Walla Walla Choral Society Seeks New Artistic Director
Walla Walla — April 24, 2021 — The Walla Walla Choral Society’s Board is in the process of searching for a new Artistic Director to replace G. Louis Hemenway, who has left his position to pursue other work. They have several well-qualified candidates and will soon be carrying out interviews with each of them. Their plan is to make a final selection in May, and resume full operation of the Choral Society by August as the singers prepare for their first in-person concert since 2019, “Our Songs of Joy,” to kick off the holiday season on November 28 and 29, 2021 at the Gesa Power House Theatre.
"We have updated the job description and defined selection criteria for this position” explained Bob Schumacher, WWCS Board President. “As the name implies, the Artistic Director will do more than just lead rehearsals and concerts. The AD will bring creativity and experience to help us cultivate a choral repertoire within varied styles of music to appeal to the wide range of interests of our community and singers.” He added, “More than a director, we seek a leader who can help us execute our strategic plan, which includes the creation of a new Children’s Chorus as part of our desire to expand the quality and reach of choral music throughout the Walla Walla Valley. We are confident that we will find a wonderful new Artistic Director and will continue and grow as 'keepers of the song' in the Walla Walla Valley.”
Artistic Director Job Description
- Artistic Director of the Walla Walla Choral Society
SCOPE OF SERVICES
- Music or related degree required, preferably in choral areas of expertise
- Minimum two years of experience in choral directing preferred
- Knowledge of choral repertoire required with competencies in varied styles of music preferred
- Ability to play piano to accompany self during rehearsals preferred
- Mid-level computer and related skills required
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Ability to speak clearly and confidently to large audiences
- Experience with children’s choirs a plus
Promote WWCS’s focus on its mission
- Coordinate with the choir, the Board, and volunteers to promote a positive atmosphere of community within the organization.
- Network with other arts organizations, music directors, and community groups to increase the visibility of WWCS and to encourage collaboration.
- Provide leadership and direction for all aspects of choir rehearsals and performances.
Design, coordinate, and direct choral programming
- Select and order music to be performed by the choir. Music shall be ordered on WWCS’s account and paid for by WWCS. No other music should be ordered on WWCS’s account.
- Create an annual performance schedule involving at least three different concert programs.
- Create, communicate and execute a weekly rehearsal schedule at the beginning of each concert season.
- Design each concert performance including theme development and integration of guest artists, ensembles, soloists and visual elements including posters, programs and program inserts, in collaboration with Artistic Team.
- Review and provide input on public relations materials for each concert and WWCS.
- Identify and recommend to the Board workshop presenters to be hired for vocal clinics and other workshops.
- Arrange technicians and musicians for each concert project. Before the Board meeting which immediately precedes a concert, provide to the Board for each person to be hired for that concert, a description of the services to be provided and the proposed compensation. Provide each person’s name, address, phone number and Social Security number to the Secretary/Treasurer who will then prepare and execute a contract with each person.
- Audition, select, and coach soloists and small group ensembles.
- Recommend to the Board and organize approved choir and/or ensemble tours, outreach projects, and community performances.
- Manage administrative and artistic detail for outreach projects.
- Manage and oversee the creation and success of the Walla Walla Children’s Chorus.
Provide supervision for music-related staff and volunteers
- Supervise the rehearsal pianist, concert instrumentalists, Children's Chorus Director and Choral Administrative Assistant.
- Identify, coach, and supervise the activities of choir section leaders and artistic staff.
- Evaluate artistic staff annually.
- Communicate regularly with section leaders regarding vocal issues, repertoire to cover in upcoming sectionals and other musical needs.
- Create an Artistic Team of several persons that will act as a resource and planning group for the Artistic Director.
Development, Finances, and Communication
- Write narrative as needed for concert projects, work with development staff to position grant focus, prepare artistic components for grant budgets.
- Submit an annual fiscal-year performance budget for the upcoming concert season to the Board by the June Board meeting.
- Communicate regularly with the Board and other leadership.
- Attend regular board meetings.
Terms and Compensation
- Artistic Director serves as an Independent Contractor, not as a salaried employee. As such, no state or federal taxes will be withheld from payments.
- Contract coincides with WWCS fiscal year which runs from July 1 - June 30. Artistic Director is paid at the end of each month.
- Pay commensurate with ability and experience.
- Professional development funds available with prior Board approval.