Grammy Award-winner Sean Flahaven, BC ’95, returned to his alma mater on April 4 to speak about his career development, the decisions that supported his vocational goals, and his time working as an associate producer for the Hamilton cast album. Flahaven is currently the president of Concord Theatricals and has produced over two dozen albums, of which 10 were nominated for Grammys and one was awarded Best Musical Theater Album.
The Marketing Academy of Boston College hosted the music producer and executive as the guest speaker at its annual “Discover” event, which highlights the different facets of the marketing field.
Flahaven was one of the first music majors to graduate from BC and was a student in the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program. Through this program, he was able to study at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, where his own work has been performed. He spoke fondly of a fellowships and grants meeting that he had with the dean during his senior year. It was then that he expressed his aspirations to write musicals—to which the dean responded that he didn’t know how to help him with such a goal.
Flahaven received his Master of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre writing from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts—the only school in the world to have such a program— where he is now a faculty member. His time at Tisch was an exploration into the world of musical theatre and its history, he said, as he learned as much as he could about the field and its work.
“I discovered I enjoyed helping other talented people do their work and helping that work reach a wider audience,” Flahaven said. “I had an aptitude for collaboration, for talking to creative people about what they’re trying to achieve and how to make it better, and for promoting that work to gatekeepers and the general public.”
As for his time working with composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, Flahaven emphasized that this creative endeavor was a once-in-a-lifetime piece of work created by numerous talented people. He acknowledged the passion and perseverance behind developing a creative work such as Hamilton, which was evident in the play’s success.
In conclusion of his talk, Flahaven parted with advice for career development and decisions, concluding with a challenge for gratitude and intentionality.
“I’ve never not liked my career choice,” he said. “A lot of people don’t. They do it for the money or because their parents or their peers make them think it was the right choice. These are the people who never talk about their work with their friends or their kids and only think about the next vacation.
“Don’t do that—do something more fun, and eventually the money will come.”
Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor