Scott Seaton chosen for artistic director of Signature Symphony | Arts & Theater


Scott Seaton has been chosen as the new artistic director of the Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College, officials with the organization announced Tuesday.

Seaton, who made his in-person debut with the orchestra in April, was chosen after a nationwide search that was protracted and complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He becomes only the third person in the orchestra’s 43-year history to serve as its artistic and principal conductor, after the orchestra’s founder and conductor emeritus, G. Barry Epperley, who conducted the orchestra for 35 years, and Andrés Franco, who resigned. during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season after five years.

“It’s amazing to think that our national search started three years ago this summer,” said Kelly Clark, dean of visual and performing arts at TCC. “To say that we experienced a series of challenges is an understatement. We are grateful to our musicians, patrons, Signature Symphony Advisory Board members, and finalist Artistic Directors who have taken this collaborative journey with us.

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More than 80 candidates were considered for the position, from which three finalists were selected: Seaton, Alejandro Gómez Guillén and Robert Franz, who later withdrew from the search for personal reasons.

“Through it all, the Signature Symphony Artistic Director Search Committee was committed to getting it right and seeking community feedback,” Clark said.

Scott Seaton’s dynamic performance style and enthusiasm wowed audiences and musicians alike at his April 22 concert, featuring orchestral arrangements of Beatles songs along with Berlioz’s massive ‘Symphonie Fantastique’.

The Tulsa World wrote of the concert that “Seaton and the Signature Symphony gave the audience a sonic journey, as Seaton guided the oversized orchestra through a passionate and thrilling performance that never allowed the attention to waver.”

“The energy he brings to the stage is incredible, but it’s his ability to collaborate and listen to us musicians that makes him a wonderful guide throughout a gig,” said Maureen O’Boyle, concertmaster of the Signature Symphony. “By being sensitive to the musicians he works with and understanding what we want and need, he can shape a great performance like he did in April.”

In a statement, Seaton said, “I am delighted to become the Artistic Director of Signature Symphony. When I visited in April, I was very impressed with the community support for the orchestra and the warm welcome I received. The musicians are quite extraordinary and care a great deal about the future of the symphony. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to deepen relationships and expand Signature Symphony connections across Tulsa and the region. With the curious and enthusiastic musicians, board, staff, volunteers and patrons, there is no limit to the possibilities available to us.

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