California Arts Council

State of California

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Music Director
San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

San Bernardino, CA

Position Announcement: Music Director

The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra welcomes nominations and applications for the position of Music Director, available beginning in the 2019/20 season.

The Position

The music director reports directly to the board and is responsible for the fulfillment of the orchestra’s artistic potential and its image in the community. S/he is responsible for artistic production, assisting in the selection of soloists, and, will collaborate with the Symphony’s artistic planning committee in planning repertoire. Working with the personnel manager under the provisions of the Musician’s Union Local 47 contract, the music director is also responsible for the selection, development, and replacement of musicians. 

As the orchestra’s artistic leader, s/he must build and sustain the orchestra’s visibility and involvement in the community.  The Symphony is committed to providing music enrichment opportunities for local youth and meaningful access to the arts for all members of our community through partnership with the San Bernardino City Unified School District and other local districts. The Symphony also maintains partnerships with other cultural arts groups in our region, including the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre Company, Inland Pacific Ballet, and the county’s arts network, The Arts Connection.

The music director is expected to work closely with the executive director, board president, artistic committee, and musicians in carrying out these responsibilities, and to participate actively in the orchestra’s fundraising activities.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will possess exceptional musicianship and conducting skills; significant conducting experience, including work with professional musicians; knowledge of a broad range of repertoire; strong interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills; vision, passion, and ability to make symphonic music relevant and exciting for existing and new audiences. Masters degree in music or a relevant field of performance preferred. Previous or current music directorship or comparable experience preferred with an organizational budget in excess of $500,000.00 per year.

The ideal candidate will possess many, if not all, of the following qualities:

  • Able to communicate a clear artistic vision which inspires others to engage with the organization.
  • Strong musical and conducting skills which integrate a thorough understanding of orchestral repertoire and familiarity with stylistic performance requirements of symphonic music, as well as other styles which may interest our audiences.
  • Effective and efficient rehearsal technique that emphasizes working collaboratively with musicians.
  • A temperament and demonstrated ability to collaborate with a board of directors, operations management, volunteers, and musicians to create an artistically robust and fiscally sound organization.
  • A desire to balance tradition with new programming ideas and the ability to work collaboratively with the board’s artistic committee.
  • An understanding of marketing needs and efforts, and a willingness to provide information which supports the programming and assists in marketing.
  • An enthusiasm for speaking at and interacting with others at donor functions, internal and community meetings, and collaborations with civic organizations, arts, and educational institutions.
  • Confidence with public speaking, both in large groups and in small settings.
  • The ability to manage situations of disagreement or conflict with maturity and diplomacy.
  • The ability to assess strengths and weaknesses of artistic personnel.
  • An enthusiasm for fostering a healthy understanding of symphonic music in the schools and in the community, making the most of limited resources and grant monies available.
  • A proactive and flexible approach to planning and problem solving.

In addition, the ideal candidate will embrace the unique characteristics of our community. While residency is not required, significant local non-conducting time is expected.

The Orchestra

The San Bernardino Symphony resides within downtown San Bernardino and performs at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts. What began in 1929 as a small community orchestra has developed into a fully professional symphony serving audiences across the Inland Empire and beyond. Today, the San Bernardino Symphony reaches more than 15,000 audience members each year, including 3,450 children at our annual student concerts and thousands more through our award-winning Music in the Schools program.

The Orchestra’s 2017/18 season includes five symphonic subscription concerts, two back-to-back one-hour student concerts, and a special event performance. The San Bernardino Symphony is governed by a 30-member board of directors and is supported by an executive director and one administrative staff member. The San Bernardino Symphony Guild comprises more than 120 volunteer members who support the orchestra through our docent program, fundraising projects, and special events, including post-concert receptions.  The Symphony also owns and operates a 6,000-piece music rental library named for our founder, James Kelly Guthrie. The current operating budget of the San Bernardino Symphony is $698,000.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and qualifications.


Ten candidates will be selected to lead performances in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. 2017/18 performance dates are October 7, 2017, December 2, 2017, February 10, 2018, March 24, 2018, and May 5, 2018.  In your application, please indicate which of these concert dates you currently have available. 2018/19 dates are pending; candidates assigned to dates during this season will be consulted as to availability before final dates are set.


Application must include: personal letter of interest from the candidate; short resume; sample programs conducted by the candidate; names and phone numbers of at least three professional references, of which at least one is from a musician currently working with you; and, at least three links to YouTube (or similarly accessed) performances and, as available, recorded interviews.

Those candidates selected for an interview will also be asked to submit a perspective repertoire. Those selected to conduct at a concert will be required to lead two rehearsals (Tuesday in Los Angeles area and Thursday at the performance venue) plus a 3 p.m. run-through the afternoon of the concert to be held that Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. Following the concert, candidates will attend a post-concert reception to meet and interact with members of the public. Candidates will also attend a pre-concert Friday evening reception of the board.

The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer. No phone inquiries, please. 

Please submit applications by Friday, July 28, 2017 to:

San Bernardino Symphony Music Director Search

San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

198 N. Arrowhead Avenue

San Bernardino, CA  92408

And via email to:

Dr. Anne L. Viricel, Executive Director

To learn more about the San Bernardino Symphony, go to

Contact:Anne L. Viricel
Address: 198 N. Arrowhead Avenue

Deadline: 07-28-2017

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