The Georgia Symphony Orchestra (GSO) has engaged its audiences through imaginative programming, visionary leadership, and critically acclaimed performances for more than 70 years. A dynamic and multi-faceted organization, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra is comprised of a professional symphony orchestra, a large community chorus, a dynamic jazz ensemble, and multiple youth orchestras aligned by a single mission: to enrich the community through accessible, high-quality musical and educational experiences that instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts. The 2022/2023 season features more than thirty performances presented by nearly 500 professional and student musicians. Founded in 1951 as The Marietta Music Club, then the Cobb Symphony Orchestra, the organization was renamed the Georgia Symphony Orchestra in 2011 to reflect its significant growth and influence throughout the southeast.
Led by Music Director Timothy Verville, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra is the organization’s flagship ensemble. This season, the GSO will present five program pairs at the Marietta Performing Arts Center and the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center including two sensory friendly programs designed for those with sensory sensitivities and their families, which give audience members the ability to fully experience orchestral music without any of the constraints of a standard performance. The Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus joins the Orchestra for its annual holiday pops program as well as a program comprised of works written by renowned African American composers featuring cellist and songwriter Okorie “OkCello” Johnson. The GSO serves more than 17,000 audience members annually from Marietta, Kennesaw, East Cobb, and the greater Atlanta metropolitan area.
Founded in 2007 and led by director Bryan Black, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus performs symphonic work, pops programs, and independent choral concerts. Comprised of accomplished vocalists from throughout the region, partners include the Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers at Zion Baptist Church, the Morehouse College Glee Club, the Spelman College Glee Club, and the Georgia Spiritual Ensemble.
Led by Sam Skelton, GSO Jazz! is dedicated to bringing new and traditional multi-genre jazz music alive with performances at the Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre. The 2022/2023 season includes a night of samba as well as performances exploring the music of the internationally-acclaimed rock band Radiohead.
The Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2006 and is the largest youth orchestra program in the southeast. Today the GYSO includes five orchestras, a jazz ensemble, a percussion ensemble, chamber music ensembles, and a youth chorus. The GYSO performs independent concerts as part of the GSO’s robust education and community engagement programming.
Through an exciting educational partnership with Marietta City schools, GSO professional musicians teach and mentor students and provide enhanced music educational and performance opportunities to students in the Title 1 Marietta City school system. Last year, the GSO created a Women’s Conductor Fellowship Program, partnering with Girls Who Conduct. It is designed to support the development of aspiring women, women-identifying, and non-binary conductors through mentorship, shadowing, training, and practical conducting opportunities.
The Georgia Symphony Orchestra is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors and has a staff of five and an artistic leadership team of eleven. The GSO’s operating budget for the 2022-23 Season is $850,000.
The next Executive Director of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra will have the opportunity to inspire, guide, and lead a multi-faceted performing arts and music education organization poised for success. They will take the helm of a well-established and beloved orchestra and chorus and help secure its sustainability for many years to come. The Executive Director will lead the largest youth orchestra program in the southeast ensuring that students and audiences of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to fall in love with the performing arts. The Executive Director will work with a talented and inspiring Music Director and a dedicated Board of Directors who are committed to ensuring that the Georgia Symphony Orchestra is a vital part of civic and cultural life in the region.
Established in 1834, Marietta is located along the dramatic backdrops of the Chattahoochee River and the historic foothills of Kennesaw Mountain, just twenty miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. Known for its natural beauty, hiking trails, affordable real estate, historic museums, and vibrant cultural life, Marietta is the seat of Cobb County, Georgia’s third-largest county with more than 750,000 residents. Described as both quaint and modern, Marietta enjoys a growing business industry, sports venues, shopping and nightlife, and a strong public school system; major employers include the Cobb County School District, Lockheed Martin, and WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Home to five historic districts and two Nationally Registered Historic Landmarks, Marietta embraces its future as a vibrant and charming Southern city with contemporary, world-class amenities.
The Executive Director is the chief administrative officer of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and reports to the Board of Directors. In collaboration with the Board and the Music Director, the Executive Director provides leadership that allows the GSO to realize its vision, fulfill its mission, and achieve its goals for artistic success, financial stability, and community engagement. The Executive Director is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the GSO’s operations, including: fundraising; financial management, marketing and public relations; audience growth and development; artistic administration; concert production; human resources; education programs and activities; and community engagement.
Working with the Board and the Music Director, the Executive Director develops mid-range and long-range strategic and operating plans. The Executive Director oversees the preparation of the annual budget for submission to the Board and maintains a system of internal controls. The Executive Director monitors the budget and regularly provides the Board with updates and forecasts of year-end financial results.
The Executive Director works in partnership with the Board, the Music Director, and other artistic leadership in developing artistic plans and schedules. The Executive Director oversees the contracting of guest artists, guest conductors, and performances venues. In collaboration with the Music Director, the Executive Director maintains an environment that fosters creativity and allows all artists – professional, volunteer, and youth – to do their best work. The Executive Director leads, motivates, and evaluates the GSO’s administrative staff and provides guidance and support to those who serve the orchestra, chorus, and youth program as volunteers.
The Executive Director takes a leadership role in fundraising, including donor cultivation and solicitation, developing corporate sponsorships, and maximizing contributed income from all sources. The Executive Director provides impetus and support to the fundraising efforts of the Board and ensures excellent stewardship of all gifts. The Executive Director develops effective marketing strategies to strengthen brand recognition, reach new audiences, and meet or exceed goals for earned revenues. The Executive Director works to expand and improve community engagement programs.
The Executive Director serves as the public spokesperson for the GSO and maintains positive working relationships with civic leaders, governmental agencies, and other area cultural organizations. The Executive Director cultivates meaningful partnerships with other organizations and their leadership in a spirit of collaboration. The Executive Director maintains regular communication with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Board and assists the Board in identifying and recruiting potential new members. The Executive Director is a passionate advocate for music and music education throughout the greater Atlanta metropolitan area.
The successful candidate will be a leader who combines a passion for orchestras with a thorough working knowledge of symphony orchestras and the music they play. The candidate will fully embrace the vision, mission, and values of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Prior leadership experience with a professional orchestra will be considered an asset.
The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with the ability to inspire and align all stakeholders around an exciting vision for the organization’s growth and development. The candidate will demonstrate a strong personal commitment to the principals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. The candidate will have demonstrated skills in fundraising, donor cultivation, and working with a board. The candidate will have the skills necessary to achieve earned and contributed income goals and balanced budgets.
The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic and supportive partner with the Music Director. The candidate will be able to work effectively with orchestra musicians and other creative artists. The candidate will also have a strong interest in arts education programs for both children and adults.
The successful candidate will have strong communication skills and will serve as an effective spokesperson and visible representative of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. The successful candidate will have demonstrated skills for building and retaining concert audiences. The candidate will have knowledge of marketing, both in traditional and digital media. The candidate will be tech-savvy and understand how to make effective use of social media.
The successful candidate will have the ability to multi-task and manage competing priorities with grace. The candidate will be a thoughtful leader and manager with an eye for detail. The candidate will be a collaborator and consensus-builder who is enthusiastic about fostering relationships both in the workplace and in the community.
The successful candidate will be a person of integrity and high ethical standards. The candidate will be creative, curious, flexible, resilient, and personable. The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to reside in Marietta and be an active part of the community.
The salary range for this position is $70,000 – $75,000 annually and is commensurate with qualifications and experience. A stipend for health insurance is provided.
The Georgia Symphony Orchestra is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all facets of the organization and welcomes recommendations, nominations, and applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin.
Please prepare a cover letter that describes your specific interest in the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and outlines your qualifications for the position. Please submit with a resume, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.
Formed in 1998, the Catherine French Group works with symphony orchestras, opera companies, performing arts presenters, music festivals, schools of music, and other music and arts organizations as they recruit chief executives, senior management, and artistic personnel. The Catherine French Group is based in Washington, DC. Catherine French is founder and principal. Musician, administrator, and educator Christopher Wingert joined CFG in 2005 and is Managing Director. Henry Fogel, former CEO of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and former Dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, collaborates on projects that have a special focus on music directors and artistic directors.