Sean Matthew Whiteford – PERSPECTIVES
Written by Staff on December 14, 2023
Sean Matthew Whiteford – PERSPECTIVES – A Musical Journey from Broadway Dreams to Rock Realities – by Stephanie J Bartik.
In the quiet corners of the Hudson Valley, a local legend quietly weaves a tapestry of music that transcends genres. Sean Matthew Whiteford, known for his powerful rock voice, has carved a niche for himself in the vibrant music scene, blending the dynamism of rock with the subtlety of operatic tones in his gentler compositions.
Sean’s journey from a young dreamer putting on shows for his family to a multifaceted artist, singing coach, and mentor is nothing short of inspiring. It’s fascinating to see how his passion for performing, deeply rooted since childhood, has evolved into a flourishing career that spans various facets of the entertainment industry.
The pivotal moment when Sean’s family discovered his penchant for acting and suggested acting classes instead of reprimanding him for a little white lie telling his third-grade teacher he couldn’t stay after school, because he had an audition for a Broadway show. The jig was up, when the school called the house, asking how Sean’s “rehearsals were going”.
His parents supportive and nurturing approach led to a decision to be homeschooled a couple of months after he started taking acting classes, was a strategic move that allowed Sean to focus on his passion for performing. A couple months later, he was cast as Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka at UPAC
This encouragement set the stage for Sean’s intensive training in acting, voice, and dance, eventually leading him to pursue musical theater at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan.
This not only expedited his academic work but also provided him with the time and flexibility to immerse himself in the world of theater. His involvement in local musicals and the founding of Castaway Productions with a friend speaks to his commitment to bringing dynamic rock theater to the Hudson Valley.
The 15-year tenure as president and artistic director of Castaway Productions showcases Sean’s leadership skills and dedication to fostering artistic expression in others. Becoming a singing coach and mentor further solidifies his commitment to nurturing talent and sharing his expertise with aspiring performers. The international expansion of his coaching practice, working with Broadway performers and touring musicians, is a testament to the impact he has made in the industry.
Sean’s eclectic musical palette draws inspiration from diverse sources. The emotional depth of Steve Perry, the versatility of Billy Joel, the power of Sebastian Bach, and the innovation of David Bowie — all have left indelible marks on his style. Sean’s influences encompass a wide range, reflecting a commitment to embracing diversity and pushing creative boundaries.
Sean’s creative process is a testament to spontaneity. From writing his musical, “Girlfriend from Hell,” to composing his first film score, he emphasizes the importance of not overthinking creativity. His approach to songwriting, characterized by a blend of structured planning and free-flowing experimentation, mirrors his philosophy of enjoying the creative journey without being overly precious about the result.
Defining his musical style proves challenging for Sean, as he leaves that judgment to the audience. Yet, vibrato and high notes consistently pepper his work, and a shared high energy connects all his projects.
The Hudson Valley’s rich musical tapestry has deeply influenced Sean. The sense of community, particularly at venues like Colony Woodstock and Cohoes Music Hall, fosters collaborations and pushes artists to new heights. Despite the challenges of self-promotion, Sean recognizes the invaluable support of the local audience.
Performing live is a culmination of meticulous preparation and the joy of letting go. Sean cherishes the shared emotional experience with the audience, often drawing inspiration from that connection. Memorable moments, like seeing family in the front row, add a personal touch to his performances.
From touring with “Rock of Ages” to iconic performances in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Sean’s musical theater career has seen remarkable highs. Yet, he values each moment, demonstrating humility and gratitude for his journey.
Navigating the music industry’s complexities, Sean acknowledges the challenges of self-promotion and the need for continuous creativity. Dealing with different personalities in the industry has taught him much, and made him stronger and wiser.
Sean’s aspirations extend beyond conventional definitions of success. Balancing family, a love for his craft, and the acceptance of present achievements, he envisions a future filled with continuous improvement and new projects, including the ever popular Super 400 band, which he also collaborated with for Get Zep and the Rough Shapes.
In Sean’s world, success is subjective. He advises aspiring musicians to combine passion with relentless work, urging them to create opportunities when none arise. Surrounding oneself with inspirational individuals and embracing vulnerability in self-promotion are key lessons he wishes he had known earlier.
Sean Matthew Whiteford’s journey reflects the essence of a true artist — one who evolves, experiments, and finds success in the authentic pursuit of passion. As his passion resonates through the Hudson Valley and beyond, Sean remains a testament to the enduring spirit of a local performer with global ambitions.
Ring in the New Year right. NEW YEARS EVE AT BEARSVILLE THEATER THE BEST PARTY IN THE HUDSON VALLEY featuring Sean Matthew Whiteford & The House Party Band. DJs Dave Leonard & Majic Juan Doors open 8pm Ages 21 and Over Step into the Glittering World of New Year’s Eve Magic at Bearsville Theater! Brace yourself for the Ultimate NYE Bash in the Heart of the Hudson Valley!
To catch some of the magic for yourself, grab tickets for this special event. Tickets are selling out fast!