The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra announces a search for a Music Director / Conductor

Music Director / Conductor Search Announcement

The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra announces a search for a Music Director / Conductor. The Music Director / Conductor reports to the board through the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the fulfillment of the orchestra’s artistic potential and its image and role in the community. Through collaboration and mutual respect, the Music Director, Executive Staff, the Board, Volunteers and the Musicians will work together to heighten the Owensboro Symphony’s visibility in the community, establish new partnerships and develop new audiences.

The ideal candidate will possess exceptional musicianship and conducting skills; significant conducting experience, including work with professional musicians; knowledge of a broad range of repertoire; and evidence of successful collaboration with all orchestral constituencies (Board of Directors, Executive Staff, Musicians, and Educators).



  • Significant musical talent and proven ability to provide a performance experience of the highest caliber
  • Thorough knowledge of the orchestral repertoire and styles, including orchestral concert music, works for chamber orchestra, operas, ballet and oratorios; comprehensive knowledge of scores forming the core literature of each historical period of orchestral performance; and self-awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses in specific repertoire
  • Instinct for developing imaginative programming that has significance to the orchestra, the occasion, and the community; this may require both a willingness to explore a variety of directions in music-making and experience in diverse repertoire
  • Effective musical and personal leadership in order to audition and select orchestral players, assign seating, and select solo players
  • Ability to motivate and elicit the best efforts of the orchestra musicians
  • Awareness of current solo artists, contemporary repertoire, and performance practice
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the history of music and its relationship to the broader context of the history of civilization
  • Comfortable incorporating evolving technology and enhanced performances.

Technical and Performance

  • An acute ear for orchestral intonation, balance, and color; advanced skills in sight-reading and transposition
  • Practical knowledge and understanding of all instruments used in orchestral performance
  • Advanced skills in musical analysis based on professional competence in counterpoint, harmony, composition, musical structures, and orchestration
  • Mastery of various musical styles
  • Interpretive skills that enable communication of the emotional content of a wide range of music
  • Substantial knowledge of performance traditions
  • Mastery of at least one instrument and experience as a solo, chamber, or orchestral performer to enable the development of musical insight; understanding of and sensitivity to the musician’s point of view


  • An effective baton technique that maintains the continuity of the overall performance of a work while evoking and controlling response by gesture at all levels of musical detail
  • An effective and efficient rehearsal technique that balances attention to technical details with communication of overall interpretive goals, including setting high standards for rehearsal preparation, attendance and performance
  • A podium presence sufficient to enhance the quality of music- making and support the musicians’ physical and emotional well-being

Administrative and Personal

  • Awareness of the role of the orchestra in a changing society
  • Basic knowledge of the orchestra association as a nonprofit organization, with an understanding and appreciation of the roles of the board, the CEO, staff, the musicians, and the volunteers
  • Ability and willingness to collaborate with the staff and board as part of a management team
  • Openness to the ideas of others; ability to inspire creativity
  • Confidence and integrity to make difficult decisions
  • Ability to separate personal ego needs from the needs of the orchestra and the community
  • Concern for the effect the music director has on the personal lives and performance quality of the musicians
  • Ability to operate within established budgetary limits
  • Sense of fairness an objectivity in making recommendations to the orchestra’s management concerning personnel decisions within the orchestra
  • Willingness to participate in evaluation as a constructive aspect of orchestra leadership
  • Commitment to fulfilling the orchestra’s potential as an artistic and community resource; willingness to become involved in the life of the community
  • Ability to inspire and communicate musically and verbally with audiences of all ages, both on and off the stage
  • Interest in community engagement activities
  • Willingness to support fundraising and participate in the promotional endeavors of the orchestra

Finalists will be invited to conduct a concert during the 2016-2017 season, from which the successful candidate will be chosen.

Now in its 50th season, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional per service orchestra committed to uncompromising standards of artistic excellence. It operates on an annual budget of over $700,000 and performs in an acoustically superb performing arts center with a seating capacity of 1,500. The core of the orchestra’s artistic programming is a five-concert subscription series presenting a cross-section of repertoire. During the summer, the orchestra presents outdoors pops concerts, free to the public, which draw audiences in the thousands.  The orchestra performs school-day concerts, services in local churches, and on a contract basis with other performing arts groups.  An essential component of the Symphony’s Community Engagement program is its commitment to educational programming. The Symphony operates an Academy, where private lessons are offered daily. In addition, the Symphony supports a Youth Orchestra program which gives specialized training to more than 100 talented young musicians each year, some of whom have gone on to join leading American orchestras.

Compensation is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

APPLICATION: Please submit an application packet containing the following items: 1) A personal letter of interest from the candidate specific to this position; 2) Resume detailing your education and experience; 3)Sample programs conducted by the candidate; 4) Names and phone numbers of at least five professional references to include musicians, arts administrators and governing board members. 5) High quality video recording of a performance within the last two years may be submitted with application materials. Application materials will not be returned.

SUBMIT:  ELECTRONICALLY: Submit application materials electronically (PDF) to:  The subject line should read: “Music Director / Conductor Search” followed by your name in parentheses, i.e. Music Director / Conductor Search (John Doe). If your application packet is included as an attachment to an e-mail, please also provide your name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address in the body of the e-mail message.  BY US MAIL: Submit application materials by mail to: Owensboro Symphony Orchestra Conductor Search Committee, 211 East Second Street, Owensboro, Kentucky  42303. Confirmation of receipt of materials will be provided within 2-3 weeks. Candidates for further consideration will be contacted about the next step in the selection process.

DEADLINE: All applications should be submitted by August 21, 2015
The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer.

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