SMC MD Information and Application

Job Posting

Sierra Master Chorale Music Director / Conductor

InConcert Sierra, based in Grass Valley, CA, is seeking a part-time Music Director / Conductor for the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra. The main function of this position is to lead the 2.5 hour weekly Chorale rehearsals during the two 13-week rehearsal cycles held each annual season. The Music Director / Conductor completes each cycle by directing the Chorale and a professional orchestra in two final rehearsals and two performances. Additionally, this person is responsible for programming, ordering and marking music, and directing the work of the librarian, orchestra coordinator, and accompanist.

Background information
The Sierra Master Chorale (SMC) was established in 2008 as an auditioned group of men and women who perform choral music of such wide variety and high quality that both the listening audience and the performers share a sense of great enjoyment and pride. Currently conducted by Music Director, Ken Hardin, the eighty-voice chorus has in its short life span established a reputation of providing beautiful music and thrilling performances to very enthusiastic audiences. The SMC always performs its concert programs with orchestra.

The SMC rehearses and performs in Grass Valley, located in the forested foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with its endless opportunities for outdoor activities from hiking and skiing to fishing, boating, and camping. Grass Valley, along with its neighboring city, Nevada City, have been selected as one of California’s premier state-designated cultural districts. This area offers a unique combination of natural beauty, Gold Rush history, rich cultural experiences, and a strong sense of community that make it a special place to live, do business, and play.

Organizational framework
InConcert Sierra (InConcert) is the parent organization for the SMC and annually presents monthly chamber music concerts, as well as the SMC with Orchestra concerts each December and May. In addition, InConcert presents various intimate house concerts and educational outreach events. The InConcert mission statement is: InConcert Sierra presents exceptional classical and choral performances that inspire and enhance our cultural life. We offer a warm, inclusive community for enjoying music and we provide educational opportunities for youth and adults.

As a paid employee of InConcert Sierra, the SMC Music Director / Conductor (MD) reports to the InConcert Artistic Director (AD) and advises the Sierra Master Chorale Coordinating Committee (Committee), the InConcert board of directors, and Executive Director (ED). The AD reports to the InConcert board of directors and is responsible for the overall artistic vision and focus of InConcert Sierra with the assistance of the MD, ED, board members, and others as appropriate. The MD is responsible for assuring the highest quality standards for the artistic functioning and management of SMC.

The Committee is responsible for the day to day operation of the SMC. The Committee chair/co-chair is a member of the board of directors and, together with the MD, provides a conduit of communication that (1) informs the board about chorus needs and plans, and (2) enables SMC members to function as an informed part of the InConcert organization.

Having accomplished his dream to make the SMC an artistic and financial success, Ken Hardin has announced his plans to retire as SMC MD, but will continue in his current role as AD of InConcert. The Committee has established as one of its strategic goals to facilitate a smooth and successful transition to a new MD.

Organizational responsibilities
• Develop, guide, and maintain the artistic vision of SMC, under the direction of the AD and in consultation with the Committee.
• Assure, in partnership with the Membership Chair, that individual choristers meet the standards listed in the “Chorister Agreement”.
• Represent InConcert – its artistic vision, programs and need for financial support—to concert audiences, donors, and prospective donors at cultivation events and on solicitation visits, in partnership with the Committee chair and in collaboration with the AD, ED, and board of directors.
• Serve as an advisor to the Committee as it performs the administrative functions of the SMC.
• Attend all Committee meetings, and occasional board of directors’ meetings as requested.

Scope of work

  • Plan and execute the 2.5 hour SMC weekly rehearsals.
  • Plan and execute concerts and musical events of high quality and variety, including but not limited to: (1)  two pairs of mainline concerts with orchestra annually, the Holiday and Spring concerts; and (2) the MusicaliTea annual fundraiser and some community outreach.
  • Manage/oversee the SMC artistic program budget.
  • Audition and evaluate chorus members.
  • Select music editions and order music as needed for SMC.
  • Oversee the maintenance and management of the SMC music library.
  • Oversee SMC pianist/rehearsal assistant, orchestra manager, and music librarian.

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in choral conducting or equivalent
  • Minimum five years of experience conducting large choral groups with orchestra
  • Demonstrated success in choral programming and concert production
  • Adept at leading singers of diverse ages and backgrounds
  • Extensive knowledge of choral literature from masterworks to emerging composers
  • Reside in close proximity to Grass Valley, CA area
  • Experience in community relations and organizational fund raising

Commensurate with experience.


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