Alaska Youth Orchestras (AYO) seeks a skilled Music Director who will work in partnership with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to continue AYO’s legacy of providing high-quality music education and performance to the youth of Southcentral Alaska and beyond. The next Music Director has the opportunity to contribute to the growth and expansion of a successful, long-term arts education organization that is a vital part of the Anchorage arts community and the Alaska music community. The ideal candidate will have significant experience as a conductor leading a full orchestra and as a music educator. Candidates must have a proven ability to exercise leadership in developing the artistic quality of an orchestra. They must also be skilled at inspiring and guiding youth musicians as they advance their music education and performance abilities.
The Music Director is the artistic supervisor of the Alaska Youth Orchestras (AYO), charged with the primary responsibility for the following: training and artistic development of all AYO programs, conducting the Anchorage Youth Symphony (AYS) at rehearsals and performances, supervising and advising any additional conductors hired by the AYO, engaging additional qualified individuals needed to assist in training, selecting music to be performed by AYS, and audition, selecting, and seating musicians.
In addition, the Music Director is responsible for developing and executing a recruitment program, maintaining effective relationships with school and private music instructors, and carrying out public relations activities on behalf of the organization under the direction of the AYO Executive Director.
The Music Director reports to the Board of Directors, works closely with the Executive Director, and serves as an artistic advisor to the Board and its committees. The Music Director carries out all duties and responsibilities in a manner consistent with the policies, procedures, goals, and objectives established by the AYO Board of Directors
Select repertoire, programming, and productions of AYS, including regular season performances and oversee and assist the same for other music programs of the organization.
Participate in the board’s Artistic Committee.
Conduct all rehearsals and concerts of AYS as agreed.
Work with Executive Director and Operations Coordinator to ensure that rehearsals and concerts are effectively managed.
Work jointly with other staff to address the conduct and behavior challenges of musicians.
Oversee seating of AYS and provide final seating authority for AYS.
Select and oversee AYS coaches as needed; make changes to use of resources based on budget approval made each June.
Ensure that the AYS repertoire is available to performers in a timely fashion with correct bowings and markings.
Oversee the annual concerto competition(s) and engage and oversee the judges of all musical competitions.
Work with the Executive Director to select guest soloists (as allowed by our annual budget and assist with coordination of guest artist logistics.
Work with Executive Director and Board Chair to set the annual calendar for AYO, including rehearsals, Board, and staff meetings.
Collaborate with the Executive Director and Board of Directors on long-range artistic plans.
Other duties as assigned in Agreement with the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
Assists the Executive Director as liaison with schools and community music educators to develop a collaborative working relationship.
Assists the Executive Director in playing a visible and active role in the community; helps develop the overall public image of AYO in the community and beyond.
Assists in the general promotion of AYO by being available for public appearances
Stays abreast of artistic activities in the orchestra field; recommends to the Executive Director new activities that may advance AYO's objectives.
Assist in the development and implementation of a recruitment program in the local community through public schools and their music instructors.
Serve as the orchestra's artistic liaison with community music professionals and develop a collaborative working relationship.
Play a visible and active role in the community while helping develop the overall public image of the orchestra in the community and beyond.
Strengthen the organizational culture by working with Board members, parents, and other volunteers on special projects.
Attend Board meetings and provide reports on artistic activities as needed.
Stay abreast of artistic activities in the orchestra field; recommend to the Board new activities that may advance the Board's objectives.
Other duties as assigned in Agreement with the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
Cover Letter, discussing why you feel you are the right person for this position.
YouTube Video Links, showing a minimum of five minutes of your active conducting with your conducting completely visible.
For questions, contact Christine Brown, Wilson Albers HR Services Partner at the email listed above. Communications will be treated in confidence and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply quickly. Resume review begins immediately.
Alaska Youth Orchestras will consider all qualified applicants equally without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Alaska Youth Orchestras is especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to grow to our commitment to engagement and inclusion with culturally diverse audiences.
Additional Salary Information: AYO is a small budget youth symphony. It is expected that the contracted music director would have other income sources to achieve a livable income.
About Alaska Youth Orchestras, the home of the Anchorage Youth Symphony
Alaska Youth Orchestras, the home of the Anchorage Youth Symphony, is located in Anchorage, Alaska, where for more than 50 years it has been the only fully orchestral music education and performance organization working with youth ages 13-21.
Founded in 1963 under the Anchorage Borough School District by Frank Pinkerton, an Eastman School of Music graduate, the effort evolved into what was call the Anchorage Youth Symphony (AYS) in 1966. As conductor, Pinkerton oversaw the expansion of opportunities to perform throughout the state, and the Youth Symphony’s reputation grew steadily. Dewey Ehling replaced Frank Pinkerton as music director of both the Anchorage School District and the youth symphony and the Organization was granted 501c3 nonprofit status in 1982. Until his retirement in 1986, Ehling expanded the touring schedule, traveling and performing nationally and internationally.
In 1986 and 1987 Linn Weeda led the orchestra, followed by John Duff in 1988. During Duff’s tenure the orchestra toured Scotland. In 1991 Russell Guyver succeeded Duff, instituting a series of retreats to encourage the social interaction of members, as well as concerts in the Matanuska-Susitna va...lley.
Linn Weeda was again engaged as the Music Director in 1992 and will continue in that position until his retirement in June 2021. Born and raised in Alaska, Linn Weeda received his Masters degree at Boston University. Weeda has led the youth symphony on tour to a variety of locations in the United States as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. In recent years, he has expanded the orchestra’s program to include coaching by local professional musicians, many who were in the youth symphony as young players. Other activities under Weeda have included an annual recording project, a chamber music series, the formation of the Anchorage Youth Philharmonic, an alumni association, scholarships, and extensive touring.
Members of the orchestras are chosen each year during auditions in the spring, and are drawn from every public, private, and home school in the area as well as from the Matanuska-Susitna valley. In previous years, students have flown in from Kodiak, Homer, and Kenai to rehearse and perform with the orchestras. The name “Alaska Youth Orchestras” was adopted in 2012 as a way to describe the organization’s reach throughout the great state of Alaska. In the fall of 2020, the organization established a new virtual program called Alaska Virtual Symphony (AVS) with funding support of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services for the purpose of building community wellness and mental health through music education and performance. Open to all ages, instruments, and abilities; AVS has participants from Ketchikan to Unalakleet, ages 6-86, from beginner to advanced.
Alaska Youth Orchestras is committed to a vision of creating a community where music education and performance are valued and shared through the mission of building musicianship, inspiring youth to love music, offering enriching opportunities for music performance, and creating a musical legacy that will sustain arts throughout the lives of our members and our communities.