The Children’s Chorus of Maryland (CCM) & School of Music – a Kodaly-based conservatory for children ages 5-18 – seeks its next Artistic Director to build on the foundation established by its founder, Betty Bertaux, and more recently, Susan Bialek, and lead it into a 5th decade of inspiring and empowering children through exceptional and joyous musical learning and performance.
Nurturing voices, minds and hearts since 1976, CCM is a comprehensive program of musical training and distinguished performance experience. CCM believes that the experience of collaborative music-making nurtures the mind, the heart, the spirit, and the community, and helps young people develop into skilled, thoughtful, innovative and contributing citizens and leaders.
CCM’s unique curriculum, created by its founder Betty Bertaux and based on the Kodaly method, fosters the development of music literacy in much the same way that children become literate in their native language--beginning with the musical vocabulary of childhood songs, folksongs, and universal motifs that children have already heard and sung, and progressing toward mastering the written form of their musical language. This playful, organic approach feels natural and joyful to young musicians, but quickly moves them forward on the path to fluently reading and interpreting music. Through a carefully designed, 10-level curriculum and in the care of highly trained teachers, what begins as musical games leads to advanced musical skill. to accomplish this, the CCM program brings students together twice each week week (Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings) in small group classes, spending part of each session on rehearsal and performance preparation, and the rest on the building blocks of mastery. Based on a combination of the Kodály Method and Gordon Music Learning Theory, CCM’s ten levels of musicianship classes and three levels of performing choirs (Treble, ages 6-10; Lyric, ages 9-13; and Concert, ages 12-17) are designed to ensure that every student makes progress. Additionally, CCM offers summer camp opportunities, special workshops, and our “Crickets” music-and-play program for children ages 4 to 6. (Learn more about CCM on its website.)
CCM’s next Artistic Director (AD) will be a joyful, energetic, and experienced choral music educator, having successfully worked with young elementary through high school age students. The AD will demonstrate outstanding musical skills, effective use of choral/vocal pedagogy, and conducting gesture appropriate for each choir. They will have a strong command and knowledge of diverse, appropriate choral literature for young singers, from beginner to advanced levels and of the application of Kodaly principals to leading children’s choirs of all levels toward excellence in performance and excitement about immersive musical experiences.
The ideal candidate will have experience and knowledge of teaching, reaching, and communicating with all genders, and both introverted and extroverted children, creating a classroom climate of inclusion and support for all, and fostering a team mentality within each ensemble. Innovation, flexibility, attentiveness, willingness to observe and learn, and the ability to adapt to the unexpected are all qualities that will be required.
The next AD must be an inspiring leader who dedicates themselves to the success of the CCM organization. To that end, the Artistic Director works in close collaboration with the Executive Director, Program Manager, and Board of Directors in matters related to future planning, communications, strategy development, daily operations, thoughtful creation and implementation of policies and procedures, and development of new partnerships, ventures, and projects.
As Artistic leader, the AD will:
- Lead three sequenced choirs, guided by the pedagogical principals of Kodaly/Gordon, including selecting age-appropriate repertoire for each in unison, SA, SSA, and SSAA voicings, and determining the performance schedule for each and for the organization as a whole. Programming shall incorporate music from a wide variety of cultures, areas of the world and in a variety of languages with proven standards of the children’s choir repertoire.
- Prepare each ensemble for planned performances, typically 4-8 annually, which may include rehearsals beyond the typical twice weekly schedule.
- Audition choristers utilizing child developmental sequence of musical activities and tasks
- Seek out, foster, and facilitate collaboration with other local performing ensembles and prepare CCM singers for those collaborative performances, including with adult choirs, other children’s choirs, orchestras and other instrumental ensembles, local area festivals, opera companies, dance companies and the like
- Remain current in developments in choral music education; repertoire, rehearsal technique, vocal pedagogy
As Educator, the AD will:
- Function as CCM’s Education Director, both supervising and working collaboratively with faculty to keep CCM’s curriculum current and relevant and supportive of the choral program
- Interview/hire faculty as needed, work with Executive Director to craft faculty contracts, and lead faculty meetings 2-3 times per year
- Teach one level of the curriculum
- Meet with all CCM singers individually twice annually for constructive feedback and singing together one on one, and write narrative progress reports about each chorister twice annually for parents
- Foster the development and progress of students who wish to apply to or have been accepted to honor choirs; and write recommendation letters
- Create non-curricular events to foster student engagement and to build team. Examples have been leading folk or Morris dancing, caroling party, choir pot luck, crafts
As Administrator, the AD will:
- Foster communication and relationships with local area music teachers
- Manage the CCM choral music library
- In collaboration with the program manager:
- create the season calendar well in advance, to include all performances, make up dates, special events
- create, organize, and lead a retreat for the concert choir singers in early fall
- research, and draft proposals for touring options
- Be part of the public relations team, appearing at informational events, or TV/Radio appearances
- Be present at in person fundraising events
- Address parent communications and concerns related to children’s experience, learning style, rehearsal and performance policies and questions
- Communicate thoughtfully, early, and often with parents of students who struggle and offer assistance as possible (extra help, tutoring, resources)
- Sit on the CCM board of directors, ex-officio, attend monthly board meetings. Engage in board committee work. Remain involved in discussions that will steer the organization forward into its next exciting chapter and toward the marking of its 50th Anniversary and beyond
Professional Qualifications required:
- Master’s Degree in Music Education or comparable
- Kodaly Certification from an accredited OAKE program, at least three levels completed *
- 7+ years experience leading a choral program with and for children and youth
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills
- Familiarity with Google Classroom capabilities and other online teaching tools for both class and choir in the event online teaching must be revisited
- * Candidates without their Kodály certification will be considered with the assumption that the certificate will be earned within the first three years in the position.
Additional qualifications, preferred, but not required:
- Training in Gordon Music Learning Theory
- Familiarity with applications of Orff and/or Dalcroze principals to enrich the CCM experience
- VoiceCare Network concepts or similar apropos children’s voice development
The Artistic Director is strongly encouraged/expected to be engaged with professional organizations such as ACDA, Chorus America, OAKE and MMEA through attendance at conferences, in online discussion groups, and by seeking opportunities for CCM singers to appear in performance as part of conference honor choirs or as a demonstration ensemble during a presentation.
Compensation, including health and retirement benefits, is commensurate with qualifications and experience. The position is salaried and full-time, with a schedule that includes regular weeknight and weekend commitments. Salary starting at $70,000, negotiated based on education and experience.
All CCM employees are subject to background checks and must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
CCM is an equal-opportunity employer and is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. As such, it encourages underrepresented candidates to apply and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or age.
Please submit the following to Executive Director, David Bielenberg at [email protected]:
- A cover letter describing your relevant experience and interest in the position
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae
- One proposed concert program sample with repertoire choices appropriate for our three sequenced choirs
- One video of a concert performance sample, not to exceed 5 minutes (please include the date and location of performance and title and composer); one video of a prior rehearsal is also strongly encouraged, not to exceed 5 minutes
Applications will be accepted until April 1. CCM plans to fill this position on or before July 1, 2023, with the next Artistic Director in place to lead the 2023-2024 season beginning in September.
Submission of candidacy will be held in confidence.