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Assistant Conductor

Posted by Choral Arts Initiative ; Posted on 
Jobs - DEADLINE :  
Assistant Conductor


Position: Assistant Conductor

Reports To: Artistic Director

Status: Part Time (10-month cumulative contract subject to annual renewal)

Compensation: Commensurate with experience (per call rate)

Goal Effective Date: March 1, 2019

Position Highlight:

When you join the Choral Arts Initiative family as an Assistant Conductor, you will have a direct impact on the artistic vision of the organization.  You will have a passion for new music and be open to new and diverse ways to express music with the human voice.  You will work in collaboration with the Artistic Director.  You will learn and be curious.  You will be a part of an artistic team that views excellence as a daily practice, not a destination or achievement.

Detailed Position Summary:

Choral Arts Initiative seeks a highly skilled and passionate musician to serve as its Assistant Conductor.  Working and learning in partnership with the Artistic Director, the Assistant Conductor will have a dedicated interest in contemporary choral music, demonstrate superb perception of pitch and intonation, possess proficient conducting technique, and demonstrate effective rehearsal preparation skills.  The Assistant Conductor must be available and musically prepared to lead all or a portion of rehearsals, performances, and other outreach performances with little to no advance notice.  The Assistant Conductor will also engage in artistic planning and programming discussions, and be actively involved in the artistic operations of the organization. The Artistic Director must be able to work effectively with advanced musicians, and will also be available to serve as an ambassador for the Artistic Director and the organization in all performances, events, and guest interactions.

Primary Responsibilities

Provide Artistic Support for the Artistic Director:

  • Be musically prepared to cover for the Artistic Director for all Choral Arts Initiative rehearsals and performances – sometimes with little to no advance notice.
  • Conduct rehearsals and/or sectional rehearsals as requested.
  • Attend all rehearsals and assist as needed.
  • For dress rehearsals, advise the Artistic Director regarding concerns of balance and other musical considerations.
  • The Assistant Conductor may be asked to prepare the ensemble and attend performances in partnership with outside organizations (outreach events) and other guest ensembles when the Artistic Director is unavailable.
  • Collaborate with the Artistic Director on programming and repertory, and positively contribute to artistic planning discussions.
  • Prepare rehearsal and performance ensemble seating charts.
  • Assist in the compilation of repertoire research, ensemble/voicing requirements, roster needs, and other musical or logistical matters.
  • Screen and audition new Choral Artist candidates in collaboration with the Artistic Director.

Conducting Choral Arts Initiative Performances:

  • The Artistic Director and Assistant Conductor will work in partnership to identify conducting opportunities in both rehearsals and performances during the main season. 2019-2020 premieres: 45-minute work for chorus, 15-person handbell ensemble, and harp; 35-minute cantata for chamber chorus, percussion, and cello; 70-minute secular passion for a cappella chorus.
  • The Assistant Conductor may be asked to program, prepare, and conduct special services such as community performances and other for-hire events.
  • Conduct reading sessions during the PREMIERE|Project Summer Festival.


  • Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting, or equivalent experience working with semi-professional and/or professional-level choral ensembles.
  • Demonstrated experience preparing and conducting a chorus with adults at an advanced level.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and proficiency of vocal technique, and willingness to explore non-traditional vocal techniques.
  • Excellent communication, organization, and leadership skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with Choral Arts Initiative Artistic and Administrative staff, the Board of Directors, and Artistic Advisory Committee.

 Application & Audition Process:

Choral Arts Initiative is committed to cultivating a vibrant and diverse community.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

To be considered, the following materials must be received no later than Monday, January 14, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. PST.

Application Link:

  • A current CV including significant repertoire and ensembles conducted.
  • A cover letter detailing your interest in new choral music, and how the mission and vision of Choral Arts Initiative resonates with your personal and professional goals as a musician.
  • A video compilation to include: 10 minutes of rehearsal footage and five minutes of performance footage. The screening committee will view no more than fifteen minutes of total footage.  Contemporary choral repertoire is preferred if footage is available.  Camera view should be facing the candidate from the perspective of a choir.  Rehearsal footage should include significant portions where the applicant stops and rehearses the ensemble to demonstrate how the conductor influences and improves sound through both verbal and nonverbal communication.  Run-throughs in rehearsal will not be considered. Applicants must submit the video compilation electronically via direct file upload or, preferably, via an unlisted/private YouTube, Google Drive, or DropBox link.
  • Up to two (2) letters of recommendation are highly encouraged, but are not required. Letters may be attached directly to the online application submission or may be submitted by the recommender directly at

Selected candidates will be invited to an interview with the Artistic Director, one staff member, and at least one member from the Board of Directors.

Finalist will be invited to participate in a conducting audition with Choral Arts Initiative at a date to be determined in late January or early February, 2019.

All finalists are subject to a background check prior to final offer of engagement.

About Choral Arts Initiative

Mission: Inspired by the call to champion new music, Choral Arts Initiative works in partnership with composers and the community to illuminate emerging choral music, and to inspire musical creativity.

Vision: Our vision is to be a world-class destination for new choral music for composers, singers, and audience.

Widely recognized as a champion of new choral music, Choral Arts Initiative has been praised as “gracefully lyrical” (Voice of OC), hailed as one of Orange County’s “Best Choirs” (CBS News, Los Angeles), and received the American Prize in Choral Performance, and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming.  Choral Arts Initiative’s recent album, “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore” ranked #6 on the Billboard Charts (Traditional Classical Albums) and was the #4 Best Seller on iTunes Classical Charts.  Their passion for new music has led to the commission of eighteen compositions and the premiere of over sixty choral works.