Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Chelsea Tipton, II

A sought-after guest conductor, Tipton has won over audiences and critics alike with his musicality, versatility, and extraordinary commitment to arts education. He has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Louisiana Philharmonic, among others. In addition to being music director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas, he is principal pops conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and served as resident conductor of the Toledo Symphony for seven seasons.

A highlight of Tipton’s career was conducting the Sphinx Competition Showcase gala concert at Carnegie Hall, the culmination of a ten-city tour with the orchestra. Another career highpoint was being a last-minute replacement for Robert Spano, conducting an all-Gershwin season finale with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times applauded Tipton for leading “sweeping and vibrant performances.” In 2011, Tipton accompanied pop artist Sting on a European tour of 15 countries.

In 2013, the Atlanta Symphony recognized Tipton with its first annual Aspire Award, which identifies professional African-American and Latino musicians who demonstrate a tremendous commitment to community and inclusiveness. The Neches River Festival in Beaumont named Tipton Citizen of the Year in 2014, and that same year he was honored to receive the Community Spotlight Award from Capital One Bank.

Tipton earned a Master’s degree in conducting from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance from the Eastman School of Music, with additional studies at the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music.