LaRob K. Payton

artistic director

A native of Temple Hills, Maryland, Bass-Baritone, LaRob K. Payton developed a love for singing at an early age. As he grew older, he recognized how powerful music was in those moments when things got tough. He found a spirit in the Gospel songs he sang, passion in the R&B he heard, and nuance in the Classical music he studied. A graduate of DePaul University where he received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, LaRob has studied with world-renowned teachers, directors, and coaches and has had musical opportunities that include traveling to study language, culture, and music. LaRob continues to sing around the Chicago-area and aims to use his voice to connect people from different communities, and hopes to continue to highlight underserved music in an effort to completely change the predominantly white, European, male classical canon.


Hugo J. Seda

managing director

Hugo J. Seda joined the Hearing in Color team as its Managing Director in hopes of _____. Originally from Miami, Hugo is currently the Director of Production and Education with the University of Chicago Presents, a professional concert series on the UChicago campus. Hugo received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in French Horn performance from Roosevelt University and San Francisco Conservatory, respectively. Hugo is passionate about the role of data analytics in nonprofits, impact investing in the social space, and behavioral economics in philanthropy. Outside of the office, he collects vintage audio gear and enjoys living in the vibrant Pilsen neighborhood.


Maureen Smith

marketing manager

Maureen Smith has been working in Digital Media Strategy since graduating with her Bachelors of Music from Peabody Conservatory of Music in 2012. She now serves as Womanaging Director at Scapi Magazine and as a content producer for multiple podcasts and video projects. She also works as an educator in private lessons for students as young as three years old, specializing in voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele. A recovering soprano, Maureen is thrilled to be taking the marketing reigns with Hearing in Color in an effort to promote classical music that isn't Mozart. She enjoys light-roast coffees and foods you eat with your hands.