The Community Women’s Orchestra (CWO) of Oakland, CA, wishes to appoint a new Music Director

Music Director Position Opening
The Community Women’s Orchestra (CWO) of Oakland, CA, wishes to appoint a new Music Director
following the departure in March 2013 of Dr. Kathleen McGuire after 8 years with the orchestra.
CWO wishes to make the appointment effective June 2014, with three finalists each conducting a
set with the orchestra during our August 2013-May 2014 season. The appointment will be for 1
year initially with the possibility of subsequent renewal. Applications are due April 17, 2013.
The Community Women’s Orchestra was established in 1985. It is an amateur orchestra with a
professional Conductor and an Assistant Conductor. There are currently 60 members. The
orchestra is managed by a Board of Directors elected by the members. The orchestra performs
three concerts annually. CWO maintains a high standard of performance while seeking to develop
the skills and experience of members.
CWO usually has an Assistant Conductor who conducts a piece in each concert. During the 2013-
2014 season there will not be an Assistant Conductor to ensure equal auditions among the finalists.
The orchestra’s repertoire is varied, but a piece by a women composer is performed at each
concert. The repertoire is determined before the beginning of each season by the Music Director
and approved by the Board of Directors. CWO is dedicated to continue the development of its
repertoire in new directions.
Our fall concert in November has been our Family Concert and geared toward making music
accessible to children. Our winter concert, held in March, is our International Women’s Day concert
supporting women and promoting women in music. Our spring concert in May has historically had
varied themes.
More detailed information about CWO can be found on our website,
Mission Statement
The Community Women’s Orchestra provides a fun, welcoming environment to promote women in
The Role
The Music Director is responsible for the artistic operation of the orchestra. The person who
holds this position exercises the authority in artistic matters according to the guidelines
established by the Board of Directors and mutually agreed upon at the time of engagement. The
Music Director will work in close consultation with the President of the Board of Directors, members of the Board, and the Assistant Conductor within limits set by the budget, and in
accordance with the terms of the working agreement with musicians and guest artists.
 Master’s degree in conducting or equivalent professional experience (PhD preferred).
 At least 5 years of experience conducting a community or professional orchestra
 Has a passion for CWO’s mission and for community music-making.
 Experience working with nonprofit boards; respectful of consensus-based, member-driven
decision making
 Significant musical talent including an acute ear for orchestra intonation, balance, and color; must
possess strong skills in multi-meter conducting.
 Knowledge and understanding of all instruments used in orchestral performance. Functional
keyboard skills are desirable
 Podium presence that captures the power of body language to enhance the quality of the
orchestra’s performance and support the orchestra’s physical and emotional well-being.
 Ability to work with an orchestra membership that includes musicians of varying backgrounds
and abilities.
 Ability to provide a performance experience of the highest caliber through application of effective
baton and rehearsal technique.
 Thorough knowledge of orchestral repertoire, literature, and styles. Familiarity with the music of
women composers
 Ability to motivate and elicit the best efforts of the orchestra musicians while making rehearsals
and performances an enjoyable experience for all musicians
 Ability to communicate effectively both in writing and public speaking (emails to members, press
releases, program notes, interviews, speaking at performances)
 Is inspirational, innovative, takes initiative, interested in strategic planning – a true “leader”
 Able to devote time needed to help CWO grow and thrive
 Has a team player attitude
 Possesses computer skills sufficient to be effective and timely in email communication
 Conduct rehearsals (Thursday nights from 7:30pm-9:45pm, arriving at 7:15pm), a pre- concert
dress rehearsal normally held the Friday preceding the concert, concerts (weekend
performances), and annual retreat (one weekend day per year). Available to support the
orchestra during the season, August to May.
 Attend regular board meetings (second Monday of month, 7:30pm-9:30pm) and provide a written
report at least 24 hrs prior, plus a written annual report.
 Work with the organization, including the Board of Directors, in developing and planning the
orchestral artistic plan (and calendar), both short and long term that supports CWO’s mission
within budgetary parameters, and communicate effectively with all entities.
 Be responsible for the repertoire selection, programming, and musical production. Determine
number of rehearsals and kind (sectional, etc.) of rehearsals.
 Encourage, support and supervise the work of any assistant and/or guest conductor.
 Assist in the selection of Assistant Conductors as well as guest musicians.
 Commit to fulfilling the orchestra’s potential as an artistic and community resource and a
willingness to participate in the promotional endeavors of the orchestra.
 Develop the overall public image of the orchestra in the community and beyond.
 Assist in the general promotion of the orchestra by being available for public appearances and
fundraising activities.
 Always behave in a professional manner, both internally and externally to the orchestra.  Perform other similar and related activities, as directed by the Board, not requiring materially
different qualifications from those described in this document.
The position is part-time with varied hours (5-15 hours per week). The wage is negotiated. No
relocation benefit.
How to Apply
Please send a cover letter, resume, and answers to the Applicant Questionnaire by April 17, 2013,
earlier if possible, to or via USPS to Community
Women’s Orchestra, P.O. Box 30924, Oakland, CA 94604 attn: Search Committee.
In the 2013-2014 Season, finalists will conduct a set with the orchestra including approximately
eight weekly rehearsals, a dress rehearsal, and a concert. Guest Conductor stipend is $2,000.
Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. CWO is an equal opportunity employer.
Applicant Questionnaire
We are asking all applicants to submit answers to the following questions with their resume and
cover letter. Most of the questions are open-ended and designed to give applicants the opportunity
to consider various aspects of the position of Music Director and to give us insight to applicant
approaches to those areas. Please limit yourself to one page for the whole questionnaire. We may
ask you to elaborate on some of these questions during the interview.
 Why are you interested in this position (in terms of your own career)?
 There are many orchestras in the Bay Area. Explain why you are specifically interested in
 CWO’s 30th Season is 2015-2016. Describe how you would celebrate this milestone.
 CWO has players of varying abilities. Explain how you would work with them.
 Devise two sample programs you would like to conduct, one for a Family Concert and one
for International Women’s Day. Include at least one work by a woman composer on each
program, and include program notes for one of the concerts.
 Please let us know of any potential periods of time that you anticipate not being available in
the 2013-2014 season or any annual commitments (e.g. conducting a festival, vacations,


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