaumont,” he said. “Pops concerts differ from classical concerts in that the music may be more recognizable, usually shorter pieces, and there is more interaction with the audience. I have always enjoyed speaking to audiences regardless of musical style, and this is an opportunity to really explore the pops genre more deeply.”

Summer activities have kept Tipton extremely busy, he said.

“After finishing my duties with the SOST for the season I hopped on a plane to Sicily for two concerts,” he said. “It was my first time conducting classical music in Italy, and it was a blast! Then concerts with the Austin, North Carolina and Hilton Head Symphonies in May and June. I also attended a wonderful conducting workshop led by Markand Thakar in Baltimore with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. It was so much fun, and I love being a student in the classroom. There is always more to learn. In the midst of all of that we conducted a search for a new executive director with the symphony, and we have Doug Fair coming aboard. He is bringing some new ideas to the table and we welcome him to the Southeast Texas region all the way from Maine! It has been a busy summer but a rewarding one.”

Tipton said he is excited to kick off the new SOST season.

“We have a fantastic season ahead for the community that I am really excited about,” Tipton said. “Some of the highlights include great masterworks of Brahms, Rachmaninov and Rimsky Korsakov. We will blend together some classical music and theater on one of our concerts. The very popular Home for the Holidays concert will be returning bigger and better than ever, and our pops concert this season will be the SOST Goes to the Movies. The theme for the overall season is ‘It’s your Symphony…with a Twist.’ Every concert has something a little different and special.”

For more information on the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, visit www.NewHavenSymphony.org. For more information on the Symphony of Southeast Texas and its upcoming season visit www.sost.org.