Sean Mayes is a New York & Toronto-based music director, conductor, educator, and academic. As a music director & conductor, his work has involved productions in theatres and on stages across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, spanning the range of numerous musical styles between Broadway, theatre, opera, classical & pops.
In New York, Mr Mayes serves as a conductor between two Tony Award winning Broadway productions, sharing his time as Assistant Conductor of MJ and Associate Conductor of HADESTOWN. Select recent additional credits include serving as Music Director & Conductor of the all-Canadian premiere of THE COLOR PURPLE (2019), as well as Musical Supervisor of the Finnish Premiere of COME FROM AWAY (2022).
In Fall 2022, Mr Mayes will be Music Director and Conductor of the World Premiere of the new musical MANDELA, inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela, co-produced by the Mandela family for production at the Young Vic Theatre in London.
As a conductor, he also enjoys a busy, wide-ranging schedule; upcoming, he is featured as conductor for Black Broadway: A Proud History, a Limitless Future, set for air on national television on PBS in March 2023.
As an orchestrator and arranger, Mr Mayes’ work has been performed by ensembles ranging in style from pops to classical to opera across North America & Europe. As Music Director for Broadway luminary André De Shields, Mr Mayes was recently Music Director, Orchestrator & Arranger for An Evening With André De Shields with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Outside of musical theatre, Mr Mayes is Composer & Musical Supervisor of Fall On Your Knees, the forthcoming stage adaptation of the
best-selling Canadian novel, set for production nationwide in Canada’s largest theatres, as well as Composer, Musical Supervisor & Conductor of the world premiere of aportia chryptych, a new Black opera being produced by the Canadian Opera Company in 2024.
Mr Mayes is Part-Time Professor of Musical Theatre at Sheridan College in Canada, and has taught as a guest theatre instructor at various
musical theatre institutions, including the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Marymount College Manhattan, and the Guildford School of Acting, UK. His work in scholarship has arrived at numerous academic conferences for various organizations, not limited to the Association For Theatre In Higher Education, the Forum on Theatre Education and the Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance,
As an author, Mr Mayes’ leading writing and scholarship is uniquely attuned to the ongoing conversation of unpacking systemic issues
surrounding representation in theatre. He is a published author on the role of Black music directors and disproportionately represented artists on Broadway (Reframing the Musical, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and on the retracing of Black practitioners through British musical theatre history in
An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2021), which was celebrated for release in concert at Wigmore Hall, London, in September 2021. His anticipated forthcoming text, Conversations in Color: Exploring North American Musical Theatre, will be published in Spring 2023 with Methuen Drama, Bloomsbury Publishing.
Mr Mayes holds degrees in music, education & music direction from McGill University and the University of Surrey, UK.