Friday, 02 December 2016 21:08

Executive Director, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Additional Info

  • Opportunity Title: Executive Director, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
  • Organization-Sponsor: Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
  • Deadline: Until Filled
  • Location (if applicable): Chicago, IL
  • Description of Opportunity:

    With a rich history dating to 1946, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) provides one of the finest and most comprehensive classical music training and education programs in the country for children ages six to 18. Its mission is to inspire and cultivate personal excellence through music. Now in its 70 th season, CYSO serves nearly 600 children from approximately 170 zip codes in Illinois and northwest Indiana, works with leading artists like Ben Folds and Yo-Yo Ma, and regularly engages in unique artistic collaborations which have included joint performances with My Morning Jacket at Lollapalooza and with Blue Man Group at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.


    CYSO is comprised of four full orchestras (Symphony, Philharmonic, Concert, and Debut), three string orchestras (Accelerando, Preparatory, and Overture), multiple steel orchestras, the recently established Jazz Orchestra, and various supplemental programs, including chamber music ensembles and a composition seminar. The CYSO student profile reflects the economic, social, and ethnic diversity of Chicago, with more than 53 percent of its musicians being of multicultural descent and 25 percent receiving financial assistance. Collectively, CYSO students receive nearly 45,000 hours of instruction annually from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, tour internationally to Europe, Asia, and South America, and share their passion for music through the CYSO’s community engagement program, which includes the brand new neighborhood Steel Band program beginning in fall 2016.


    The executive director (ED) will be responsible for all areas of organizational management, strategic business planning, and development in support of CYSO’s mission. The ED will be a collaborative and forward-looking individual who will work in tandem with CYSO’s music director to identify new partnerships and training opportunities to further develop the talent and enhance the educational experience of CYSO musicians. Reporting directly to the board of directors, the ED will be CYSO’s chief advocate, networker, and ambassador, cultivating new donor relationships and enhancing the organization’s profile and visibility throughout the community.


    Qualified applicants will have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, and a minimum of seven to ten years of progressively responsible senior management experience in a nonprofit music, performing arts, or arts education organization. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of securing major gifts from individual donors and corporate sponsors and will be creative and entrepreneurial with strong strategic planning skills. This individual will demonstrate excellent budgeting, people management, and organizational skills. A strong working knowledge of music, experience with concert production, electronic media, touring, mentoring young musicians, and recruiting and cultivating volunteer leadership is highly desirable.

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