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Executive Director

Waterbury Symphony Orchestra

This is a Full-time position in Phoenix, AZ posted June 11, 2021.

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra is seeking a dynamic leader to expand the musical reach of the Symphony and engage a diverse and growing audience.

Founded in 1938, the Symphony’s core belief is that music education and shared cultural experiences are essential to creating communities.

During the pandemic, the Symphony has been reaching into diverse communities and exploring music genres, while building connections across Waterbury and throughout Connecticut (and even beyond).

It also offers exploratory concerts, both live and virtually, along with educational programs for children and adults.

Under the musical direction of Leif Bjaland, who has served as Music Director and Conductor of the WSO since 1994, the Symphony has assembled talented musicians across New England and the Tristate area.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.

The ED will initially develop deep understanding of the organization, its diverse community, its core programs, operations, and business objectives.

The ED will be thoroughly committed to Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s mission.

All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

Advanced degree, ideally an MBA, or MFA with at least 5 years of senior management experience; track record of effectively leading and regionally scaling a performance
– and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.

Deep understanding of music; able to converse with musicians and have a working knowledge of diverse genres of music.

Music training preferred.

Dedication to promoting and engaging diversity throughout the organization, locally and regionally to create an organization that represents equity and inclusion in all it does.

Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.

Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.

Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.

Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.

Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.

Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to performance planning.

Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.


Leadership & Management:

Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.

Actively engage and energize Waterbury Symphony Orchestra volunteers, board members, key stakeholders, including musicians, partnering organizations, and major contributors and funders.

Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for meeting to diverse goals of the organization.

Lead, coach, develop, and retain Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s staff, helping each member to grow and become an integral part of a highly functioning team.

Prepare annual budget for review by the Board of Directors.

Monitor and manage budget and cash flow and ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place.

Oversee and manage compliance and reporting for all aspects of the organization.

Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, forward strategic planning objectives and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.

Expand local and extended revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and grow innovative and diverse programming.

Maintain existing major donors support and significantly grow financial support from both major donors, regional funders and potentially legacy support.

Support and mentor board members in the process of building relationships with significant donors.

Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to virtual and streaming options with the goal of creating a stronger brand.

Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.

Planning & Artistic Development:

Working collaboratively with the Music Director and others, design and innovate ways to bring the musical experience to more diverse populations and multiple generations.

This should include different performance opportunities and venues, along with music education.

Grow and develop virtual and place-based music education programs, particularly focused on children, adults and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

Evaluate new venues both physically and virtually as a way of growing new audiences.

Ensure the smooth and consistent flow of all musical productions so that each produces a quality experience for all audiences.

Begin to build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders, and community leaders locally and throughout the region.

Be an external local, and regional presence that publishes and promotes program results with an emphasis on the successes of the local and regional program as models for future growth.

Position Overview: Bravo Waterbury, the largest educational initiative of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, is seeking an enthusiastic and well-rounded Teaching Artist for its Musicianship Class, at the Children’s Community School.

This grant-funded position is an integral component of the Bravo program and is key to the Symphony’s ongoing partnership with the Children’s Community School.

This versatile individual is responsible for successfully developing and implementing a program centered around fundamentals of music history, theory, and appreciation, for students in grades K through 7.

The Musicianship Teaching Artist should be enthusiastic about youth development, and comfortable working with students of all ages.

Classes should be fun, interactive, and engaging, helping students to gain a strong musical foundation, while fostering creativity and self-expression.


On a weekly basis, teach two (2) forty (40) minute classes per grade level, grades K-7, fundamentals of music history, appreciation, and theory.

Flexible schedule, with potential for additional classes/hours as part of Bravo’s after-school program.

Develop focused lesson plans to effectively deliver both in-person and virtual programs

Identify best-practice resources and materials to enhance student learning

Through lesson planning, develop goals for students, motivate student growth, and track student progress

Cultivate and maintain a positive and structured classroom environment, with strict adherence to personal hygiene and social distancing guidelines.

Requirements and Qualifications:

Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, with priority consideration given to applicants with a degree or concentration in Music Education.

Additional preference will be given to candidates with relevant experience and/or graduate-level studies.

Music education teaching certification a plus, but not required for this position.

Strong written and oral communication skills

Strong interpersonal skills.

Candidate should be a team player, able to get along and work well with others.

This includes regular interaction with school and program administration.

Demonstrated ability to cultivate strong relationships with students and parents/guardians. 

Highly organized, with ability to track and monitor student progress, and report grades at the conclusion of each semester.

Technical proficiency for both in-person and virtual learning environments

Preference will be given to candidates with basic piano/keyboard proficiency.

Proficiency with other instruments considered a plus.

Prior experience with Orff, Kodaly, or Dalcroze is encouraged, but not required

Willingness to participate in relevant professional development activities offered by the Bravo program and/or Children’s Community School

Location: Children’s Community School, 31 Wolcott St, Waterbury, CT 06702.

Additional duties as needed at event/concert and meeting locations off-site, including but not limited to the WSO Administrative Office, 160 Robbins Street, Waterbury, CT 06708.
Compensation: This is a part-time, independent contractor role, and is compensated on an hourly basis.
To Apply: To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three references to , with “Bravo Musicianship’ in the email subject line.

Please include teaching philosophy in the context of your cover letter.

Any offers for this position would be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Regular and Substitute Teaching Arti