Music Director

Newburyport Choral Society
Newburyport, MA 01950
Type of Position: 
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, May 7, 2023

Newburyport Choral Society


Starting with the 2023-24 Concert Season

Location: Newburyport, MA

Contact: [email protected]

The Newburyport Choral Society (NCS) seeks a dynamic part-time Music Director to build on a tradition of excellence and provide a creative vision for the future. 

The Newburyport Choral Society  

The Newburyport Choral Society is a non-auditioned community chorus whose mission is to perform outstanding choral music for the cultural enrichment of the Greater Newburyport community. Now completing its 88th year, NCS is one of the oldest choral groups in the United States and has brought an extraordinary repertoire of choral music to audiences over its long history. Performing annual winter and spring concerts with professional orchestra and soloists, the Choral Society is known for the exceptional quality of its performances. Currently numbering about 100 singers, members range in age from young adult to senior citizen, and bring a range of musical backgrounds, from amateur to professional. 

After a year of rehearsal and reflection via Zoom during the pandemic, NCS returned to performing in 2021 with a renewed commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Recent performances have included choral standards (Fauré’s Requiem), music by historically underrepresented composers (Margaret Bonds’ Ballad of the Brown King), works by contemporary living composers (selections by Sarah Quartel and Kevin Seigfried), and a world-premiere NCS commission, Guidelines by Zanaida Robles, featuring the work of American-Dominican poet (and Newburyport resident) Rhina Espaillat.

NCS has a fifteen-member volunteer Board of Directors, which is responsible for managing all aspects of the chorus’s operations. 


Music Director Responsibilities 

The Music Director provides overall artistic direction for Newburyport Choral Society concerts and activities, and develops the artistic vision of the Choral Society, in collaboration with the Board of Directors.


  • Demonstrates excellent organizational skills, including the ability to look several years into the future when planning concert seasons and chorus skill development

  • In collaboration with the Music Committee (which the Music Director chairs), selects performance repertoire that is compelling, challenging, and interesting for singers, as well as enjoyable and exciting for audiences

  • Prepares and submits budgets to the Board of Directors that detail program costs (music, orchestra, and soloists), following NCS’s budget guidelines

  • Provides required written proposals, agendas, rehearsal plans, and other materials in a timely manner

  • Serves as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors, and attends monthly Board meetings (as needed), the Annual Membership Meeting, and the annual Board of Directors retreat 


  • Conducts weekly evening rehearsals of the chorus in preparation for concerts. 

  • Works collaboratively with the NCS accompanist to provide a positive rehearsal environment and an efficient, effective rehearsal

  • Encourages singer participation and preparation to achieve high performance standards, including providing weekly rehearsal plans and practice guides


  • Conducts Winter (December) and Spring (May) concerts (as well as an annual Summer Sing), featuring chorus, instrumentalists, and soloists

  • Works with orchestra contractor to hire professional orchestra members

  • Recruits and prepares professional vocal soloists

  • Conducts additional rehearsals during the weeks leading up to each concert, including rehearsal(s) with chorus, instrumentalists, and vocal soloists

  • Provides performance and repertoire notes, translations, and similar text for concert programs

  • Participates in local media outreach to recruit singers and promote concerts

Qualifications and Expertise 

  • Masters Degree in Choral Conducting or related area. Doctorate is preferred. 

  • Minimum of five years recent choral conducting experience, performing major choral works with orchestra

  • Extensive knowledge of choral literature and experience conducting both traditional masterpieces and contemporary choral repertoire, including music of historically underrepresented composers and styles.

  • Strong communication skills, able to convey musical ideas clearly to singers of varying abilities

  • Knowledge and use of best practices in vocal production, choral conducting, and adult learning 

  • Experience in recruiting professional orchestra members and soloists for concerts

  • Experience with the use of media and technology to enhance singer preparation and audience engagement



Compensation and Benefits: 

Compensation is negotiable depending upon qualifications and experience. 

Application Procedure: 

Application deadline: May 7, 2023

Submit completed application to: Maryellen Moreland, Search Committee Co-Chair, at [email protected]

The Search Committee will review applications as they are received and will contact applicants we wish to interview. All applicants will receive a response. 

Selected applicants will be invited to interview with the Search Committee on May 13 or 20, 2023. Finalists will be invited to conduct an audition rehearsal with the Choral Society on May 23, 2023. Selection of the new Newburyport Choral Society Music Director will be made by June 1, 2023. 

Application must include: 

  1. Cover Letter – Provide a statement of interest summarizing: 

    1. your interest in applying for the position of Music Director of the Newburyport Choral Society; 

    2. what you feel are your strengths as a conductor and artistic leader; 

    3. your vision for the Choral Society going forward; and 

    4. your professional  expectations – what you hope to gain from this experience  

  2. Curriculum Vitae

  3.  List of choral groups you have conducted, which includes

    1. Name of group and location; 

    2. Size (number of singers); 

    3. Auditioned or Non-Auditioned; 

    4. How long you conducted the chorus; 

    5. Type of music performed; and, 

    6. Number of concerts each year  

  4. List of choral works you have conducted with orchestra 

  5. Two sample programs from recent concerts you conducted  

  6. Materials of your choosing that provide documentation in support of your application (optional)

  7. Names and contact information for no fewer than three references

If you have any questions, please address them to the above email address and we will respond as soon as possible.

The Newburyport Choral Society is an equal opportunity employer. The Newburyport Choral Society does not discriminate against any applicant or employee on the basis of age, color, sex, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 

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