Introducing the new North State Symphony conductor

Scott Seaston conducting the North State Symphony in Mendelssohn's A Midsummer's Night Dream last January at Laxson auditorium Photo credit: George Johnston

Some men play instruments; this man plays the orchestra. Scott Seaton has become the new conductor of the North State Symphony and this is his story.

From Nashville, Tennessee, Seaton discovered his love of music in high school. He credits his high school band director as the person who peaked his interest in classical music.

“He was very adventurous and programmed works for marching bands that ordinarily would never be heard on a football field,” said Seaton. “Pieces like ‘Starletta Spring,’ Stravinsky or Aaron Copland’s ‘Billie the Kid I think really got me into classical music.”

Seaton went to college after high school to study music and earned multiple degrees from the Université de Montréal, The New England Conservatory and the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.

Along the way, Seaton also has had many mentors such as Michael Morgan, Jean-François Rivest, Robin Fountain and Charles Peltz who helped him understand the fine tune of classical music. He has performed with orchestras including the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra and South Jutland Symphony Orchestra since 2007 and won the INTERAKTION, a prestigious conducting honor, in Berlin, Germany during the 2011 conducting season.

Through a long audition process that lasted for about a year, Seaton was selected as a candidate for the North State Symphony. In January of this year, Seaton performed at Laxson Auditorium as part of his audition. Over the summer, Seaton was selected to lead the North State Symphony.

“What attracted me to the North State Symphony was they are a true regional symphony,” Seaton said. “It’s great I can learn about multiple communities and just not one.”

On Sunday, Sept. 27, Seaton will return to Laxson Auditorium for the first time as the full-fledged conductor of the North State Symphony.

“I try to have programs that are balanced and have something for everyone at every concert,” Seaton said.

Those who attend the Laxson concert will hear Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5,” Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” and a new piece by Seaton’s former professor, Michael Saletan, which Seaton is excited to bring to California.

“I can’t wait for people to hear how it all comes together.”

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.