Position: Music Director & ESYO Symphony Orchestra Conductor
Type of Position: Full time salaried with benefits; reports to the Board of Directors
Empire State Youth Orchestra’s Music Director engages youth in the joyful pursuit of musical excellence. The Music Director (MD) works in close collaboration with the Board and Executive Director and serves as the lead artistic liaison with community groups and educational institutions. The MD provides artistic leadership for the organization, and oversees the educational and artistic development of all ESYO students through rehearsals, performances, and collaboration with artistic staff. The MD maintains a standard of excellence among the artistic staff through interaction, evaluation, example, curricula and artistic leadership. The MD collaborates with the CHIME Administrative Director to ensure alignment between the CHIME program and the overall artistic vision of ESYO, and additionally provides support to CHIME faculty with respect to the assimilation of CHIME students into audition-based performing ensembles. The MD is an ambassador to the greater community including professional musicians, public and private school music teachers, and potential students. The MD is a musician of the highest quality, possesses a commanding ability to communicate through music, and is committed to inspiring young people to pursue excellence through music.
Ensures a high level of musical excellence of all ensembles
Articulates the artistic vision of ESYO through the development of new and engaging programs
Collaborates with and supports conductors in realizing the scope and vision of ESYO
Collaborates with the CHIME Administrative Director to support the development and advancement of CHIME
Collaborates with the Education Coordinator to continuously assess the music education needs of all ESYO members. Supports the Education Coordinator in meeting those needs through enrichment, instruction, and other opportunities
Identifies weaknesses in the recruitment pool and proposes remedies. For example, lack of double reeds
Works collaboratively with the administrative staff to ensure that an audition process is in place that supports the educational mission of ESYO including how audition materials will be chosen, how auditions will be judged, how placement will be determined, and ensures students receive meaningful feedback.
In addition to regular concerts, identifies and carries out various other performing opportunities such as event-specific concerts, tours, festivals, collaborations, etc.
Works with the administrative staff to determine season schedule
Conducts the Symphony Orchestra at all rehearsals and performances (including international tours)
Develops students’ understanding and appreciation of orchestral performance skills
Develops students’ ability to learn parts independently and function in rehearsal and performance
Performs tasks associated with maintaining a properly functioning orchestra such as assuring music is marked as needed, determining seating rotation, assuring extra instruments or ringers are available when needed
Chooses repertoire to inspire and challenge players while maintaining the highest standard of performance
Ensures that all repertoire is consistent with the educational mission of ESYO and the performance capabilities of the students by whom it will be performed
Ensures that repertoire has appropriate instrumentation for all orchestra
Community Relations and Resource Development
Works collaboratively with the Executive Director and Board in fostering community relations and partnerships
As ESYO’s lead artistic liaison with community groups, builds relationships with the various artistic stakeholders
Participates in outreach activities such as school visits, media events, presentations, civic events,
Participates in activities aimed at raising funds to support ESYO; builds and cultivates relationships with potential donors
Serves as the lead spokesperson with students and parents on the artistic and educational mission of ESYO
Exhibits a caring and supportive attitude when working with students
Attends parent and student meetings and other parent/student ESYO activities
In collaboration with the Executive Director and Board of Directors, oversees the recruitment and hiring of ESYO’s artistic staff
Actively supports and ensures professional growth and employee engagement in the organization
Sets standards and evaluates performance of artistic staff
Provides input to the annual budget process including staffing requirements, special equipment/instrument or music needs, programming budgets,
Ensures the administrative staff has the information needed from the artistic staff to be able to perform their administrative duties
Participates in both operational and long-range planning activities
Attends Board meetings and committee meetings as needed to provide artistic perspective on topics under consideration and to report on artistic activities
Attends ESYO performances of all ensembles
Orchestral conducting experience and broad knowledge of orchestral repertoire, demonstrated experience with concert programming and adolescent musical development
Bachelor’s Degree in Music or Music Education required; additional desired qualifications, M.M, D.M.A, or Ph.D. in Orchestral Conducting
Ability to respect ESYO’s distinguished legacy while possessing the courage to be “musically daring,” offering a clear vision, method and style
Fluency in English and ability to communicate effectively to students, staff, parents, and a wide range of audience members
Ability to articulate and demonstrate a deep appreciation for, understanding of, and sensitivity to the needs of high performing youth
Ability to maintain the highest artistic and educational standards while remaining supportive, patient, and approachable
Broad knowledge of repertoire suitable for youth orchestras
Cover Letter addressing interest, experience with youth orchestras, salary history and expectations (PDF format)
Curriculum Vitae (PDF format)
A minimum of three (3) professional references with contact information (PDF format)
Recent conducting videos (within 2 years) – 3-5 video links (ex. Youtube, Dropbox) totaling a maximum of 60 minutes representing both rehearsal and performance.
Video or recording of a media interview and/or a concert talk is strongly encouraged, but not required.
About Empire State Youth Orchestra
Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) is changing the lives of its musicians and the communities in which they live and perform through music. ESYO challenges and inspires more than 600 of the most talented youth from the Capital Region of New York, Western New England, and all walks of life to achieve musical excellence through intensive instruction and high- level performance. Through twelve performing ensembles and ESYO CHIME, ESYO is igniting a lifelong love of music in the youngest members of our communities, and breaking boundaries between communities and backgrounds to grow the future of music. ESYO’s progressive program supports students in elementary through high school, growing with them as they expand their musical and personal capabilities. But, the ESYO Experience is about more than exceptional music. Through the ESYO Experience, children build confidence, practice teamwork, and cultivate personal drive, giving them skills to achieve success in music, college, and beyond. ESYO alums go on as leaders in fields as diverse as engineering and art. They can also be found in all areas of the music industry— from national orchestras to music classrooms.
ESYO also seeks to exp...and its impact beyond its membership, believing music can be a catalyst for social change in the communities in which ESYO Musicians live, learn and play. This belief is why ESYO has helped raise more than $7 million for Albany Medical Center’s pediatric oncology program through the Melodies of Christmas concerts. To further expand its impact, ESYO launched ESYO CHIME in 2015. CHIME provides free, daily music instruction to some of the region’s most disadvantaged elementary school children—children who might not otherwise have the ability or income to seriously pursue music. Through CHIME, ESYO hopes to ensure the musicians of tomorrow are as diverse as the communities they seek to inspire.
Founded by parents and music teachers Barry Richman, Eleanor Barnes, and Lois Lyman in 1979, the ESYO Experience now includes everything from Carnegie Hall concerts to benefit performances, master classes with exceptional musicians like the Shanghai Quartet to international tours from Europe to Asia. All of this would not be accomplished without the support and the generosity of many individuals, corporations, and foundations whose gifts are an investment in the future of music.