A young man smiling and wearing glasses

Sean Baba ‘16
Director of Music Ministry
Music (vocal studies) major, English minor

“LMU taught me about service and giving back. My career has always been about supporting my students, colleague, and volunteers: being for and with others. I often think back on my experiences at LMU, and challenge myself to be a better steward for the resources I have, and for those entrusted to my care.”

What have you been doing since graduating from LMU?

Shortly after I graduated, I began in music education here in Los Angeles. I enjoyed teaching and making music with my students every day during the week. During the weekends, I was doing music ministry as an accompanist. It felt great to be able to adapt what I had learned from LMU and start giving back through teaching and worship. I also had the desire to continue singing in choir, so I spent some years with the Pacific Chorale under the direction of John Alexander and Robert Istad. During the summers, I was lucky to have been involved in freelance keyboard work that allowed me to travel all over the country and as far as Abu Dhabi, UAE. After four years, I moved to Oregon, where I am now Director of Music Ministry at St. Pius X – Portland.  

What is your day-to-day like?

Here in Portland, I work with an active faith community connected to a large Catholic school, and I find myself surrounded by many dedicated musicians, volunteers, teachers, parents, and students. I oversee three musical ensembles and work with the school during the academic year. Every day involves something new: planning, programming, rehearsal, teaching, meeting, and outreach. All of it revolves around Sunday when our families gather for mass and the choirs and instrumentalists come together. Music-making happens nearly every day for me, but every day is about guiding this large team effort. 

How did your undergraduate studies prepare you for your career?

LMU taught me about service and giving back. So far, my career has always been about my supporting my students, colleague, and volunteers: being for and with others. I often think back on my experiences at LMU, and I ask myself if I am being a better steward for the resources I have and for those entrusted to my care.

How did you decide to major in music?

I switched to a music major in my second year because of my experience in voice lessons and the LMU Choruses. I entered LMU as an English major, but I had such positive experiences with my voice teacher, Karl Snider and the choral director, Mary Breden. All my instructors in the Music Department challenged me to reach for my artistic potential. Studying music was rigorous and never easy; but I always felt seen and valued by instructors and professors.  

What was your favorite aspect of the music program?

The LMU Choruses and the Sinatra Opera Workshop - I loved both so much, I can’t decide between the two!