Music Director

Pacific Edge Voices
Berkeley, CA
Type of Position: 
Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 1, 2019


In the 2019-20 season, Pacific Edge Voices will celebrate its 40th anniversary, while seeking to identify the third Music Director since its founding to lead the chorus starting in the 2020-21 season.  The candidate should be prepared to engage a skilled amateur ensemble with a hunger for learning and performing diverse and challenging repertoire. We are seeking a skilled conductor and singer who can lead the vocal development of the ensemble, both technically and artistically. The ideal candidate will bring new strengths and vision to the ensemble that will build upon a legacy of peak experiences and uncommon programming for the group and its audience. We seek a dynamic personal leadership style that is both demanding and positive. 


About PEV                             

Founded in 1980 as Pacific Mozart Ensemble (PME), Pacific Edge Voices (PEV) is a chamber-sized chorus that attracts highly skilled volunteer singers with strong and diverse artistic backgrounds. This auditioned chorus has toured in the U.S. and internationally, performing in Carnegie Hall, Cuba and Europe. Collaborations with well-known artists have included Dave Brubeck, Bobby McFerrin, Sufjan Stevens, Meredith Monk, and a traditional Persian ensemble for the world premiere of Omid Zoufonoun’s ground-breaking composition Shoor-e Mastaan. Their recordings include a Grammy-nominated recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Masswith Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin (Harmonia Mundi, 2006).  

In 2014, the group changed its name to Pacific Edge Voices to reflect the chorus’s distinct and longstanding practice of performing multiple musical genres across each season (traditional and contemporary choral works, world music, American music of all kinds, including jazz and pop), collaborating with diverse artists on new works, and presenting adventurous and innovative vocal music programs. The chorus is chamber sized, with 25-40 members. The typical PEV season features at least two concert sets of contemporary and classical choral works in December and April, a fundraiser event in February, and a largely member-programmed a cappella Jazz & Pop concert set in June. 


Principal Duties and Responsibilities                 

Artistic Management

  • Create an artistic vision that will excite the choir and its audience
  • Develop long-term, innovative programming ideas that incorporate peak experiences such as artistic collaborations, special performances (e.g. Carnegie Hall, tours), premieres of choral works by living composers, or other challenging and exciting projects
  • Research and program two concerts of choral works (currently December and April)
  • Research and propose the full-ensemble works for the annual A Cappella Jazz & Pop concert, which features mostly small-group performances (auditioned), organized, rehearsed and often arranged by members of the choir
  • Work collaboratively with a volunteer committee to program music for an annual fundraising event
  • Conduct weekly rehearsals and dress rehearsals preceding each concert set
  • Lead rehearsal retreats as needed (currently one each in fall and spring)
  • Select and work collaboratively with an accompanist
  • Select instrumentalists to accompany concerts, when appropriate and budgeted
  • Audition and select new and returning choir members
  • Collaborate with Board and membership to recruit new singers
  • Create an efficient, positive and fulfilling rehearsal and performance environment
  • Support choir members’ development as singers and performers
  • Conduct concerts

Board Relations

  • Report to Board at meetings (typically held monthly during the season adjacent to rehearsals; occasionally during the summer)
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively and proactively with the Board, the support staff and volunteers
  • Present annual and multi-year artistic plans for approval by the Board
  • Collaborate with the Board on fundraising activities, as needed

Public Relations

  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization
  • Program and conduct community outreach events (e.g. singalongs)
  • Collaborate with the Board, as needed, in developing marketing materials, campaigns, social media content and publicity for PEV
  • Establish and maintain strong ties to the Bay Area and its musical and artistic community
  • Develop and maintain good relationships with donors, funders, and supporters

Financial Management

  • Advise Board during development of the annual budget
  • Follow the approved annual budget for the programs
  • Assist in the identification of grant opportunities and collaborate in the preparation of grant applications


  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in choral conducting and/or teaching, or equivalent
  • Knowledge of vocal technique and pedagogy
  • Experience and interest in commissioning and performing new works
Compensation and Benefits: 

The Music Director is hired on a contract basis, to be renewed annually after performance review and feedback.  Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  We regret that we cannot offer reimbursement for transportation costs during the selection process, nor relocation costs after hiring.

Application Procedure: 

Applicants must submit by November 1, 2019:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of 3 references with full title, email address and phone number
  • List of 3 years’ worth of music programmed and conducted by candidate, or equivalent
  • Candidates are encouraged to send link to a 10-20 minute video recording showing the candidate’s conducting style

Selected candidates will be invited to interview with the search committee by telephone during the second half of January. Second-round interviews will occur in person in February 2020.

Finalists will be asked to lead the choir in rehearsal on at least two occasions in April 2020. They will also be asked to provide a program proposal for the 2020-21 season, within a budget to be determined by the Board.

The final appointment will be announced in late May 2020.



[email protected], subject: "PEV Director Search"

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