We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Carney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Hi! My name is Sean Carney and I am the director of the San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus. This is my fourth year directing and this has been a challenging one for all musicians, but we were made to overcome. I was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up all over the west-side from Santa Monica to Venice. About half-way through middle school, my parents separated and one went to Okemos, Michigan, one went to Fairfax, Virginia. It was a tough time for me as a kid because I constantly had to make new friends. Due to this predicament, I found it very easy to approach new people and make connections with them. This trait has carried on with me throughout my whole life and has helped me shape my career so far. I am all about the power of collaboration and finding the best qualities in others to let them shine.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently the director of the San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus. I teach students from elementary school through high school choral repertoire, how to sing, and more recently, how to record. Our students have shown great fortitude in sticking with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have flourished as a result! We have completed over 25 virtual choir videos during the crisis. That’s two albums worth of music, and a music video for every one! It has been a very challenging task for the students, myself and board of directors in organizing and orchestrating this tedious process. The students have had the experience of recording themselves singing, which as a professional recording artist, I am very envious they have had this experience at such a young age! We pride ourselves in including as many students as we can of all different backgrounds. If you want to sing with us, we are happy to make a place for you! In a chorus, the more voices you have, the richer the harmony.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a hiker. I would highly recommend the many hikes in hollywood, or a serene hike in Malibu. Solstice Canyon is one of my favorites. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely. This one goes out to my friend Martez Rucker who recently passed away. We were choristers together in Gold Company, Western Michigan University’s Premiere Jazz Vocal Ensemble, and we sang the same part. He was a great teacher and showed me nothing but love. Rest in peace Martez.
Photos courtesy of San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus.