One of the finest professional ensembles in the Midwest, the Omaha Symphony is committed to excellence, innovative programming, education, and collaboration. With the mission “to enrich people’s lives through the exhilarating experience of live orchestral music,” the Orchestra serves more than 120,000 people annually through mainstage concerts, music education programs, and community engagement initiatives. The Omaha Symphony’s greatest asset is its 70 professional musicians.
In 2005, the Omaha Symphony began performing in Omaha’s state-of-the-art Holland Performing Arts Center in the acoustically superior 2,000-seat Peter Kiewit Concert Hall concert hall. Under the leadership of Thomas Wilkins, who was appointed music director in 2005, the Symphony has undergone a period of dramatic artistic growth and is well-positioned as a leader within the city of Omaha’s own expanding vision for its cultural life and reputation.
Each year the Symphony provides more than 50 culturally enriching and entertaining live orchestral performances in six distinct mainstage concert series: MasterWorks, Pops, Rocks, Movies, Family, and Chamber. The Omaha Symphony’s vibrant Susan Morris Adventures in Music education series encompasses seven core programs and annually serves nearly 25,000 prekindergarten through twelfth grade students, educators, and administrators from more than 300 schools. The programs are interactive, adhere to Nebraska Standards for Education, and are built upon one another so that students have the opportunity to participate from preschool through high school for a continuous learning experience. In addition, the Omaha Symphony provides responsive and accessible arts opportunities to the community at large through a Community Engagement Program that creates music experiences beyond the concert hall.
Omaha enjoys exceptionally strong support of the performing arts. The community ranks well above the national average in individual net worth, has a history of major community foundation activity, and is home to four Fortune 500 companies. As the city of Omaha experiences expansion through new construction and downtown revitalization, the Omaha Symphony seeks to be an institution that contributes significantly to Omaha’s national reputation for culture and quality of life.
Thomas Wilkins concluded his distinguished 15-year tenure at the close of 2020/21, the Orchestra’s 100th anniversary season. Ankush Kumar Bahl took the helm as Music Director in July 2021.
The Omaha Symphony has a 20-member Board of Directors that includes top corporate and community leaders. Fifty Governing Members serve as advocates for the Orchestra throughout the community. For many decades, the Omaha Symphony has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the Omaha Symphony Guild and the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony. The annual operating budget of the Omaha Symphony is $9 million. The Orchestra’s endowment currently exceeds $54 million.
A staff of 24 full- and part-time employees manages the Orchestra’s activities. The Omaha Symphony partners with Omaha Performing Arts for certain financial, administrative, and box office functions. Jennifer Boomgaarden has led the organization as President & CEO since July, 2018.
With a unique blend of Fortune 500 companies, visionary not-for-profits, award-winning arts and cultural organizations, and innovative start-ups, Omaha attracts outstanding talent ranging from artists to corporate executives to entrepreneurs. A vibrant performing and visual arts community provides a broad array of performances, exhibits, film, and special events, including Omaha Symphony concerts; jazz, blues, dance, comedy, and popular entertainment at the Holland Performing Arts Center and the best of Broadway at the Orpheum Theater, both under the aegis of Omaha Performing Arts; exhibitions and programs at the Joslyn Art Museum and the Bemis Center for the Performing Arts; acclaimed productions by Opera Omaha; an internationally recognized art house, Film Streams; the Saddle Creek indie label; and a number of independent art galleries. Outdoor activities abound, including hiking in Fontenelle Forest or the nearby hills of Iowa, strolling the more than 100 acres at the Lauritzen Gardens, and walking, running, and biking on waterfront trails. Sports fans will enjoy the NCAA College World Series (CWS), United States Olympic Swimming Trials, and the Kansas City Royals’ AAA affiliate team, the Omaha Storm Chasers.
Omaha, Nebraska, has a population of more than 1.2 million within a 50-mile radius. The City of Omaha is home to four Fortune 500 companies: Peter Kiewit Sons’, Berkshire Hathaway, Mutual of Omaha, and Union Pacific. With a cost of living lower than the national average, clean air and water, short commutes, and all the cultural and entertainment amenities of a city twice its size, the greater Omaha area is nationally recognized as a great place to live, work, and play.
The Omaha Symphony Chief Revenue & Advancement Officer (CRAO) is a dynamic and innovative strategist responsible and accountable for setting and achieving contributed and earned revenue goals. The CRAO is charged with establishing a strong institutional vision for the organization’s philanthropic, audience, and volunteer development efforts. This includes, but is not limited to, fundraising, audience and volunteer development, marketing and communications, and brand development.
The CRAO will ensure that the organization maximizes existing and identifies new sources of sustainable revenue while building and cultivating the Omaha Symphony’s audiences and brand. The CRAO designs and facilitates strategic patron development plans; implements short and long term patron facing campaigns to meet revenue goals; analyzes revenue, patron data, and market trends to assist the organization in making data-driven decisions; and executes dynamic public relations campaigns that effectively highlight the unique programs of the Omaha Symphony.
The CRAO facilitates strong and mutually beneficial relationships among the Board of Directors, Governing Members, Music Director and staff conductors, President & CEO, staff, and other key stakeholders including donors, subscribers, patrons, community, business and civic leaders. The CRAO provides leadership, guidance, and direction to a full-time staff of six and several independent contractors and also serves as liaison with members of Omaha Performing Arts staff who interact with Omaha Symphony patrons. The Chief Revenue & Advancement Officer, Vice President & General Manager, and the Chief Financial Officer form the Senior Leadership Team that reports to the President & CEO.
The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and innovative professional with a proven record of success in achieving and exceeding income goals from all sources. The candidate will be a strategic thinker with excellent planning skills and a minimum of five years’ successful experience in revenue development for a not-for-profit organization, preferably in the performing arts. A good working knowledge of orchestras, artists, and repertoire will be considered an asset. A passion for connecting audiences and orchestras and the ability to convey excitement about classical music and its value to a community are essential.
The successful candidate will be resourceful, flexible, and comfortable leading and embracing change. The candidate will embrace the Omaha Symphony’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of the organization’s work. The candidate will have a results- and team-oriented work style characterized by an imaginative approach to problem solving and the ability to handle creative as well as administrative tasks. The candidate will be knowledgeable about best practices, tools, techniques, and trends in both marketing and fundraising. The successful candidate will have the ability to use industry standard database software; experience working with Tessitura will be an asset.
The successful candidate will be an effective manager of human and financial resources. The candidate will have excellent budgeting skills and be adept at developing accurate revenue projections. The candidate will have a track record of success in engaging, motivating, and managing a high-performing staff team.
The successful candidate will have exceptional interpersonal skills and an unwavering commitment to outstanding customer service. The candidate will be able to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, prioritize tasks effectively, and execute projects to the highest level possible. The candidate will be a collaborative team player who welcomes the opportunity to utilize the services provided by Omaha Performing Arts and work with the OPA team.
The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to be an active part of the Omaha community and to serve as a spokesperson and representative of the Orchestra in the community. The candidate will be willing and able to accept a work schedule that includes attendance at evening and weekend performances and events.
Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The Omaha Symphony is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity in all facets of the organization. We seek to develop a diverse candidate pool and welcome nominations and applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or national origin.
Applicants are asked to prepare a cover letter that clearly describes your interest in the Omaha Symphony and outlines your qualifications for the position. Submit with résumé, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement. Please send to:
Additional Salary Information: Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
About Omaha Symphony
Formed in 1998, the Catherine French Group works with symphony orchestras, opera companies, performing arts presenters, music festivals, schools of music, and other music and arts organizations as they recruit chief executives, senior management, and artistic personnel. The Catherine French Group is based in Washington, DC. Catherine French is founder and principal. Musician, administrator, and educator Christopher Wingert joined CFG in 2005 and is Managing Director. Henry Fogel, former CEO of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and former Dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, collaborates on projects that have a special focus on music directors and artistic directors.