In this interview, I sit down with Eden Badgett, choral conductor and arts administrator extraordinaire, who also happens to be the Director of Festival Development at ACDA. She gives choir nation a glimpse into the creative world of event planning with many thoughtful takeaways!
EDEN BADGETT hails from East Tennessee where she grew up singing in school, church, and community choirs. Upon completing her Bachelor of Arts in Music with a focus in Choral Conducting from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, she pursued a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While in school she studied under conductors Tim Sharp, William Carroll, Welborn Young, Carole Ott, Donald Neuen, and Jerry Blackstone. She has conducted concerts at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and the Washington National Cathedral, and has sung under acclaimed conductors such as Simon Carrington, Morten Lauridsen, John Rutter, and André Thomas. Throughout her career she has worked as a choir tour manager for national youth and collegiate choirs, and has served as music director for various churches throughout the Southeastern United States. From 2013 to 2015 she worked as the Content & Communications Manager and Board Liaison for Bravo! Vail, an orchestra and chamber music festival in Vail, Colorado that features the New York Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and caters to over 60,000 concertgoers annually. Currently Ms. Badgett works as the Festival Development Director for the American Choral Directors Association in Oklahoma City, and is the Festival Director for America Cantat 8.
In addition to her work in arts management and choral conducting, Ms. Badgett serves on the Board for Ignite OKC, a local chapter of a national non-profit that unites young entrepreneurs through social and networking events and brief educational talks throughout the city. She is an active volunteer with the metro library system, and advocates for V-Day International and the Rhodes College Peer Counseling Center.
The moment you knew you’d dedicate your life to music
Eden knew she would dedicate her life to music during college visits on her junior year of high school. While listening to a choir rehearsal at one of the colleges she visited, she realized that she didn’t want her choir experience to end, and the only way to do that was to be the one on the podium.
Worst musical moment
When Eden was a senior in college, she approached her choir director, Tim Sharp, and offered to help with planning their tour. On the last leg of the tour, and having a lot on her plate, she asked someone else to book their hotel for 65 members, only to find out that it was a total mess and had to quicklly fix it herself.
The proudest musical moment
Eden was given the opportunity to sing The Rose Cycle by Morten Lauridsen at Carnegie Hall with Lauridsen on the piano.
Eden’s forte is as an arts administrator, which is something she “fell sideways into” as she describes. She is an expert event planner, problem solver, and knows how to manage crises by always having a plan B, C, and D.
Most excited about right now
Eden is most excited about the America Cantat 8 event.
Advice for your younger self
Eden’s advice for her younger self is worry less.
What makes a great conductor?
Eden mentions three things a great conductor must have: compassion, sense of humor and curiosity.
Eden’s Email : firstname.lastname@example.org