Position Title: Artistic Director, Virginia Children’s Chorus
Position Type: Part-time, salaried. Evening and weekend hours are required.
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: VCC office & rehearsals at Talbot Park Baptist Church, 6919 Granby St. Norfolk
Rehearsals at Providence Presbyterian Church, 5497 Providence Rd. Virginia Beach
Start Date: On or about July 1, 2022
Founded by Carol Thomas Downing in 1992, Virginia Children’s Chorus (VCC) has become a vital part of the Hampton Roads’ music community. Our primary mission is to enrich the lives of participating children through the study of the world’s great choral music and to share their love of music through community performances. We provide choral education to children in grades 1 through 12. Our curriculum follows the Kodály method of music education with repertoire chosen from a variety of styles. Students are placed in one of five levels in our four choirs, based on age and ability, through auditions. They receive weekly, academic school year training in healthy vocal technique, sight-singing, ear-training, language, diction, expression and concert decorum. VCC regularly collaborates with other children’s performing arts groups, professional, community and academic ensembles such as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Arts Festival, Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, the I. Sherman Greene Chorale, Portsmouth Public Schools and Norfolk State University.
The Virginia Children's Chorus is seeking an experienced and creative Artistic Director (AD) to lead our artistic team, to define and build the organization’s artistic identity and to facilitate excellent and innovative programming. The AD will serve as a key spokesperson for VCC, build and sustain creative community partnerships with collaborating composers, choirs, instrumental groups and guest artists and oversee, communicate with and coordinate the work of talented young singers in all four choirs. The AD leads VCC’s artistic team of 6 to 7 part-time staff, including two choir Directors, two accompanists, a rehearsal assistant / solfege teacher and also the Chorus Manager. The AD must demonstrate excellent management and communication skills including inclusive leadership and collaborative problem-solving. The AD will supervise and be in regular contact with the Artistic Staff and Chorus Manager and work closely with and be in regular contact with the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
- Organize a substantial set of responsibilities part-time.
- Manage program expenses to conform to organizational budget.
- Hold auditions for all prospective singers, ages 6-18, as scheduled in June, August and January.
- Identify and pursue appropriate performance and enrichment opportunities for students at all levels, in collaboration with the choral Directors for the Training Choir and Chamber
- Build and maintain VCC relationships with collaborating arts organizations, university and K-12 academic groups, composers and individual artists.
- Explore national and international touring and hosting opportunities for the Chorus and plan a schedule of tours with the Chamber Singers Director, Executive Director and Chorus Manager.
- In partnership with the Artistic Staff, develop and maintain the comprehensive music education curriculum for all ensembles.
- Establish and maintain regular communications with the Artistic Staff regarding repertoire, rehearsals, concert schedules and concert programs.
- Create, maintain and communicate the Accompanist schedule.
- Work collaboratively and communicate regularly with the Executive Director and Chorus Manager. Schedule in-person meetings during the Chorus season to execute operations and programs with excellence and efficiency.
- Director of the Concert Choir (2-4 part treble literature SA. SSA. SSAA; singers in grades 6-10). School year rehearsals Mondays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, Saturday rehearsals about once per month for 3 hours and preparing / conducting approximately 8 concerts per year.
- Optional Director of the Choristers (unison & 2 part SA treble literature; singers in grades 4-8) School year rehearsals Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 pm, Saturday rehearsals about once per month for 2.5 hours and preparing / conducting approximately 6 concerts per year. Chorister students have the option of attending the Tuesday or Wednesday rehearsal each week.
- For choirs directed, maintain detailed lesson plans, student progress records including graded evaluation of students’ participation & progress in solfège class, rehearsal, individual learning and weekly memory tests. Communicate with singers and parents regarding participation and progress as needed during the season and prepare interim and final Progress Reports.
- Submit concert programs to the Executive Director in advance of concerts at an agreed upon deadline and proofread program content.
- Trained singer with a bachelor’s degree in music is required; a master’s degree in choral conducting or equivalent experience is preferred.
- A minimum of five years’ experience in choral conducting and music organization leadership, with at least three years conducting a children’s/youth chorus.
- Excellent knowledge of vocal pedagogy for the child’s developing voice and the ability to communicate effectively to singers in shaping their vocal productivity. Approach to vocal pedagogy should support healthy singing for children in a variety of musical styles.
- Strong classroom management skills.
- A proven record of developing successful and long-lasting partnerships with other artists.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated ability to work successfully with a variety of constituents.
- Kodály certification is preferred but not required. Must be fluent in teaching solfège, rhythms and ear training using the Kodály moveable “do” system.
- A deep knowledge of choral music; children’s repertoire in particular.
- Proficient piano skills: at a minimum, ability to play scales and vocalises in all keys, play vocal parts.
- Applicant must be experienced and fluent in:
- SA, SSA and SSAA youth choral repertoire
- Group vocal technique: breath, posture, tone, diction, blend
- IPA and diction in foreign languages
- Conducting in various meters, styles & tempi
- Healthy vocal model (well supported head tone, excellent pitch)
- Creative movement activities in rehearsals
- Positive, encouraging & creative class room management style
- Music theory
- Sequential sight-singing curriculum using moveable “do” system (do, re, mi, etc.)
- Rhythm syllables & stick notation (ta, ta-ti, taka-tiki, etc.)
- Giving rhythmic and melodic dictation
- Comfortable with technology for video conferencing, remote instruction, sharing files, e-mail, word processing and the uses for website and social media resources.
Part-time, salaried position. Please include salary requirements in application cover letter.
Interested applicants should submit cover letter, resume, salary requirement and the following video links:
- up to three selections (no more than 15 minutes total) showing a variety of repertoire conducted by the applicant,
- a five to ten-minute video of a teaching segment, preferably in a children's chorus rehearsal setting
- a one to two-minute video explaining the applicant’s philosophy or approach to teaching children good vocal production
Application materials should be submitted by end of day on Sunday, 12/19/2021 to Grace Parkinson, Executive Director at email@example.com. Please e-mail or call (757-440-9100) Ms. Parkinson weekdays with any questions.