For over 70 years, Portland Symphonic Choir has been creating beautiful music under the direction of just five artistic directors. Dr. Steven Zopfi joined Portland Symphonic Choir as artistic director in 2003 and we have enjoyed 14 great years under his baton, performing choral masterworks both old and new.
In addition to his work with PSC, Dr. Zopfi is an accomplished Director of Choral Activities at the University of Puget Sound (located 150 miles north of Portland). Recently, the university completed a major rescheduling effort which resulted in an unresolvable scheduling conflict with PSC’s rehearsal needs. While the university-wide change is being made for good reasons, it unfortunately will prevent Dr. Zopfi from continuing his position with PSC after this season. With this in mind, we are now activating our search for the next artistic director of Portland Symphonic Choir.
Full Job Description:
The Portland Symphonic Choir (PSC)is a 501(c)(3) organization governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. PSC board members include local business leaders and singers who generously give their time and expertise to support the choir’s mission. The Executive Director manages operations, production, development, marketing, and communications for the Choir.
All musical activities are under the leadership of the Artistic Director, including auditions, rehearsal preparation, and repertoire selection. Since its founding, the Portland Symphonic Choir has been under the direction of just five Artistic Directors. Preference will be given to candidates able to make a long-term commitment to the position.
- Final responsibility and authority for all musical and artistic activities of the Portland Symphonic Choir (PSC)
- Performance programming (3 year artistic plans) with input from the Executive Director (for budgeting purposes) and the Artistic Development Committee of the Board of Directors
- Selection of a balanced repertoire that fulfills the mission of the choir and serves to attract and retain choir members and audiences
- Seeks out new musical partnerships and opportunities
- Plans and conducts all PSC rehearsals
- Supervises all PSC section leaders, staff accompanist, staff singers and any contracted musicians for specific performances
- Conducts all annual and mid-year new member auditions as well as biennial review auditions of current members
- Enforces PSC’s membership policies and guidelines
- Communicates regularly with choir membership regarding score markings, divisi listings, and focus areas for upcoming rehearsals
- Communicates regularly with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra (OSO) and its leadership on partnered and contracted works
- Prepares the PSC for OSO contracted performances
Board and Committee Relations:
- Reports to the Board of Directors, and serves on the Board as an ex-officio member
- Works collaboratively with Board to balance artistic goals with established budget
- Provides monthly Artistic Director reports to the Board of Directors detailing proposed programming, status of the choir’s work on current performances, announcements about auditions, etc…
- Attends monthly Board meetings and Artistic Development Committee meetings as scheduled (usually quarterly)
- Communicates regularly with Board Chair and Executive Director
- Serves as a spokesperson for the Portland Symphonic Choir
- Conducts personal donor outreach and development activity in collaboration with the Development Committee, Board of Directors and Executive Director
- Speaks at performances as appropriate; e.g. announcements regarding the concert program, soloists, commissions, etc…
- Attends all donor events and post-concert receptions
- Participates in community activities that advance the mission of Portland Symphonic Choir
- Works closely with the management and Artistic Director of the Oregon Symphony on collaborative concert presentations
- Provides input on PSC’s brand and public image to the Marketing Committee and Board of Directors
- Works with the Executive Director to create an annual budget that adequately meets the needs of the artistic plan within the context of the choir’s financial position
- Participates in annual budget planning process with Board of Directors
- Participates as needed in grant applications
- Five year’s experience directing/conducting a community-based auditioned choir with experienced singers of high caliber
- Experience working with and directing a professional orchestra and/or symphony-orchestra in conjunction with choral performance
- Master’s Degree in Music required, with emphasis on choral music
- Demonstrated knowledge of various musical styles, music theory, and music history, with an emphasis in symphonic choral works
- Extensive knowledge of the symphonic choral repertoire
- Comprehensive knowledge of all voice types
- Ability to work effectively with accompanists and other professional musicians
- Facility with languages, and a command of choral diction and articulation
Personal Qualities: The ideal candidate for this position is a visionary, creative thinker, experienced choral director, and motivational leader. The candidate also:
- Exudes high integrity and engenders trust both on and off the podium
- Is disciplined, collaborative, and a life-long learner
- Exhibits confidence and has the ability to make difficult decisions with sound reason and explanation
- Inspires members and audiences through excellently prepared and conducted choral music
- Average 10 hours per week (evenings and weekends)
- Once Weekly evening rehearsals from 7:15 – 9:45 p.m.
- Other rehearsals, auditions, meetings, etc. as scheduled
- Three PSC produced concerts a year
- Oversight of annual community Summer Sings events in collaboration with guest directors
- Preparation of choir for (typically) 1-3 performances with the Oregon Symphony
- Attendance at monthly Board meetings
- Personal preparation for rehearsals – including communications to section leaders and the choir membership
About Portland (from http://www.el.com/to/portland/): Big city excitement and small town charm make Portland, Oregon, known as “the City of Roses”, a special place to live. Portland is situated approximately 70 miles from the Pacific in a magnificent setting between the sparkling waters of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Portland’s historic old town, galleries and museums, Saturday Market, and performing groups provide vibrant entertainment year round. Its lush green parks are perfect for a picnic or an afternoon stroll. Also, Portland is just a short distance from Willamette valley wineries, skiing at Timberline Lodge and all of the excitement and beauty of Oregon’s spectacular ocean beaches.
Portland’s award winning mass transit system is one of the most extensive and advanced in the U.S. The transit system includes buses, streetcars, historic trollies and the MAX, an urban light rail line. Short city blocks, combined with public art and old-fashioned statuary, fountains, bridges and parks offer opportunities for leisure and contemplation for the casual stroller. For the more adventuresome walker, Forest Park has over 70 miles of trails.
Salary: Commensurate with experience; please be advised that another (primary) source of income will likely be necessary as this is considered a part-time position.
Application Process: Please send a current resume with 1) a link to a recording or video of your group performing a work representative of your talent as an Artistic Director and 2) a link to a video of you rehearsing your ensemble. Additionally, please include a cover letter that addresses the following, 1) What about Portland Symphonic Choir catches your attention and interest? 2) What professional goals do you have, and how do they align with Portland Symphonic Choir?
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