Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers – Music Director Search

Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers is accepting applications for the position of Music Director. Finalists will be invited to guest conduct a subscription concert during the coming 2017-18 concert season. OSSCS typically presents six or seven subscription concerts a year, including performances of Messiah in December and a 3-part Chamber Music Series in various venues around the Pacific Northwest; it hosts a young performers competition, a composer’s competition, and has an ongoing collaboration with the local chapter of the International Chopin Foundation, Cornish College of the Arts, and Seattle University. 


Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers seeks an experienced, creative, inspiring, collaborative, and community-minded leader. The Music Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for all programming/repertoire choices and has ultimate authority for the selection and replacement of musicians. As the orchestra’s artistic leader, s/he is responsible for the organization’s vision, visibility, and connection to the Seattle community. The music director will also assist with fundraising efforts and connect with the organization’s constituency.


Preferred Candidate Profile:

The candidate must possess:

-significant experience working with both chorus and orchestra (experience with professional and community musicians is preferable)

-broad knowledge/interest in choral and orchestral repertoire

-the ability to engage and communicate with audiences of all ages

-the ability to program effectively within given rehearsal schedule and financial limits.


The successful candidate will work towards growing the organization’s presence in Seattle and connecting with the community in new ways. S/he will have the vision, energy, passion, and ability to make symphonic, choral, and chamber music relevant and exciting with a commitment to connecting with new audiences. We seek a candidate with a profound sense of joy and love for music, fluent communication of the organization’s enthusiasm to audience members, and a joyful, collaborative and respectful relationship between our Music Director and the musicians who support his or her artistic vision and creativity. A Master’s degree or Doctorate in conducting or equivalent professional experience is preferred.



Competitive salary commensurate with experience



In addition to leading two 2½ hour rehearsals each week for each concert cycle, the Music Director will select repertoire, prepare soloists, assist in the promotion of concerts, work with the Board of Directors in regard to financial development, strategic planning, and defining, building, and achieving the artistic vision of the organization


Core duties include:


•   Provide overall artistic leadership for OSSCS

•   Conduct weekly Tuesday night rehearsals of Seattle Chamber Singers

•   Conduct weekly Wednesday night rehearsals of Orchestra Seattle

•   Conduct dress rehearsals and performances of both groups as well as the combined organization

•   Select repertoire and plan season

•   Select soloists as appropriate

•   Assist with auditioning new members

•   Collaborate with Board of Directors in all organizational matters, including fundraising and marketing

•   Attend additional events as required (e.g. board meetings, fundraising events)

•   Maintain a sense of fiscal responsibility and operate within annual budget

•   Promote OSSCS’s image and maintain our excellent relationship with our network of supporters, musical collaborators, and the Puget Sound musical community


Strongly preferred skills and attributes are as follows:

•   Prior Music Director experience

•   Financial/board experience

•   Prior fundraising success

•   Administrative and organizational skills

•   Given the weekly rehearsal schedule and scope of the position, strong preference will be given to candidates who will relocate to Seattle as their primary residence



Commensurate with experience.

No relocation assistance will be available to the successful candidate.



There are no health/insurance benefits offered with this position


Applications must include:– A cover letter explaining your interest and experience with both chorus and orchestra

– A resume or Curriculum Vitae

– Past programming examples (concerts/seasons) by the candidate within the past five years

– Links to conducting footage of performance and rehearsal of both chorus and orchestra (separate or combined).

– The names and contact information of three professional references


Please submit applications electronically to mdsearch@osscs.org by May 19, 2017. Review of applications will begin immediately. Additional materials may be requested later in the application process.


About Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers form a partnership unique among national musical organizations, combining an all-volunteer 70-member orchestra with a 55-voice chorus to perform oratorio masterworks alongside symphonic repertoire. OSSCS was founded in 1969 first as a chorus; an orchestra joined the organization in 1979 becoming a permanent partnership, focused on performing oratorio and symphonic works. Over the past four and a half decades, OSSCS has performed all of the greatest choral-orchestral masterpieces, from Beethoven’s 9th to Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, to Britten’s War Requiem and the Passions of Bach. OSSCS simultaneously has presented symphonic repertory that spans the ages, most recently Nielsen’s 2nd Symphony, Schwantner’s New Morning for the World, and Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony. During the late founder and conductor George Shangrow’s tenure of 40 years, he championed the music of local composers, presenting over 100 world premieres. OSSCS typically presents six to eight subscription concerts a season (September-May) including performances of Messiah in December and a 3-part Chamber Music Series in various venues around the Pacific Northwest; it hosts a young performers competition, a composer’s competition, and collaborates with the local chapter of the International Chopin Foundation. A loyal donor base, grant support, and ticket sales provide an overall annual budget of approximately $150,000. A Board of Directors oversees OSSCS; a part-time salaried Managing Director performs numerous administrative tasks; a part-time bookkeeper, and volunteers coordinate various other activities (e.g. music library, Web site). More info is available at osscs.org


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