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Executive Director of Firelands Symphony Orchestra

Firelands Symphony Orchestra
Job Description


Job Title:            Executive Director
Status:                Full time
Reports to:         Board President and Board of Directors
Supervises:        Office staff, volunteers
Overview: The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for overall, non-artistic, day-to-day management of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra (FSO) and associated divisions’ (including the FSO School of Music, FSO Chorale, and others) administrative, marketing, public relations, fundraising, planning, development, education/outreach, building/school maintenance and financial operations, and other duties as assigned. The Executive Director shall be the chief operating officer and must exercise independent judgment and discretion in performing these duties and is subject to the Board of Directors through the general supervision of the Board President. The Executive Director must establish a climate for harmonious musician-management relations. Duties may be delegated, but Executive Director remains responsible for satisfactory performance.

Supervise staff to ensure excellent office practices and procedures are followed and the office runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • Maintain personnel files and evaluate staff annually in writing.
  • Ensure all employer responsibilities are met and the organization is in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws.
  • Prepare and revise job descriptions, employee handbook, and employment policies under direction of the Governance Committee.
  • Maintain safe physical facilities, grounds, and equipment; update as needed.
  • Provide timely and appropriate response to correspondence.
  • Maintain documents according to legal or Board requirements.
  • Maintain adequate insurance (including liability and D&O insurance) to protect the orchestra’s assets/property as specified by the Board.
  • Direct personnel to ensure the organization is structured and staffed with competent people; direct recruiting, selection and placement for staff positions; implement and monitor compensation and benefit programs and procedures with the approval of the Board.
  • Use volunteer resources effectively to assist the organization in meeting its goals and to make the experience meaningful for volunteers.
  • Develop all printed materials for the organization according to timeline presented and approved by the Executive Committee.
  • Negotiate contracts with venues, vendors, promoters, stage crews, guest artists and conductors and others for goods and services.
  • Work with outside consultants as directed to help improve performance of the organization.

Board of Directors
Attend all Board meetings, and Executive Committee meetings as requested. Strive to attend other committee meetings when required and or necessary.
  • Advise the Board of Directors through a written report and participate at Board meetings.
  • Prepare an annual timeline for the orchestra and the school and present to the Board prior to the start of the new fiscal year; this timeline should include the following season’s proposed schedule, venues, and programs.
  • With the Nominating Committee, help to identify and recruit qualified candidates for Board membership; assist with new member orientation.
  • Encourage Board participation in achieving organization objectives.
  • Assist and participate in Board development activities.
  • Lead the Board and other staff members in the development of long-range plans for the ongoing growth and development of the Orchestra and its activities and programs.

  • Ensure accurate books of accounts are maintained; maintain bank accounts as directed by the Board.
  • Prepare and submit for approval annual operating budgets and operate FSO within these budget guidelines. 
  • Review and approve accounts payable and receivable.
  • Advise and keep FSO Finance Committee and Board informed about the financial condition of FSO.
  • Attend all Finance Committee meetings; with the Treasurer, prepare and present financial reports for each Board and Executive Committee meeting.
  • Develop the strategy and provide oversight of the Individual Giving program, including Annual Fund and Chair Sponsors.
  • Develop the strategy and provide oversight of the Institutional Giving program, including maintaining relationships with foundations, corporate and government grant makers, preparing grants and prospecting.
  • With assistance from the Operations Manager and Marketing Director, write thank-you letters to donors within one week of receipt of donation.
  • Develop the strategy and provide oversight of the Concert Sponsorship program including Season Sponsors.
  • Secure sponsorships for concerts with assistance from Board and others. 
  • Ensure grants are spent in accordance with grant guidelines and all reporting requirements are met.
  • Act as liaison with the Board of Directors, including facilitating Board involvement in solicitations and managing Board giving.
  • Oversee annual fundraising events (e.g., Gala).
  • Manage and upgrade as needed donor data systems and processes.
Marketing and Promotion
  • With the Marketing Director:
    • Develop and implement a marketing plan for subscription campaigns and for individual performances per approved budget.
    • Maintain positive working relationship with local media.
  • Develop and manage appropriate, effective advertising (e.g., press releases, media feature articles, community events listings) and collateral materials (e.g., program books, television spots, print ads, brochures, tickets, posters, website, etc.).
  • Actively promote Orchestra and Music Director.
  • Assist Marketing Committee and Development Committee in developing materials and strategies for fundraising and endowment fund campaigns.
  • Assure effective communication with other arts organizations, public agencies, and the general community to achieve the public service objectives of the organization; serve as liaison with community and other arts organizations. 
  • Identify, solicit, and secure advertisers with the help of the Board.
  • Support Music Director, Chorale Director, and Community Engagement Director with the planning, production and logistics of programs.
  • Negotiate contracts with guest artists, guest conductors/musicians, and technicians.
  • Attend all concerts (including rehearsals) and special events.
  • Negotiate and execute concert hall and rehearsal space leases.
  • Secure required equipment, instruments, licenses, and permits for programs.
  • Ensure rehearsals, concerts, and events are properly staffed.
  • Assist Music Director and Personnel Manager in hiring of all musicians; negotiate and execute individual contracts according to approved budget and policies set by the Board.
  • Serve as principal staff spokesperson/liaison to the orchestra for policy issues and non-artistic matters.
School of Music
  • Select and supervise the faculty; determine tuition, fees, student placement, and faculty compensation. 
  • Assist Operations Manager to communicate with students, parents and interested parties about school plans, policies, and events.
  • Communicate to the Board all educational activities and act as the primary spokesperson.
  • Plan marketing and promotion for the School of Music.
  • Keep abreast of activities and developments in the organization and advise the Board of matters which may be helpful to promote the organization’s objectives.
  • Attend League of American Orchestras conferences and workshops as approved by the Board.
  • Attend relevant non-profit and industry related workshops, seminars, and conferences as approved by the Board.
  • All other duties as directed by the Board President.

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a teammate to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions
  • All other duties as directed by the ED and / or FSO Board of Directors.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard reach, stoop, kneel and climb stairs.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer work.
  • Light to moderate lifting is required.
  • Ability to uphold the stress of traveling, including driving.
  • Regular, predictable attendance is required; including hours as business demands dictate.
  • Public speaking.
Work Environment
The work environment characteristics describe here are representative of those a teammate encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Moderate noise (i.e. business office with computers, phone and printers, light traffic).
  • Ability to work in a confined area.
  • Ability to sit at a computer terminal for an extended period.


Applicants should email .PDF copies of their resume and cover letter to Please use the following format for your email subject line:
ED Search – Firstname Lastname

In their cover letter, applications should articulate their specific interest in the position, outline relevant professional experience (including personnel management and fundraising), and describe musical experience. All questions about the position may be directed to the same email address. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. BCI and FBI background checks, drug testing, and credit checks will be conducted on all final candidates. While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted.
Contact Information