Executive Director

Cathedral Choral Society
Washington, DC
Type of Position: 
Application Deadline: 
Monday, December 31, 2018

The Cathedral Choral Society (CCS) is the symphonic chorus in residence at Washington National Cathedral. Now in its 77th year, the 130-voice chorus is the oldest symphonic choral group in Washington, D.C. CCS has presented numerous world premieres, many of them commissioned by the Chorus, and has maintained a tradition of showcasing young soloists and internationally known artists. 


An autonomous 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (governance and finances are independent of Washington National Cathedral), CCS is governed by a 16-member board of trustees. In addition to its chorus, CCS has a paid staff of seven, including new music director Steven Fox.  (Mr. Fox succeeds J. Reilly Lewis, who led the chorus for 31 years.) Both the executive director and the music director report directly to the board.  

CCS’s budget for the 2018-2019 season is $1.6 million, which includes $1.1 million in cash revenue, with the balance representing in-kind services from the volunteer chorus.  Revenue comes primarily from ticket sales plus donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and local government agencies that support the performing arts.  


CCS’s most recent executive director served for five years, leaving to become general manager of the National Symphony Orchestra.


To learn more about the Cathedral Choral Society, please see its website.


The Position and its Principal Responsibilities


The primary responsibility of the executive director is to manage the human and financial resources of the organization to achieve CCS’s vision and mission.  The executive director is responsible for supporting the artistic vision of the music director and implementing policies set by the board.



Key responsibilities of the executive director include:


  1. Develop the season schedule, ensuring that concerts meet the artistic and financial objectives of CCS.  The annual concert schedule typically consists of four concerts a year at the Cathedral, plus occasional concerts at other venues in the Washington DC., metro area.
  2. Oversee marketing, ticket sales, and related activities to maximize concert attendance.
  3. Negotiate performance, rental, and collaboration agreements with Washington National Cathedral.  
  4. Manage hiring of staff and contracting with artistic staff, guest artists, professional singers, and orchestra musicians in accordance with board approved budget and policies.
  5. Raise funds from individuals, foundation, corporations, and government agencies.
  6. Oversee financial management, human resources, and day-to-day office operations.
  7. Help the board carry out its governance responsibilities.

Desired Skills and Characteristics


As the person overseeing the business side of CCS, the executive director should be:


  1. Interested in and highly supportive of the mission of CCS, ideally through personal or professional experience that demonstrates an appreciation of the arts.
  2. Experienced in key operational aspects of managing and leading a performing arts organization.  Experience with choral or other music organizations is desirable, but not essential.
  3. Successful in fundraising, especially from individuals and foundations. Fundraising is at least 33% of this job.
  4. A strong financial manager, able to create an annual budget, monitor revenue and expenses throughout the year, and analyze the financial implications of programming and operational opportunities.
  5. Able to work collaboratively with the CCS music director peer so these two leaders serve effectively as co-authors of the future of the organization.
  6. Experienced and comfortable leading an organization where part-time volunteers – the 130person chorus – play an integral role. 
  7. Comfortable in a hands-on role, given the relatively small paid staff. 
  8. Able to build and maintain good working relationships with Washington National Cathedral staff.
  9. Able to work effectively with the CCS governing board and committees.




The anticipated salary is in the range of $110,000 to $130,000. CCS offers a benefits package that includes health insurance and paid time off.

To Apply


Please email: 

1. cover letter that explains why you are interested and qualified, and 

2. resume 

to:        Larry Slesinger, Founder and CEO, Slesinger Management Services Larry@SlesingerManagement.com

(please include “CCS” in subject line) 


All applications will be acknowledged by a reply email within a few days of receipt.


Questions?  Contact Larry Slesinger by email or at 301-320-0680.

Compensation and Benefits: 

Please see above.

Application Procedure: 

Please see above.

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