Dr. Brandon Elliott enjoys an expansive career as a conductor-educator, musician, arts leader, and consultant. He is the Founder & Artistic Director of Choral Arts Initiative, an award-winning new music choral ensemble based in Orange County, California. Under his leadership, Choral Arts Initiative receives critical acclaim and recognition for its artistic excellence, musical innovation, and dedication to performing music from a vibrant roster of living composers. With a passion for new music, he has commissioned 25 works, conducted over 100 premieres, and released two Billboard-charting albums. In his work with Choral Arts Initiative, Brandon earned the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming and the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal.
Equally passionate about teaching, training, and mentoring musicians, Brandon is the Choral and Vocal Studies Director at Saddleback College. He previously served as Director of Choral & Vocal Activities at Moorpark College for nine years. He regularly serves as an adjudicator, clinician, preparatory conductor, guest conductor, and guest speaker for festivals, competitions, and local K-12 programs. His commitment to music education was recognized by the Recording Academy as a 2022 GRAMMY Music Educator Award semifinalist.
As a vocal musician, Brandon has sung with various professional and contracted choruses. Previous engagements include singing under Craig Hella-Johnson in the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, Pacific Chorale with John Alexander, and various ad hoc ensembles for artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Beck, Star Wars Live, and Zelda Live. He teaches voice students in classical, musical theatre, and pop genres, with current and former students performing on Broadway, recording projects, and various stages across the country.
Brandon’s expertise in leadership and change management paired with experience in the music industry allows him to work as a consultant for various clients and industry sectors. He is well-versed in navigating the mainstream music industry, from managing pop artists to serving as a negotiation advisor for major record label deals. He works with various entertainment entities to navigate the intersection of music usage and DEI initiatives. He also consults corporations on leadership development, new employee onboarding, training, and employee motivation in the private sector.
Brandon maintains professional memberships with ACDA, NAfME, MACCC, TEA, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, Chorus America, and the Recording Academy. His writings have been featured in Cantus, Tactus, and The Music Educators Journal. Additionally, he has presented on choral entrepreneurship at the 2016, 2017, and 2023 Chorus America national conferences and was a panelist for the CCDA Choral Leadership Academy. He currently serves as the national Repertoire & Resources Chair for 2-Year Colleges with the American Choral Directors Association. He previously served on the California Choral Directors Association board as the Repertoire & Resources Chair for Community and Professional choruses. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and a teaching credential from California State University, Fullerton, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a specialist certificate in Music Business Leadership from the Berklee College of Music, and a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. In his spare time, Brandon volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) where he works with the school, court, and foster system to advocate for abused and neglected children.