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ORCHESTRA SEEKING NEW CONDUCTOR

 

This well-established amateur orchestra is seeking a new conductor from September 2018

We are a friendly group of musicians who enjoy making music together. That is our primary purpose, but we also like to share our music making with others and do so through up to four concerts a year. We meet on a Sunday afternoon, roughly fortnightly during term time, in Yarnfield near Stone in Staffordshire and give concerts around Staffordshire (usually in churches).

We are now looking for a new conductor to join us, someone who has:

  • Some experience of conducting amateur musicians and a desire to gain more

  • Knowledge of appropriate repertoire to help us plan our programmes (which to date have incorporated music from the Baroque era to the 20th Century)

  • Willingness to fit in with our pattern of rehearsals/concerts and to share our enjoyment of making music

  • A sense of humour

Further information about the orchestra and how to apply to join

Also on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/staffordshirechamberorchestra

Information for Prospective Conductors

Who are we?

We are a friendly group of musicians who enjoy making music together. That is our primary purpose, but we also like to share our music making with others and do so through up to four concerts a year. We meet on a Sunday afternoon, roughly fortnightly during term time, in Yarnfield near Stone and give concerts around Staffordshire (usually in churches).

We don’t have a very formal structure with designated roles such as Publicity/Marketing, Orchestral manager etc. Concerts are often held at venues where a member has an existing association and undertakes to make the on-the-ground arrangements for a concert there. Most concerts are on the basis of a profit share with the venue, though on occasions we do have to pay a hire fee. A number of members have performed as soloists with the orchestra; other soloists have been local young people who have been given the opportunity to play with an orchestra, often for the first time. On some very rare occasions, we have paid a more experienced professional soloist (for example in recent performances of Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto). We have also been known to work with choirs in performing works such as a Haydn Mass, or requiems by Mozart and Duruflé.

At full strength, there are around 30 of us, but numbers vary according to programme and venue size. We have played a wide range of music from Baroque, through standard Classical repertoire to 20th century composers including Poulenc, Stravinsky and Finzi. We have occasionally brought in reinforcements in the string sections and undertaken ‘bigger’ works such as Brahms’ 2nd Symphony, Beethoven 7 and Vaughan Williams’ Tallis Fantasia. Where a venue is particularly small, we may play pieces for wind or strings only.

We are now looking for a new conductor to join us, someone who will

  • Enjoy making music with an orchestra that runs on the basis described

  • Help us achieve a standard that is a little bit higher than we think we’re capable of, whilst accepting that we are not professionals and therefore have some technical limitations

  • Be flexible in their approach to programme planning so that we and our audiences can continue to enjoy a wide range of musical experiences

  • Allow us to help them build on their existing conducting experience – as our previous conductor said, conductors don’t have an instrument to practise, they need an orchestra for that!

So, what should you have?

  • A sense of humour

  • Some experience of conducting amateur musicians and a desire to gain more

  • Knowledge of appropriate repertoire to help us plan our programmes

  • Willingness to fit in with our pattern of rehearsals/concerts

Remuneration

The post does not come with a large salary! We may be able to pay a small annual fee, or contribute towards travel expenses for rehearsals and concerts.

Application and Appointment Process

Please submit your CV, including the names and contact details of two referees (one musical, one personal) and a covering statement of why you think you would be a good choice for us, to:

staffschamberorch@gmail.com by 22nd March 2018.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by 7th April and will be invited to an audition and interview, which will be held on a Sunday afternoon in late April/May. The audition will be 1 hour and each candidate will be asked to conduct the orchestra in two pieces which will be notified in advance (scores will be provided). This will be followed by an interview with a small group of orchestra members.

Audition/interview dates will be:

Sunday 29 April (2pm-5.30pm)

Sunday 13 May (2pm-5.30pm)

To be held in Yarnfield Village Hall, near Stone, Staffordshire.

Please indicate in your application on which of these date(s) you could be available if you are shortlisted.

Closing date for applications is 22nd March 2018.

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