Work at the QCSO

QCSYE Music Director/QCSO Assistant Conductor

The QCSO Association announces the following full time, artistic opening:



The Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Music Director and Quad City Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor (QCSYE MD/QCSO AC) is a combined permanent full time exempt position.

As QCSYE MD, s/he is responsible for the artistic operation and development of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles (QCSYE). S/he is the QCSYE primary conductor and will conduct the Youth Symphony Orchestras (YSO) and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO). S/he exercises authority in all artistic matters according to the advice and guidelines of the Education Committee (EduC), QCSO Music Director (MD), Executive Director (ED), Director of Education & Community Engagement (DECE) and QCSYE General Manager (GM) including repertoire selection, auditions, rehearsals, competitions, and selection of players and guest artists. As QCSO AC, s/he is responsible for preparing and conducting the orchestra in concerts of every type as necessary. S/he will assist in programming, guest artist selection, and auditions if needed. S/he will cover for Music Director and guest conductors in all QCSO orchestra concerts.

The QCSYE MD/QCSO AC will report jointly to the MD (artistic) and ED (administrative) and s/he will serve as artistic liaison with educational institutions and community groups to promote constructive working partnerships to further the mission of the QCSO and QCSYE.



Musical Requirements

• The QCSYE Music Director must have proven success as a conductor and music educator; have extensive knowledge of orchestral literature at all levels; know the "standard repertoire" from an interpretive aspect; have intimate knowledge of the technical and musical problems the players will encounter in specific pieces; have some knowledge of arrangements and transcriptions that are available for younger orchestras; perform or have performed at a high level (professional preferred) on an instrument; have a good understanding of orchestral bowings and similar techniques with all other instruments.

Artistic Responsibilities

• Collaborate with the EduC, MD, ED, DECE, and GM 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 rehearsals, performances, and special events of the YSO and YPO. Requested absences may be approved by MD and ED in coordination with GM.
• Select works to be performed taking into account the level of difficulty for the YSO and YPO. Oversee repertoire selection for all ensembles. Stay abreast of repertoire appropriate for youth instrumentalists; determine level of difficulty for different groups; ensure effective use of all orchestra players.
• Determine the individual rehearsal schedule required for the YSO and YPO within the season schedule in collaboration with the DECE and GM.
• Oversee and direct the audition process for all new and returning students establishing musical criteria. Select and approve players. For YSO and YPO specifically, select principal players, determine the process for seating auditions and seating placements within each section, and prepare seating charts.
• Publicize any applicable QCSYE competitions and advise the GM and DECE. Publicize outside competitions available to QCSYE members.
• Determine the stage setup to present the QCSYE at its best acoustically and visually.
• Supervise the work of the QCSYE staff conductors. Exercise leadership in developing the total artistic quality of the QCSYE.
• Oversee the selection and hiring of coaches, clinicians, judges and guest artists as approved in QCSYEs season budget.
• Train conductors and sectional coaches to ensure consistency and professionalism at each rehearsal.
• Select staff conductors, sectional coaches and judges for auditions and competitions in consultation with the DECE and GM.


• Oversee the maintenance the QCSYE music library in collaboration with the GM and QCSO Librarian.
• Oversee the purchase or rental of required musical scores; ensure that all bowings and markings are clear and consistent for all ensembles.
• Make requests to the QCSYE General Manager and QCSO Librarian for music purchases or rentals, clearing in advance any transaction outside of approved budget.

Concert Production

• Arrange and participate in extra rehearsals as needed.
• Provide repertoire listing to GM and Education Committee no later than four weeks prior to the concert for printed programs.
• Ensure that all required equipment including, lists of chairs and stands required for rehearsals and performances is arranged ahead of time with the GM.


Public Relations

• Nurture and maintain communication with area orchestra and band teachers serving as the orchestra's artistic liaison to the schools; develop a collaborative working relationship.
• Actively recruit new members for QCSYEs by distributing brochures and serving as a guest clinician in area schools as your schedule permits.
• Provide input to the EduC, ED, DECE, and GM on the marketing plan.
• Help the organization develop and maintain a positive image in the community and beyond.
• Play a visible and active role in the community; promote the QCSYE by being available for public appearances.
• Willingly work with the QCSO Board of Trustees, Volunteers for Symphony and QCSO on special events and fundraising activities.


• Assist the EduC, DECE, GM, and ED in fund raising activities, including annual fund drive, corporate sponsorships, special events, endowment campaigns, planned giving program, and identification and cultivation of donors as needed and is QCSYE appropriate.

• Make recommendations to the ED and DECE concerning the annual budget in areas of responsibility.

General Responsibilities

• Communicate in a timely, complete and consistent manner.
• Assure clear and timely communication with orchestra members and parents regarding schedules, as well as expectations regarding attendance, participation, rehearsals, behavior and other appropriate rules and orchestra practices.
• Stay abreast of artistic activities in the orchestra field, youth orchestra field, and music education field; recommend to the EduC, ED, DECE, and GM new activities that may advance the orchestra's objectives.
• Assist in creation and support 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 and compensating him/her directly.
• Serve as ex-officio, non-voting member of the EduC, attend meeting and provide the MD’s report on the artistic activities of the orchestras.
• 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 anti-discrimination.
• Working with the EduC, ED, DECE, and GM, see that the educational mission of the organization’s strategic direction is effectively executed through the successful operations of the QCSYE.
• Monitor progress on the organization’s strategic direction on a regular basis and provide input to the ED, DECE, and GM on areas relevant to QCSYE. • be willing to make a large commitment to this program. The season is roughly 30-32 weeks of rehearsals and concerts from August through early May. The QCSYE Music Director should be willing to commit to the program for a considerable period of time, so that it can continue without disruption and make the Quad Cities her/his primary residence.
• believe in the value of a youth orchestra program like that of the QCSYE and articulate the importance of the "feeder'' orchestras.
• possess leadership and management skills that will enable him/her to:
1. recruit, interview and make recommendations concerning staff
2. organize a plan and allocate time and space for rehearsals
3. review and approve music for purchase and for programming for all groups
4. meet with conducting staff periodically, individually or in groups, to ensure consistency in musical expectations for all groups

Personal Characteristics

The QCSYE Music Director must be enthusiastic and possess the high energy level necessary for working effectively with vital, active music 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. The QCSYE Music Director must:

1. be able to communicate effectively with students, parents, the public and the press on matters relating to the QCSYE.

2. Writes thank-you notes and student recommendations as appropriate.



Musical Requirements

• Advise the staff on musical matters in the absence of the QCSO Music Director (MD). Informs MD of orchestra performance particulars in absence of the music director.

• Program in agreement with the MD and conduct rehearsals and performances of special concerts as requested subject to the needs of the Association.

• Assist MD in rehearsal planning and occasionally conduct during rehearsal. Assist in assessing balances during rehearsals and concerts. Prepare complete score to performance level. Attend all rehearsals and performances for all QCSO performances except when excused by MD. Cover conductors for all QCSO services.

• Promote the Association through personal contacts, speaking engagements and radio interviews.

• Keep track of MD’s preferred performances for rebroadcast of WVIK and other media, listening for performance errors and recommends choice in collaboration with MD.

• Participate in all pre-concert talks as requested.

• Conduct rehearsals and performances of non-subscription concerts including, but not limited to, Riverfront Pops, Family Concerts, and any others, arranges, writes scripts and prepares special effects, as needed.

• At the determination of the MD, may be invited to conduct part or all of a QCSO Masterworks Concert.

• Work with the QCSO Orchestra Personnel Manager to ensure efficient and professional rehearsals and concerts adhering to the CBA.


Planning and Strategy

• Working with the EduC, ED, and DECE, see that the Educational and Community Engagement components of the organization's strategic plan are effectively executed.

• Monitor progress on the organization's strategic plan on a regular basis and provide input to the ED and DECE on areas relevant to education and community engagement.

• In accordance with the organization's strategic plan, work with the DECE on community engagement activities that serve to deepen engagement with existing stakeholders and build new relationships with individuals and organizations.

• Participate in regular evaluation of ongoing engagement efforts and improve upon them as needed.

• Engage the community in the life of the orchestra.

• Participate in the development of bold, concrete plans that will allow the QCSOA to emerge as a regional and national leader in the areas of community engagement.


Education Programs

• Participate in the planning and implementation of all aspects of the Association’s education and outreach programs, including youth concerts, lecture-demonstrations, family concerts, school concerts, adult education, and volunteer programs. Assess effectiveness of each activity.

• Use creativity and innovation in developing new programs that attempt to incorporate current educational and technological initiatives and cultivate new community partnerships.

• Assist the EduC in working in conjunction with schools and other partners to develop all materials used in teacher training, musician training, volunteer training, and student preparation for education programs.

• Participate in the marketing of all educational programs, including brochures, newsletters, flyers, and advertisements as necessary.

• Cultivate and maintain professional relationships with the local school district, community colleges, and other educational/civic institutions. Act as a spokesperson for the Association in education matters.

• Occasionally report to the Board of Trustees and Volunteers for Symphony on the progress of all education programs; provide other reports and public communications as requested.



• This position requires excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to relate to a diverse population, and the ability and willingness to model the mission and high standard of behavior of QCSO.
• Must be able to handle multiple projects with a strong attention to detail.
• Bachelor’s Degree in Music required, Master’s Degree in Music preferred.
• 3 years of job experience in supervising artistic music projects as a conductor preferred.
• Excellent computer skills and ability to learn new technology.
• 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.


COMPENSATION: Compensation for this permanent full time exempt position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include paid time off, health insurance, and retirement savings option.

START DATE: January 2, 2019


Please send a letter of intent and resume with three references* via email to:

Brian Baxter, Executive Director,

No phone calls please.

*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 as semi-finalists to a SKYPE interview. SKYPE interviews will take place between July 30 and August 14, 2018. Finalists will be selected from among this pool of semi-finalists and will be invited to an in-person finalist day of events in the Quad Cities. This day will include an interview, podium time in front of YSO and YPO, a chance to meet constituents, and the opportunity to experience the community. The in-person finalist dates will be Sunday, September 23, 2018 and Sunday, October 7, 2018.

QCSO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the job description.