Employment at the QCSO

Below are the opportunities available at the Quad City Symphony. If you have an interest, please view the job description posted and then complete the Application Procedure. Thank you for visiting the QCSO website, we look forward to hearing from you!

QCSYE Prelude Strings Conductor

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra Association announces the following artistic opening: Prelude Strings Conductor.


The position of Prelude Strings Conductor is to improve individual playing technique, develop ensemble skills, and promote valuable performance experiences for entry-level string players in the Quad Cities area. Conductor’s investment in the Prelude Strings ensemble promotes growth and development of the QCSYE organization by instilling rehearsal and performance habits, practicing technique, and ensemble standards for students. The Prelude Strings Conductor will report jointly to the QCSYE Music Direction (artistic) and QCSO Director of Education and Community Engagement(administrative). They will work closely with QCSYE General Manager on day-to-day administrative duties. They will serve as artistic liaison with educational institutions and community groups to promote constructive working partnerships to further the mission of the QCSYE.


Musical Requirements:

  • Proven success as a conductor and music educator.
  • Knowledge of the technical and musical problems the players will encounter in specific pieces.
  • Knowledge of arrangements and transcriptions that are available for younger orchestras.
  • Perform or have performed at a high level (professional preferred) on an instrument.
  • Good understanding of orchestral bowings.


Artistic Requirements:

  • Collaborate with artistic and operational staff in developing short-range and long-range plans for the QCSYE including rehearsal schedules, concerts, program themes, special events, master classes, clinics, and audience development.
  • Conduct all weekly Sunday rehearsals, performances, and special events of the Prelude Strings. Requested absences may be approved by QCSYE MD and ED in coordination with GM.
  • Select works to be performed taking into account the level of difficulty for the ensemble.
  • Oversee and participate in the audition process for all new and returning students in the QCSYE, establishing musical criteria.
  • Assisting staff in recruitment efforts as needed.



  • Make requests to the GM and QCSO Librarian for music purchases or rentals, clearing in advance any transaction outside of the approved budget.


Public Relations

  • Nurture and maintain communication with area orchestra teachers serving as the ensemble’s artistic liaison to the schools.
  • Actively recruit new members for QCSYE by distributing brochures and serving as a guest clinician in area schools as your schedule permits.
  • Help the organization develop and maintain a positive image in the community and beyond.
  • Play a visible and active role in the community and promote the QCSYE by being available for public appearances.


General Responsibilities

  • Communicate in a timely, complete, and consistent manner.
  • Assure clear and timely communication with youth orchestra members and parents regarding schedules, as well as expectations regarding attendance, participation, rehearsals, behavior and other appropriate rules and orchestra practices.
  • Assist in creation and support of all QCSYE policies and procedures. Report any infractions and problems to the GM.
  • Follow and enforce rules and procedures set by host institutions for rehearsal and concert facilities.
  • Inform the GM and DECE of any personal absences as far in advance as possible and be responsible for securing an appropriate substitute if unable to meet the schedule of rehearsals.
  • At all times while working on behalf of the QCSO, the conductor will behave in a professional, respectful, and appropriate manner within the guidelines of the QCSO Handbook. The conductor must comply with all appropriate federal, state, and local laws regarding sexual and other forms of harassment and anti­discrimination.
  • Monitor progress on the ensemble’s strategic direction on a regular basis and provide input to the MD, DECE, and GM on areas relevant to QCSYE.


Personal Characteristics:

The Prelude Strings Conductor must be enthusiastic and possess the high energy level necessary for working effectively with active young string students. S/he must also have high musical expectations for the QCSYE members coupled with humanity and empathy for them as students engaged in a physically, musically, and emotionally developmental process. Prelude Strings Conductor must:

  • Make a large commitment to this program. The season is roughly 30 – 32 weeks of rehearsals and concerts from August through May.
  • Believe in the value of a youth orchestra program.
  • Possess leadership and management skills that will enable him/her to:
    1. Organize a plan and allocate time and space for rehearsals.
    2. Review and approve music programming for the ensemble.
    3. Meet with conducting staff periodically, individually or in groups, to ensure consistency in musical expectations for all groups.
    4. Be able to communicate effectively with students, parents, the public, and the press on matters relating to the QCSYE.
    5. Writes thank-you notes and student recommendations as appropriate.



The Prelude Strings Conductor should be an experienced teacher of young string players in group settings. Additionally, s/he should have at least three years conducting experience and the skills needed to choose repertoire, plan rehearsals, and lead concerts for students whose playing experiences ranges from 1-2 years (grades 4-8).


Necessary qualifications for the position include:

  • Proficiency in string instrumental technique.
  • Ability to engage positively with both students and parents.
  • Ability to teach young musicians effectively.
  • Willingness to work cooperatively with artistic and operational staff to promote the mission of the QCSYE.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Music required, Master’s Degree in Music preferred.
  • Ability to work with limited supervision, prioritize work, and meet deadlines with a high degree of detail orientation and accuracy.
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of colleagues, QCSYE students, QCSYE parents, QCSO musicians, and community members.
  • Must be able to listen, hear, speak, read, write, climb stairs, bend, stoop, and stand for intermittently long periods of time. 
  • This job description is subject to change and is not designed to be a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required by the employee. 
  • Employment is contingent with passing a complete background check.



Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume with three references to Marc Zyla at mzyla@qcso.org by April 1, 2019, no phone calls please. Review of applications will begin in early April, and applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. Questions about the position can be directed to Marc Zyla at mzyla@qcso.org, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply early. References will be contacted only after an applicant has been invited to an in-person interview. Applications will be paper-screened and those exhibiting superior qualifications will be invited to an interview.


QCSO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



The QCSYE program consists of six performance groups (four youth orchestras and two youth choirs) for students in grades two through twelve. Under the direction of the outstanding QCSYE conducting staff, members have the opportunity to perform great orchestral and choral repertoire with the most talented young musicians in the area and learn from the mentorship of professional musicians from throughout the region. Ensemble members come from the greater Quad Cities, as well as other communities in southeast Iowa and northwest Illinois.


The Quad City Symphony Orchestra announces auditions for the positions listed below, click on any title for more information.

If you have any questions about auditioning for the QCSO, please email Marc Zyla, QCSO Personnel Manager.

Section Cello (1 position)

The Audition:
Date: April 4th, 2019, Noon – 4:00 PM
Location: Adler Theatre, 136 E 3rd St. Davenport, IA 52801
Position: Section Cello

Application Deadline: April 1st, 2019. 

Service Minimums: Section players must commit to no fewer than 4 of 6 Masterworks sets and at least ½ of all other “non-masterworks” sets.

Per Service: $81.12 (base scale), 35 guaranteed services
Meal Per Diem: $10.00
Hotel Reimbursement: $55.00 per night
Travel Reimbursement: $.41 per mile, $.51 if transporting additional musicians

Required Audition Excerpts:
CLICK HERE to download the audition repertoire packet.

CLICK HERE to download the 2018-2019 QCSO schedule.

Application Process:
Complete the online form below, attach your one page resume, submit the form and you will be provided a link to submit the $50 audition deposit.

QCSO Audition Application Form

  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, jpg.


Intern at the QCSO

We are always looking for unpaid interns seeking to learn in a non-profit environment.

Internships are available throughout the year. During the school year, interns must commit to at least two hours per day, once per week. When school is not in session, interns must commit to at least ten hours per week spread out over two to five days. Many of our interns work up to 20 hours per week. We do not allow unpaid interns to work more than 20 hours per week, except under a school sanctioned program. We have had interns from Augustana, St. Ambrose, Western Illinois University and other area educational institutions and, if you show genuine interest, they are happy to talk to you about their experiences.

Our interns have helped with subscriptions and ticketing, marketing flyers, a recycling initiative, advertiser and sponsor targeting, participated in the Quad City Chamber of Commerce’s Intern QC project, helped with youth music education programs, worked symphony events and helped with a variety of tasks required to surprise and delight our subscribers and ticket holders. The occasional lunches, free event tickets and lots of thanks is your reward along with solid, practical internship experience that can give you a leg up in the highly competitive job market. Many interns have also shared the benefit academically through course credits.

Are you interested? Please, email us sharing your thoughts or to learn more.

What our interns have to say…

As an accounting intern at the QCSO, I have learned what it means to be an accountant for a nonprofit organization. It’s not just about being the “money person”, it means working with all staff members in order to make the organization run more smoothly. As an intern, I have also been able to work on projects in other departments, giving me experience in working for a nonprofit as a whole. I absolutely love working for the Symphony because of the enthusiasm and encouragement that comes from all staff members. This internship has given me confidence in my passion for nonprofit work, and I plan to find a position working for a nonprofit when I graduate.

– Andrea Hult, Augustana College

As an intern at the QCSO, I have had many valuable experiences and have learned what it entails to run a non-profit organization. I have learned that a symphony is much more than the musicians and the music, and that there are many people and jobs behind the scene that makes a symphony performance and season run smoothly. I have had a chance to work in various departments and on various projects within the symphony, such as the marketing and box office departments, and learned the different aspects and jobs of these departments. I loved my time here at the symphony and love the enthusiasm, encouragement, and confidence that the staff members have in my abilities and ideas.

– Darian Auge, St. Ambrose University

I have had such a great time interning with the QCSO this past year. Music has always been a passion of mine and being able to combine that passion with my interest in non-profit organizations is amazing. I have learned much about what it takes to keep a non-profit organization running as well as many details of running a box office. I know this internship will benefit me in my future endeavors and I am very thankful for having had this opportunity.

– Paige Phelps, Augustana College


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