SSO provided health insurance plan if needed plus paid holidays and a generous PTO allottment
February 15, 2023
Executive Director Job Description – Shreveport Symphony, Inc. and Shreveport Symphony Foundation
As the only fully professional orchestra in northwest Louisiana, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is a growing, thriving and relevant cultural leader for our community and region. The Symphony employs a core orchestra of 24 musicians, plus contracted per service and extra per service musicians from the region to perform under the baton of Music Director Michael Butterman.
The SSO plays an eight concert Masterworks series each season, plus a chamber music series of four to six concerts, a classic Rock concert, a free family concert, Tiny Tots concerts in the parks, and various other special events. In addition to its regular concerts, the SSO offers an array of education and community engagement programs for children, senior citizens, and other specialized constituencies, bringing the gift of music to many thousands of community members throughout the region each year. The SSO also serves as the resident ensemble for the Shreveport Opera and the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet.
The SSO has a $1.35 million operating budget and is currently conducting a campaign to bring the endowment total to c. $2 million held by funds at the Shreveport Symphony Foundation and the Community Foundation of Northwest Louisiana. The operations of the orchestra have been “in the black” for 10 consecutive seasons, with the 11th due to conclude in 2023. Positive fundraising performance and rigorous expense controls in the COVID period have left the orchestra with a cash operating reserve which is estimated to be over $200,000 going into the 23-24 season. This reserve is meant to be a bridge to maintain operations while the earned revenue streams of the orchestra are rebuilt to pre pandemic levels and before the revenue from the newly raised endowment funds comes on line.
The SSO is a union orchestra and operates under a collective bargaining agreement with Local 116 of the AFM. This relationship has been respectful and collaborative over the last decade, and, before the pandemic, resulted in two consecutive three year agreements.
The Board of Directors consists of 28 members, plus 2 musician representatives and ex officio members including the Executive Director and the Music Director. The staff complement is currently 4.5 full time equivalents with potential for growth as the orchestra comes out of the COVID period. The SSO endeavors to create a family-friendly and flexible work environment for staff with an emphasis on productivity and results.
Position Summary The Executive Director is responsible for directing all activities of the SSO, and for the implementation of all policies, procedures and functions set forth by the Board of Directors as well as those set forth by applicable law. The Executive Director is a primary public spokesperson for the SSO, along with the Music Director.
Duties include, working in conjunction with Operations, Marketing, and Development staff members:
Operations Management and Planning • Manage and supervise staff. • Implement and oversee policies, procedures and legal workplace compliance requirements. • Organize and oversee all budgeting and financial management. • Create, develop and maintain good relationships with the musicians of the orchestra and other unions and negotiate the Collective Bargaining agreements in conjunction with the Board
Artistic Planning and Performance • Work with the Music Director to plan each season to meet artistic and financial requirements, and patron expectations to retain current patrons and develop new audiences. • Seek partnerships and/or collaborations with local groups. • Management of all aspects of concert promotion and production. • Negotiate and execute appropriate contracts with all musicians, artists, agents and vendors.
Education and Community Engagement • Develop and implement all educational programming. • Develop and maintain active relationships with K-12 and Universities. • Develop Community Engagement programs to introduce new people to symphonic music.
Organizational Development and Fundraising • Meet or exceed all fundraising goals and objectives in cooperation with the Board, staff, and others as appropriate. • Create, develop and maintain good relationships with SSO constituents such as, but not limited to: o Donors, subscribers and foundations. o Other professional and semiprofessional musicians in the area o Other local arts organizations o City and civic leaders. o Various community groups, particularly those who need to be introduced to the SSO. • Follow and communicate industry trends, new ideas and successes of other symphony orchestras that might be useful to the SSO. Act as a public face of the SSO at donor, stakeholder, and fundraising events and in media relations matters.
Concert Promotion and Earned Revenue • Meet or exceed all earned revenue goals and objectives related to ticket sales (subscribers and single tickets) and contracted performances. • Develop goals and strategies to reach and develop new audiences
Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director should have the ability to understand and embrace the SSO’s unique mission and special character and be sensitive to and supportive of the needs of its diverse constituencies including subscribers, donors, musicians, Board members, volunteers, community leaders and administrative staff. The selected individual should find the opportunity compelling to work with the Music Director to build a more visible reputation for the SSO while serving the regional needs of the community. The Executive Director will be a results-oriented leader who has a keen ability to organize and motivate people to accomplish institutional goals while creating a sense of order and strategic direction. The Executive Director must have the capacity to guide the organization through a crucial intersection where best business practices meet the community engagement and artistic quality needs of our Region. The Executive Director should be the model of integrity, fairness and have the highest ethical standards. Ingenuity, compassion, dedication, enthusiasm, humor and energy are also key attributes.
Bachelor’s degree required with focus in music or the arts and Masters’ degree preferred.
Minimum of 5 years of senior management experience in a non-profit organization, preferably in the performing arts.
The successful candidate will demonstrate a record in fundraising and experience in marketing, possess superb written and verbal communication skills, strong interpersonal skills; a leadership style marked by enthusiasm with a desire to innovate and engage with a culturally and ethnically diverse population of musicians, Board, volunteers and staff.
Since its founding in 1948, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has become Louisiana’s oldest continually operating professional orchestra and one of the most respected regional orchestras in the
United States. The SSO was formed by a handful of interested local citizens with founding Music Director, John Shenaut, and it experienced tremendous growth until his retirement in 1981. After three years under
Principal Conductor Paul Strauss, followed by Interim Music Director Marjorie Deutsch, the SSO selected Peter Leonard as its second Music Director and Conductor in 1984, who remained with the Shreveport
Symphony until 1996. Dennis Simons was selected as the SSO’s third Music Director and served from 1996 until 2003.
In August 2005, Maestro Michael Butterman was appointed the fourth Music Director in the orchestra’s 64-year history. Prior to his appointment, Butterman divided his time between Florida, New Mexico and New
York where he served as the Associate Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony, Music Director of Opera Southwest, and Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach of the Rochester Philharmonic.
Since 2011, the orchestra has had 11 consecutive season...s of balanced revenue and expense while maintaining a strong artistic product and expanding programming, has ratified two 3-year collective
bargaining agreements, and has generally regained the confidence of the community. Current Executive Director Lois Robinson is retiring at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Shreveport is the third most populous city in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively. The Shreveport–Bossier City metropolitan area, with a population of 393,406 in 2020, is the fourth largest
in Louisiana.Shreveport has a thriving arts community including, music, theater, dance, and visual arts.
Shreveport also enjoys a low cost of living, which is 8% lower than the national average overall, including housing costs that are 20% lower than the national average. Shreveport is the educational, commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex region, where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. It is the location of Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University Shreveport, Southern University at Shreveport, and Louisiana Baptist
University. Its neighboring city, Bossier City, is the location of Bossier Parish Community College. It forms part of the I-20 Cyber Corridor linking Shreveport, Bossier City, Ruston, Grambling, and Monroe to Dallas and Tyler, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia.