Back in Action:  Beaudoin soars into a new level of responsiblity

by Patrick D. McCoy

We recently shared in an exclusive that Stephen Marc Beaudoin was moving from his post as executive director of The Washington Chorus after leading with great excellence, especially during the pandemic.  But it looks like his rest has been cut short all for a good reason.  He has been named executive director of The South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey.  This will be a true test of his efforts, as his focus was on one performance organization.  His work with SOPAC will also encompass a myriad of performance spaces, as well as a wider range of performing artists.

In a press release dated September 6. 2022. The South Orange Performing Arts Center has named Stephen Beaudoin—a community-focused, inclusivity-driven performing arts executive—as the organization’s new Executive Director. Beaudoin will usher in SOPAC’s 2022-2023 Season as he takes the helm of the award-winning arts nonprofit, which boasts the 439-seat Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall, 2,185 square-foot Loft and the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery.  “What a truly special place this is!” says Beaudoin. “South Orange and Maplewood make up a kinetic, emerging cultural destination with SOPAC as its central beating heart. I’m inspired by SOPAC’s enterprising staff and Board and by the unique multi-use, multi-disciplinary profile of the venue. I’m thrilled to work my heart out for and with this community.”

Recognized by Musical America magazine as one of the music industry’s “Top Movers and Shakers” and by the Portland Business Journal as a “noted nonprofit leader,” Beaudoin is focused on building a vibrant and inclusive creative world. His nearly 20 years of leadership experience span the nonprofit, public and private sectors, including work as a nonprofit CEO, publicly elected school board chair, professional singer and actor, family foundation board member and consultant.  “My entire life’s work is about democratizing art and supporting people and communities in reaching their fullest potential,” says Beaudoin. “To lead SOPAC as its Executive Director is the opportunity of a lifetime, and exactly what I want to do at this point in my life and career—and exactly where I want to do it. After working in every possible function in the performing arts as a producer, performer, fundraiser, director, writer and more, I’m thrilled to move to the presenting side of the house with such a well-regarded performing arts center.”

Highlights of his work at The Washington Chorus include introducing dynamic pricing models to maximize live concert revenues and championing artists and creators of color through new work commissions.SOPAC Board of Governors Chair Douglas Newman noted, “After a nationwide search, SOPAC’s Board is thrilled to welcome Stephen as our new Executive Director.  And we look forward to him leveraging his performing arts background, vision and energy to lead SOPAC into the future.”  After a nearly two-and-a-half-year dark period due to Covid-19 closures and Hurricane Ida remediation, “SOPAC’s doors are open, and the lights are on!” says Beaudoin. “Today, more than ever, people want opportunities to gather, connect and be entertained. They’re looking for meaning, hungry for inspiration, thirsty for empathy. They’re seeking a fun, memorable night out with family, friends or loved ones. SOPAC’s future, powered by our community and rooted in inclusive excellence, is filled with enormous possibilities.”

Building community is a key aspect of Beaudoin’s emerging vision for SOPAC.  “One of our primary jobs at SOPAC is to not only drive significant economic impact through our live events and programs, but also propel positive community and artistic impact through our work,” says Beaudoin. “To do so takes real community investment and engagement, and I’m eager to steward and develop relationships across this richly diverse regional community.  The youngest of four kids raised by Ross and Renata Beaudoin in Independence, Missouri, Beaudoin looks forward to calling the South Orange/Maplewood region his new home.“ I invite you to join us in downtown South Orange for transformational arts experiences and meaningful connections,” says Beaudoin. “Your presence, creativity and whole person are welcomed and celebrated here at SOPAC.”

For more information, about Stephen’s appointment visit:   CLICK HERE



A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications and organizations, including The Washington Post, Early Music America, Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, Prince George’s Suite Magazine, CBS Washington and Most recently, he was named as a new contributor to Washington Classical Classical Review. He holds membership in the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., American Choral Directors’ Association, Association of Anglican Musicians, a former member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors, a member of the Shenandoah University Black Alumni Network and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Just recently he was named to the Dean’s Circle of the Shenandoah Conservatory Advisory Board.  He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and is Interim Director of Choral Activities and Instructor of Music at Virginia State University. Visit and follow him on twitter @PatrickDMcCoy, IG: PDM06. and subscribe to “Across the Arts” on YouTube.