Shawn Cullen, conductor, educator and artistic director, has earned a reputation for his dedication to musical excellence and collaborative artistry within the communities he belongs. As a creative producer of over 50 successful concert and theatrical productions, Cullen’s boundary pushing programming has cemented his place as a dynamic artist in an ever changing performing arts landscape. Past creative leadership includes eight years as Artistic Director/Conductor for the Reveille Men’s Chorus, Desert Voices Mixed Chorus (Tucson, AZ) and upon completion of a national search, Mr. Cullen was appointed Artistic Director/Conductor of The Heartland Men’s Chorus in May 2020. Cullen’s artistic leadership helped to lead this choral performing arts organization through the COVID-19 global pandemic and back to the stages of Kansas City, stronger than ever. He has lead these organizations to three GALA Choruses quadrennial festivals and served as an artistic director of two collaborative festival blockbuster productions including the largest LGBTQ+ singing flashmob with over 1000 singers.
Recognized as an award-winning music educator, Mr. Cullen has held positions in K-12 instrumental/vocal music, adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music and most recently as Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory while completing coursework earning a Ph.D. (ABD). Ensembles under Cullen’s baton have achieved the highest ratings at contests and festivals throughout the United States and now Mr. Cullen works as a sought-after clinician and adjudicator for instrumental and choral state festivals in Arizona, Missouri and Kansas. Cullen’s dynamic skill set has led to a multifaceted career in choral music, instrumental music, and regional musical theater serving as principal conductor for the Arizona Repertory Theater from 2011-2017. Favorite credits include “Into the Woods”, “The Secret Garden”, “Oklahoma!“, “EVITA”, “Avenue Q”, and “The Full Monty”. Mr. Cullen has worked in collaboration with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as vocal director for “Broadway Rocks” & “Broadway Rocks II”, and most recently “Broadway’s Leading Men” with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cullen has begun a collaborative producing partnership with David Maddux, Grammy-nominated composer/arranger/orchestrator to create fresh, new exciting pop-choral works for “choral theater” around the globe.
Shawn holds a Bachelors of Music Education and Masters of Music in Conducting from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D (ABD) in Music Education from The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. Cullen’s research in music education, undergraduate academic achievement, and conducting pedagogy has been presented at regional, national, and international conferences and symposiums. Cullen continues to stay committed to facilitating spaces for others to self express authentically, to grow both musically and personally, to perform music that speaks to narratives not always heard, and to build productions to celebrate diversity while shaping hearts and minds.He is a proud member of the national board of directors for GALA Choruses (2017- Present) and is a national community advocate for suicide awareness (Survivors of Suicide).
As a producer of new and exciting choral and theatrical work, Shawn is excited to continue working in collaboration with David Maddux, Grammy Nominated composer, arranger and orchestrator to help bring new works to the stage! Recent collaborative projects include the world premiere of WHITNEY, the first staged choral review celebrating the music of Whitney Houston and a holiday take on Bonnie Tyler’s 80’s anthem, Holding Out for A Hero!
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