Post of Musical Director

Applications Invited

APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR POST OF MUSICAL DIRECTOR, ENGLISH BAROQUE CHOIR

Jeremy Jackman will be leaving us at the end of 2020, after 20 inspirational years as our Musical Director. We are looking for a successor to build on his achievements and develop a new vision for our future.

Covid-19

In view of the Covid-19 situation, the schedule of our recruitment process is subject to change. Nevertheless, we are confident that we can complete this process, so that the successful candidate will begin in January 2021. Do therefore send in your applications.

The Choir

The English Baroque Choir (EBC) was founded in 1978 and has become one of London’s finest amateur choirs with a reputation for musicality, imaginative programming and choral enthusiasm. Although the name reflects our spiritual home, we are equally at ease with music from the 15th to the 21st centuries.

Our present exciting collaborative project is ‘Lux Mundi’ by Swedish composer Fredrik Sixten, commissioned by the English Baroque Choir and the London Nordic Choir, who will jointly premiere the piece in London in May 2020 and in Stockholm in July 2020.

The choir rehearses on Monday evenings from 6.45 to 9.30 pm at St Stephen’s Church, Rochester Row. London SW1P 1LE, near Victoria, with a professional accompanist. We have about 60 members. Prospective singers undergo a short audition to ensure that they will be right for the choir. Our website gives details of concerts and other activities from the past few years, together with other information about the choir.

We organise foreign tours, which take place about every three years. These have recently included Västerås in Sweden, St Émilion in France, and Arona in the Italian Lakes.

The choir is managed by a committee, of which the Musical Director is an ex officio member.

Job Specification

The EBC’s Musical Director plays a leading role in maintaining and enhancing the musical standards of the EBC while liaising with the elected Officers and Committee.

The Musical Director will:

  • conduct EBC concerts and Singing Days, which often include professional orchestral players and soloists alongside the choir.
  • prepare, in conjunction with the repertoire committee and in consultation with the treasurer, a three-year rolling programme of concerts.
  • broaden the choir’s horizons with appropriate new challenges, but without losing sight of the need to retain a strong and committed membership and secure good attendance at our concerts.
  • maintain and enhance the choir’s performance standards and the overall quality of our events, within agreed budgets.

In preparation for each concert or event, the Musical Director will:

  • engage individual musicians, ensembles and soloists, as required, in consultation with the Committee.
  • provide input as required in a timely manner to concert programmes and publicity, and to decisions on stage management in consultation with the Concert Manager.
  • organise the rehearsal schedule to ensure that the choir is as well prepared as possible and, on concert day, that the other forces involved are effectively prepared and integrated.
  • arrange a suitable substitute in the event of any absences, planned or unplanned, including those of the regular accompanist.

The Musical Director will hold brief auditions for all potential new members. He or she will also advise as necessary on any individual vocal issues that may affect the standards achievable by the choir as a whole and be prepared to undertake re-auditions of choir members if this seems necessary.

The Musical Director will offer opportunities for choir members to audition for solo or ensemble roles when appropriate.

The Musical Director, working closely with the EBC Officers and Committee will:

  • after due consultation on dates, attend meetings of the Committee.
  • deal promptly with issues and queries raised by Committee members between meetings.

Required Experience

The Musical Director will have:

  • a strong track record of working with amateur choirs and achieving high standards of performance.
  • knowledge of a wide choral repertoire.
  • a proven track record of creative, practical and effective programming for choirs and/or other ensembles.
  • significant experience of working with orchestras/instrumentalists and vocal soloists within the London area.
  • a good network of contacts of orchestras/instrumentalists and vocal soloists within the London area.
  • experience of working with planning committees to achieve good artistic, audience and financial outcomes.

Remuneration

The Musical Director will be paid fees, at rates to be negotiated taking account of market conditions:

  • for each rehearsal undertaken (typically around 32 per year).
  • for each concert or event conducted or led.

Selection Process

The closing date for applications is 26th April 2020. They should be sent to NewMD@ebc.org.uk

Applicants should provide:

  • a CV of no more than 2 sides of A4.
  • a brief statement of why they are suitable for the role.
  • the names and contact details of two referees.
  • links to any relevant social media accounts and websites.

The EBC Committee will review all applications and select candidates for interview. The interviews are to take place in June 2020. The Committee will draw up a short list from the interviewed candidates to undertake trial rehearsals with the choir on Saturday 12th September.

After the trials the Committee will offer the Musical Director role to the preferred candidate with a view to taking up the position in January 2021.