Halesowen Orchestra is seeking a new Music Director to take up the baton in April 2024.

Founded in 1986, the Halesowen Orchestra is made up of 40 musicians who rehearse weekly on Mondays, at The Salvation Army Church & Community Hub, Meredith Street, Cradley Heath, West Midlands B64 5EP.

The orchestra performs three concerts during the academic year (December, March/April and July) exploring and performing the full breadth of classical music, ranging from Haydn to Harry Potter. Recent soloists, who have performed concertos, with us include Charlotte Moseley (violin), Philip Handy (cello) and James Girling (guitar).

The musical direction of the orchestra is undertaken by a professional conductor working in conjunction with the leader and the committee (consisting of the charity Trustees), elected by members of the orchestra. The Musical Director reports to the Chair, who acts on behalf of the committee. New members are not auditioned; the entry requirement for Halesowen is to have a passion and enthusiasm for music, and to enjoy being here! The orchestra holds end-of-term social events.

The Musical Director’s key responsibilities are:

– To conduct three concerts a year, attending weekly rehearsals [term time only] and provide a suitable replacement where necessary
– To provide a rehearsal schedule for concert series
– To collaborate with the committee on preparation of annual programmes for the orchestra, ensuring that music strikes the balance between being accessible and engaging for the group
– To advise on the selection of soloists for the orchestra and professional coaches for the sectional rehearsals
– To attend committee meetings when invited and to provide advice and recommendations for the orchestra
– To attend the orchestra’s AGM and any other special meetings that may be called, and to respond appropriately to issues raised by members

The ideal candidate would possess:

– Enthusiasm and talent to inspire and nurture an orchestra with players of varying standards who relish the opportunity to perform exciting and challenging repertoire
– Great inter-personal skills to make rehearsals not only effective, but a rewarding and enjoyable experience
– Extensive knowledge of the orchestral repertoire, able to identify the right music to suit the needs of the orchestra and audience

Terms and Conditions

The successful candidate will be appointed on a self-employed basis. Remuneration will initially be at the rate of £70 per rehearsal (7:45 to 9:45pm) and £200 per concert performance, to include a rehearsal on the same day. These rates are reviewed annually.

The appointment will be will be made for an initial period of 1 year, during which time it may be terminated by either party with six weeks’ notice. Thereafter, the appointment will be renewed year on year, following an annual review with the committee. From this point forward, a notice period from either party must be given 3 months prior to termination of contract.

Selection Process

For further information, or for an informal chat before applying, please contact Phil Worsley (acting Chairperson) at philipworsley@yahoo.com.

Interested candidates should submit the following to Kathryn Swindells (Secretary) at secretary@halesowenorchestra.co.uk:

– A covering letter of less than 400 words explaining why they are ideal to lead the Halesowen Orchestra through their next phase of orchestral manoeuvres
– A current CV, including names and contact details of two referees, one of whom should be a member of an orchestra recently conducted by the applicant
– Two suggested concert programmes for the orchestra, for December 2024 and our next family concert (spring 2025), which is not restricted to mainstream classical music
– Brief details of any public concerts they will be conducting during the appointment period (January – March 2024)
– Any social media handles that may be relevant and showcase the applicant’s abilities to perform as a Musical Director

Closing date for applications is Monday 15th January 2024.

Selected applicants will be invited to an initial formal interview via Zoom.

Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to rehearse with the orchestra on either 19th or 26th February 2024, for about 30 minutes.

All candidates will be informed of the orchestra’s decision as soon as possible.

It is intended that our new Musical Director will be appointed in time for them to lead the orchestra through the Summer concert.