Authenticity and Experience, with Sean Baugh
(Part 2, Following “Equality and Dignity for All People”) Turtle Creek Chorale does not do “stand and sing” concerts. Balancing music with a message is a difficult journey with great rewards, for both the musicians and the audience. Sean discusses the importance of balance in your programming, and gives you guidelines for programming a concert with an activist purpose. Musicians are, at the core, humanitarians.
Highlight to Tweet: “Don’t end with a big smack in the face. End with material that everyone can grab on to.” – Sean Baugh
- Before you program a concert with a message, you have to know where your musicians stand. Get to know them and their perspectives.
- Social activism can have a real impact. After the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, TCC put together a 3 hour long concert in 2 days that raised $18,000 and was viewed by 37,000 people live and online.
- 24-hour Sing In to bring attention to trans* issues.
- Balance is key. Balance your message just as you balance your music.
- Making people uncomfortable is not the goal, although you do want to make them think.
- Sometimes programming for social issues is scary and uncertain. Trust your gut, and if a particular piece would take away from your performance, then don’t program it.
- “Audience members will accept anything you want to sing to them as long as you do it with authenticity and from experience.” -Sean Baugh
- Audiences are probably more open than we give them credit for, as long as you are performing with authenticity.
- Musicians are, at the core, humanitarians.
Now in his fourth season, Sean Mikel Baugh is the Artistic Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale. Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sean studied music at Oklahoma Baptist University and the University of Central Oklahoma and was awarded a Master of Music in Conducting degree from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University where he was named outstanding graduate conductor. At the Meadows School, Sean served as assistant conductor of the world-renowned Meadows Wind Ensemble. He has studied with Nancy Hill Cobb, Jack Delaney, Paul Phillips and many others.
Sean has been called “expressive and incredibly dynamic, a consummate musician with a side of showman. He exhilarates audience members and singers alike.” He is regularly praised for his innovative programming and expressive technique. His choirs have enjoyed positive reviews and have been lauded for their musicality and emotional performances. An active advocate for male choral music, Sean regularly commissions new works from established composers.
Sean also serves as Associate Director of Music and Worship for Dallas-based Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ where he leads the choir and orchestra for Sunday worship services. Cathedral of Hope is the world’s largest congregation with a primary outreach to the LGBT community.
Sean is in demand nation-wide as speaker, guest-conductor and clinician. He has served on the music faculty of the University of Dallas and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Gay & Lesbian Association of Choruses, Texas Choral Directors Association and Chorus America.
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