Seeking Artistic Director
The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus seeks an Artistic Director to guide the artistic vision for the organization, conduct its two ensembles, and serve as an ambassador for the chorus. This paid, part-time position offers an unparalleled opportunity to lead one of New York City’s rising choral organizations, composed of talented non-professional singers in their 20s and 30s who are able to perform a wide range of musical styles, from classical to experimental. The Artistic Director will assume leadership for the 2018-2019 season, and will work closely with the organization’s volunteer members. The total estimated weekly commitment is 8-12 hours per week, though this will vary during the year. Salary is up to $15,000, dependent on experience.
Applications due: December 15, 2017
Currently in its 17th season, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus (YNYC) is dedicated to fostering the art of choral singing among singers in their 20s and 30s and, by providing opportunities for contemporary young composers, to bringing new music to life. YNYC brings together the finest choral musicians from the thousands of young people who flock to the city for its excitement, art, and culture. A reflection of the city where it resides, YNYC is a musical group that is passionate about choral music, as well as a social group that creates connections among its members and its community.
In addition to classical works, the group looks to engage with music that is new, experimental, and relevant as a part of its repertoire. YNYC runs an annual Competition for Young Composers, and through this has commissioned more than thirty new works from rising stars in the choral world and awarded more than $20,000 in prizes. YNYC also frequently collaborates with other organizations and artists. Past collaborators include Caroline Shaw, Joshua Shank, Mohammed Fairouz, Ensemble 212, RadioLab, and Shara Worden.
YNYC is comprised of a dedicated group of volunteer singers in two ensembles: an 80+ member mixed-voice group and a 60+ member women’s group. Each ensemble has an accompanist, with the women’s ensemble accompanist serving as the Assistant Artistic Director for that group. Volunteer leadership teams assist with ongoing operations in both ensembles. YNYC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a Board of Directors.
YNYC is always striving to grow its quality, visibility, diversity (both of membership and repertoire), and outreach. The Artistic Director will be a strong leader with excellent communication skills, comprehensive knowledge of choral music repertoire and technique, and a willingness to collaborate with ensemble members and outside organizations. There are no age parameters or preferences for the Artistic Director, as long as they are excited to work with the demographics of the group.
The Artistic Director will be responsible for three key areas of the organization: steering the artistic vision, facilitating the musical direction, and fostering its outreach.
The Artistic Director will select the theme of each season as well as develop the long term artistic vision for the organization. YNYC is dedicated to being a responsive and productive member of its community, and the Artistic Director must be cognizant of what is transpiring in the world, utilizing art as a response. The Artistic Director will choose repertoire for each concert that fits within the concert/season theme(s), demonstrating knowledge of a diverse range of choral repertoire. Final programmatic decisions are made in conjunction with the Assistant Artistic Director and the ensembles’ volunteer leadership teams and are dependant upon the season budget. To communicate the themes and vision to YNYC members and to the public, the Artistic Director will be responsible for creating write ups of season themes and concert descriptions, including those used for concert programs and grant proposals. The Artistic Director will be responsible for presenting the artistic vision, season themes, and updates about the ensembles during quarterly Board meetings.
Conducting and Musical Direction
The Artistic Director will be responsible for conducting all concerts and for leading rehearsals of both the Mixed Ensemble (Tuesday evenings, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.) and the Women’s Ensemble (Wednesday evenings 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.). Clear rehearsal plans must be set ahead of rehearsals, detailing what will be worked on each week, as well as a timeline for the season. The Artistic Director must be able to clearly communicate artistic vision, musicality, and pedagogy of the voice, as well as more granular details within each piece of music (cut offs, dynamics, etc.) to a membership with varying levels of musicianship and knowledge of music theory. The Artistic Director will also help choose new members that fit the ensembles’ needs at auditions each fall, with the assistance of the Membership Manager* and Section Leaders.* The Artistic Director will assist the Concert Managers* and Managing Directors* with selection of concert venues. The total estimated weekly commitment is 8-12 hours per week, though this will vary depending on time in the year. (*Indicates a Leadership Team role, which are volunteer positions held by current singers.)
The Artistic Director will be the face of YNYC and represent the organization at conferences and through outreach, as well as to donors and artistic collaborators. The Artistic Director will assist the Development team* by helping to secure new donors and by assisting in fundraising events. The Artistic Director will stay up-to-date on the current choral landscape and be aware of the work of other local choruses. YNYC has a robust volunteer Leadership Team, and the Artistic Director will be expected to maintain clear communication with the team as well as with the Board of Directors, assisting in projects as needed and as agreed. The Artistic Director will also take a lead role in YNYC’s Young Composers’ Competition, and will work with selected members and the Assistant Artistic Director to do the following: review the applications and submissions of work of emerging composers; commission new works from three finalists; premiere the final pieces in a YNYC concert; and choose the competition winner.
Required Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Bachelor’s Degree (Advanced Degree preferred) with an emphasis in choral conducting or equivalent conducting experience
- Experience conducting or working with a community-based chorus and with singers of various musical skills and training
- Comprehensive knowledge of choral music repertoire, for both mixed and women’s ensembles
- Knowledge of music history and choral practice, including ethnomusicology and historical performance practice
- Ability to work collaboratively with composers
- Advanced music theory, sight reading, and aural skills
- Must possess in-depth knowledge of choral music techniques and skills including vocal production, balance, and blend
- Ability to explain musical theory and rehearse choral music techniques and skills with singers of varied background knowledge
- Ability to coach singers to perform pieces written in a variety of languages
- Must possess a compelling view of the impact an ensemble can have on its community, and an ability to realize that potential through programming and outreach
- Ability to communicate well internally, including speaking with singers individually and as a group, in email communication, and when collaborating with the volunteer leadership team members
- Ability to represent the organization, connect with others, and communicate values and talking points to donors, audiences, and other external parties
- Please send a cover letter, CV, list of three references, and a YouTube link of a 5-10 minute recording of a rehearsal or performance that shows you conducting an ensemble.
- Please submit your application materials via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “YNYC Artistic Director Search” in the subject line.
- Application Deadline: Friday, December 15th
- Interviews will begin in January. Applicants who are invited to interview will be asked to prepare a sample season for the ensembles, with season and concert themes and key pieces.
Timeline and Search Process:
Application Deadline: December 15th
Interviews and Conducting Auditions: January – March
Final Decision: May 2018
Announcement: June 2, 2018 (At Mixed Ensemble June Concert)
Selected Candidate Begins: July 1, 2018
YNYC is committed to a welcoming, collaborative, and supportive work environment. YNYC does not discriminate, including on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national or ethnic origin. YNYC also does not discriminate on the basis of your favorite ice cream flavor, but you may be asked to share it during introductions.