The Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is excited to announce a search for an Executive Director who will work with Artistic Director Eric Stark in guiding this nationally recognized choral organization in its continued pursuit of excellence, achievement and meaningful growth.
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is proud to be one of the nation’s most established and dynamic musical institutions, and celebrates its 81st anniversary during the 2017/2018 season. Among the most active symphonic choruses in the United States, this organization reaches in excess of 25,000 people each season with more than 25 performances and a comprehensive educational/outreach program. The approximately 200 volunteer singers demonstrate the Choir’s commitment to musical excellence through their talent and dedication during each forty-four-week season. The organization is led by a professional staff and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is the choral partner of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, appearing as collaborative artists in performances such as the Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Handel’s Messiah. In April 2018, the Symphonic Choir toured to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to present a collaborative performance of Kryzstof Penderecki’s Credo. In addition to its regular appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Choir presents a wide range of self-produced performances, including many masterpieces of the choral-orchestral repertoire in its own Sacred Masterworks series, and its highly anticipated annual holiday presentation, A Festival of Carols, with such noted guest soloists as Grammy Award winner Sylvia McNair and Tony winner Alice Ripley.
The Symphonic Choir is heard nationally through broadcast and recordings, including its nation-wide release on PBS of Festival of Carols, and the recent NAXOS release of Zabur, a work commissioned by the Symphonic Choir in 2015. Further, the Symphonic Choir supports a broad complement of community enrichment and educational activities, including its noted “In-Choir-ing Minds” discussion series, and in-classroom activities such as the lively “Hallelujah-What’s It to Ya?,” an engaging student-centered exploration of the timeless choral work, Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus.
The Symphonic Choir is grateful to receive broad community support for its operations, boasting an enviable string of sold-out performances. In 2016, the Board of Directors announced the public phase of an Endowment Campaign to support the ongoing work of the Symphonic Choir, with donations and confirmed pledges of $3.4 million toward an initial goal of $3.75 million. Equally proud to be a community partner with other Indianapolis-based arts organizations, recent collaborative partners have included the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Dance Kaleidoscope, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the American Pianists’ Association, Butler University, Clowes Memorial Hall, Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art), and the Center for Interfaith Cooperation.
The Executive Director is the full-time, senior administrator of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, responsible for planning, supervising and administering all operational functions of the Choir. The Executive Director and Artistic Director work closely together to carry out the mission of the organization and to set its strategic vision, honoring the rich legacy of the Symphonic Choir and providing for its promising future. The Executive Director is charged with personnel management, managing finances and budgeting, fundraising, communications and marketing, outreach, and strategic project management. The Executive Director is considered an organizational co-equal to the Artistic Director, providing a balance between artistic visioning and financial stability and growth. The Executive Director also works closely with the Symphonic Choir’s Board of Directors to ensure sustained overall organizational health.
Staff Management / Supervision
The Executive Director directs program operations and day-to-day staff management, including oversight of performance-related contracts and venue responsibilities. The Executive Director is responsible for execution of the Symphonic Choir’s overarching strategic plan (in partnership with Artistic Director and Board of Directors). Additionally, the Executive Director will support the staff’s role as functional liaison between the choir membership and the staff leadership (including the artistic and administrative teams). It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to hire, train, supervise, develop, and evaluate staff as needed. Current staff positions include: General Manager, Development Director, Operations Manager, Bookkeeper, Designer, Web Consultant, and interns.
Financial / Data Base Management
The Executive Director will manage the institution’s financial operations, supervising the staff Bookkeeper, and working with the Board of Directors’ Treasurer, as well as Executive and Finance Committees. Responsibilities include preparing the annual operating budget with assistance from the Board Treasurer and Finance Committee, multi-year financial strategies, efficient cash management planning and processing (i.e., timely disbursements to vendors), overseeing preparation of monthly (and any periodic) financial reports (for the Board of Directors, annual audits, and/or as required for grant/foundation submissions), annual financial reviews, timely filing of tax documents and reports.
Development / Fundraising
The Executive Director serves as the chief fundraiser for the institution, overseeing both strategy and implementation. Annual and Endowment campaigns, plus any other campaigns (capital, project-specific, planned, comprehensive) have oversight from the Executive Director. The Executive Director establishes priorities for the Development Director as primary fundraising staff person, setting direction for prospecting, research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. The Executive Director supports the activity of the Development Director by engaging other members of the staff, including the Artistic Director and the Board of Directors, as needed in the fundraising strategic planning and execution. Building relationships with corporate partners and grant/foundation funders is overseen by the Executive Director, who will support the Development Director in the engagement of others (Board, staff, singers, volunteers) whenever possible in the development cycle.
Communications / Marketing
The Executive Director manages the overall plan for internal and external communications/PR/marketing strategy and execution. This includes relationships with institutional, project-specific campaigns and events, building and maintaining relationships with media outlets, promoting concerts and audience development, and overseeing brand management. The Executive Director serves as the primary public relationships representative for the institution, and also provides strategic and effective opportunities for the Artistic Director to represent the Symphonic Choir outside of the concert hall. All print and digital communications collateral, vendors, marketing staff, messaging, design, tracking and metrics are managed by the Executive Director.
Outreach and Education
In partnership with the Artistic Director, the Executive Director creates and executes plans to ensure a systematic, values-based approach to outreach and education. In cooperation with the Artistic staff, the Executive Director will manage new, special, educational/community outreach initiatives/events, while developing year-over-year programming. The Executive Director will ensure the Symphonic Choir develops collaborative partnerships with community arts, education, and cultural organizations to advance its outreach activities; work with all members of the community, develop appropriate strategic partnerships, and seek to include members of the community's various multicultural groups and people of all ages; represent the Symphonic Choir at various community events in a manner that enhances our reputation and improves our ability to serve the cultural needs of the community.
The Executive Director provides support to best utilize the talents and resources of the Board, stimulate involvement, recruit new members, and work closely with the Board to ensure strong leadership infrastructure and long-term organization success. With the Artistic Director, serve as a member of the Board of Directors ex officio, and as a full member of the Executive Committee.
Qualifications | Skills | Education
A minimum of five years of experience with a non-profit performing arts organization is preferred, with a minimum of 3 years experience in marketing, audience development and fundraising required. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate a record of progressively increased responsibility over time.
Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and leadership skills. Professional, collaborative and team-oriented. Must possess a broad understanding/experience in concert/event management; must represent the organization in a professional manner in all public arenas; must be able to work independently with minimal supervision; must have excellent verbal and written communication skills; must be extremely detail-oriented; must be able to recruit/retain staff/volunteers; and must be able to delegate/manage responsibilities as appropriate. Knowledge of computer databases and standard software programs required.
A bachelor’s degree is required; a graduate degree in music (MM) and/or business (MBA) is strongly preferred. Recurrent arts management (i.e., Chorus Management Institute, League of American Orchestras, AFP) and development training is strongly recommended. Preference will be given to candidates with documented leadership and management experience.
Reporting structure: The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors.
Compensation is commensurate with experience and qualifications, and includes a competitive benefits package.