8 Jan 2018

Full-Time Job Executive Director

Oakland Symphony (Job Poster)Oakland, California, United States

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Job Description

The Oakland Symphony brings together orchestral music and choral music as well as youth education and community interaction to strengthen the Oakland/East Bay community by providing quality live performances, education for lifetime enrichment and the perpetuation of the performing arts. The Symphony seeks a dynamic and experienced individual for the position of Executive Director to be the administrative leader of the organization.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Morgan since 1990, the Oakland Symphony is celebrated as one of the most distinctive regional orchestras in the country, originally founded in 1933, and reconstituted in 1988 to serve a diverse population through its unique convergence of artistic excellence, community service, and education programs. The Symphony, currently comprised of 70 musicians, offers a wide range of symphonic music, not limited to the traditional classic repertoire, in order to reach a broader audience. Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, founded in 1963, is an audition-based pre-conservatory ensemble, drawing membership from over 30 cities and over 60 schools, and is a local leader in diversity of its membership. It tours regularly. Every year, graduates place into leading music schools across the nation. Oakland Symphony Chorus of over 100 amateur singers is launching its 56th season of serving the community through vocal training and performance opportunities for all, and planning its second international tour. The Chorus and Youth Orchestra present their own performances as well as working with the Symphony. In 2010, the three organizations merged to serve the community better and are now known collectively as the Oakland Symphony.

The 2017-2018 Symphony season features seven concerts, programming orchestral masterworks together with contemporary performance and performers and cutting-edge new presentations. The annual budget is $2.6 million. Concerts are performed at the Paramount Theater, a landmark 1931 Art Deco movie palace that functions as a home for the Symphony and the Oakland Ballet, and still presents movies. The Symphony is pursuing opportunities to consolidate its performance, administrative, storage and rehearsal spaces.

A leader in music education, the Oakland Symphony has developed a comprehensive instrumental music program, MUSE, which provides professional musicians to 19 of Oakland’s public schools, combining efforts with existing music programs to provide one-on-one, small group and orchestral instruction to over 1,300 students. Additionally, school visits by Michael Morgan and Symphony musicians bring music to schools where there is little or no music education, and every year, the Young People’s Concerts bring live orchestral music to more than 5,500 children in the community’s schools. The Symphony prioritizes access: these programs serve a student population that is primarily African American, Asian and Latino, in some of the city’s most economically challenged neighborhoods; tuition scholarships are offered so no student is turned away from the Youth Orchestra for financial reasons; and the Bridge Scholarship program was created to provide access to private lessons for talented students to help “bridge” the transition from MUSE to the Youth Orchestra.

The Oakland Symphony aspires to be a leader in Oakland’s continuing transformation — an inclusive and celebratory institution championing the expansion and recognition of Oakland’s unique cultural presence through symphonic music performance and education. It seeks an Executive Director who will facilitate and empower the organization and individual goals of all parts of the institution.


The Executive Director will be a transparent and communicating leader for the future, responsible for managing the human and financial resources of the Symphony in order to achieve the organization’s mission. A true external and internal partner with the music director, the Executive Director is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the organization, and for implementing the policies set by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will report to the Board through the Board President. The Executive Director will work with the Board to ensure that the Symphony operates on a stable financial basis and that it carries out its obligation and mission to serve as a community, cultural and educational institution.


• Commits and furthers the Oakland Symphony’s mission and vision of artistic excellence, education and community inclusion, in clear and achievable terms.
• Brings together the stakeholders of the organization – orchestra, chorus, youth orchestra – Board, conductors and administration – so that each has a voice and all are part of the mission to serve the art and the community.
• Secures, allocates and develops the financial, technical, and human resources required for the achievement of these strategies and goals.
• Assumes responsibility for the day-to-day management and operations of the Symphony, including interfacing with all key constituents both internally (staff, board, musicians) and externally (patrons, supporters, partners, the public, etc.), to achieve all expected results related to operational, fundraising and financial objectives.
• Provides the Board with timely, clear and accurate reports and projections on financial, fundraising and operational activities.
• Leads the development and execution of annual and long-term operating plans that secure the best possible financial performance for the Oakland Symphony.
• Applies new ways to solve complex situations, originating new techniques, criteria or standards to address innovative opportunities, challenges or initiatives.
• Strongly supports the Oakland Symphony; its mission, its partners, its programs, its staff and its key stakeholders.


• Minimum of seven (7) years of professional experience in symphony orchestra leadership or business of similar scale and complexity with a particular expertise in organizational development, financial administration, funding success and talent management.
• Proven commitment to and demonstrated leadership experience working in culturally diverse organizations.
• Experience with the planning, development and execution of a comprehensive organizational strategy, to include long-term development, audience building and growth, leading the development of the “new” American orchestra.
• Demonstrated ability to build and lead effective and high performing teams.
• Success in high level fundraising, public funding, endowment planning and growth and other strategic development efforts.
• Strategic competence and success in managing large, complex matters with significant budgetary and employee responsibility.
• Demonstrated success in effectively prioritizing, delegating and executing on multiple projects and initiatives with multiple stakeholders.
• Experience in creatively and effectively bringing about positive change and creating and/or maintaining high morale.
• Master’s or advanced degree in Music, Business or related field is a plus.
• Current knowledge of issues related to the field of orchestra management.
• Experience in planning, development, collaboration and execution of concert hall or other major public construction projects strongly preferred.
• Skilled communicator, learner, listener and collaborator – open, approachable, personable – who creates a positive working environment within the organization and community.
• Demonstrated poise and integrity representing the institution, and use of that public persona to develop new opportunities for the organization.
• Ability to manage vision and purpose, while dealing effectively within a rapidly changing cultural environment.

How to apply:

Email​ ​cover​ ​letter,​ ​CV/resume,​ ​salary​ ​requirements ​to: jobs@oaklandsymphony.org
​Reference​ ​“Executive Director”​ ​in the​ ​subject​ ​line.​

Oakland Symphony is an equal opportunity employer.

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• Job Title: Executive Director
• Job Type: Full-Time Job
• Employer: Oakland Symphony
• website: oaklandsymphony.org
• Location: Oakland, California, United States

Job Categories: Music. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: director, executive director, fund-raising, human resources, management, and music. Location: California.