Music Director

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
Location: 
Pittsburgh, PA
Type of Position: 
Artistic
Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 17, 2023

The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) invites qualified applicants to apply for the position of Music Director commencing with the 2023-2024 season. The position is part-time. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled, but for maximum consideration, applications should be submitted by February 17, 2023.

About the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

The Grammy-nominated Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) is the region’s premier chorus and its oldest continuously performing arts organization. MCP has been the choral partner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) for almost 100 years, and performances with the PSO (both classical and Pops) are a major and important part of MCP’s annual season. Although mostly a volunteer chorus of more than 100 auditioned voices, MCP has a 20-member professional core.

MCP has a community board of directors, a small staff of four, and a current annual budget of under $500,000.

About the Position

The Music Director will work with MCP’s Executive Director and Board of Directors to achieve MCP’s mission to present compelling and skillful performances at the highest artistic level, and to foster the appreciation, participation, and creation of choral music in present and future generations. She/he/they will:

  • possess a spirit of passionate creativity and a commitment to excellence;
  • have the ability to maintain the strong, mutually respectful relationship that exists between MCP and the PSO;
  • attract, inspire, and retain singers and forge relationships with audience members and donors;
  • strive to make MCP’s programming welcoming and accessible to musicians, audiences, partners, and communities of diverse backgrounds;
  • work in close partnership with the Board of Directors and the Executive Director to maintain the financial health of the organization.

Although residency in the Pittsburgh area may not be mandatory, the ability to quickly learn about the region and to forge strong relationships with community stakeholders including singers and arts organizations is critical. Although it is understood that the Music Director may hold other appointments simultaneously, s/he is expected to make the role of Mendelssohn Choir Music Director a priority, and not to engage in other artistic work in the community which could create a conflict of interest.

Detailed Job Duties

The Music Director is appointed by and reports to the Mendelssohn Choir Board of Directors. She/he/they works in close partnership with MCP Executive Director who reports directly to the Board of Directors as well.

Artistic

  • Provide vision, leadership, and artistic direction to the chorus;
  • Maintain and advance MCP’s standard of choral excellence;
  • Prepare the chorus to perform with the PSO, and program and conduct annual concert event/s apart from engagements with the PSO;
  • Work with a contractor or otherwise engage orchestra players as needed, and select soloists as needed;
  • Conduct annual auditions;
  • Engage in planning with PSO Artistic management including the PSO Music Director as required;
  • Cultivate collaborations and artistic partnerships with other community organizations;
  • Appoint all artistic staff including the Junior Mendelssohn Choir Director in consultation with the Executive Director.

Audience Engagement & Fundraising

  • Serve as the “face of Mendelssohn” in the community, and play a lead role in the long-term cultivation of donors (individual and institutional) in order to build loyalty and commitment to MCP;
  • Work with the Executive Director and other staff to promote MCP in the media;
  • Participate in MCP’s fundraising activities;
  • Play an active role in designing outreach and audience engagement activities;
  • Participate as requested in PSO audience engagement activities such as concert pre-talks.

Management

  • Work closely with MCP’s Executive Director and Board of Directors to develop and achieve organizational goals;
  • Serve as an ex officio member of MCP’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, and present regular reports to both;
  • Prepare annual artistic budgets and season plans as requested by the Executive Director and MCP’s Board, and implement season programming in accordance with MCP’s annual operating budget.

Qualifications

The successful candidate will be an exceptional musician and have a thorough knowledge of choral music, proven experience conducting a chorus and professional orchestra, and experience preparing a chorus for a symphony orchestra. She/he/they will have outstanding conducting, teaching, and vocal pedagogy skills, and the ability to maintain the high level of artistry and professionalism for which the MCP is known. Specific qualifications include:

  • Advanced degree in music/choral conducting.
  • Broad conducting experience including large orchestras.
  • Proven track record of artistic leadership, choral programming, and preparing a chorus for a major symphony orchestra.
  • Outstanding musicianship skills and an in-depth knowledge of choral repertoire.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and to forge partnerships.
  • Ability to engage audiences and to communicate MCP’s artistic vision to MCP’s stakeholders including chorus members, donors, audience members, and the greater arts community.
  • Capacity to think innovatively, creatively, and strategically to develop MCP’s programming.

COVID vaccination (including one booster) is mandated for all MCP singers and staff. Proof of vaccination is required before hiring.

Compensation and Benefits: 

Salary is DOE.

Application Procedure: 

Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume addressing the above qualifications and citing salary expectations to [email protected] with “Music Director Search” as the subject. Please do not send CDs, DVDs, or videos with your application, but you may include links (if any) to recordings, videos, and/or press that choirs have received under your direction. Additionally, up to five additional documents such as reviews are welcomed. Finalists will be invited to conduct the Chorus in spring 2023.

MCP is a proud equal opportunity employer without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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