VP of Artistic Planning

Music Academy of the West

The Next Generation of Great Classically Trained Musicians

Santa Barbara, CA

Work Location: In-office


  • Full Time
  • Santa Barbara, CA (Remote)
  • Sun, Dec 31, 2023
  • Work Location: In-office
  • Festival
  • $200,000.00
  • $230,000.00

Website Music Academy of the West

The Next Generation of Great Classically Trained Musicians

Position Title: Vice President of Artistic Planning
Department: Artistic Operations
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Status: Full-Time, Exempt

Position Description

The Music Academy seeks a Vice President of Artistic Planning to lead the artistic vision of its world-renowned Summer School and Festival for classically trained musicians and to grow its year-round artistic programming serving the local Santa Barbara community. This position will steer the “fellows first” vision of the Academy, attracting and educating fellows and audience with creative programming, plus supporting innovation initiatives to develop musicians’ careers on and offstage. The ideal candidate will be an artistic visionary with an entrepreneurial perspective, and a collaborative colleague who partners with the President & CEO, administration, faculty, artists, and community groups. The ideal candidate should have long-range vision, a dedicated commitment to growing the educational goals of the Academy, a strong track record of innovative artistic programming, and a deep and broad knowledge of classical and contemporary repertoire.

Position Responsibilities

The VP of Artistic Planning oversees all artistic operations of the Music Academy, including the Summer School & Festival, the Sing! youth choral program, professional orchestra partnerships, community engagement, and innovation offerings for fellows and alumni. This includes oversight of program development, repertoire selection, recruitment and engagement of faculty, guest artists and conductors, staging and production, and contract negotiation. This role is highly collaborative with faculty and administration to ensure programming and educational goals meet the expectations and needs of students. The VP of Artistic Planning is also a key leader in the Music Academy’s efforts to promote DEIB+ goals within the organization, community, and industry.

This role reports to the President & CEO and leads a department that includes 5 full-time staff, 10 part-time, and 20 seasonal summer staff. This position also oversees over 50 faculty teaching artists and works closely with senior department managers, board members, and outside independent contractors. The VP of Artistic Planning manages an annual artistic budget of ~$3 million. The Artistic Operations team collectively executes production at onsite and off-site venues, and maintains the Academy’s teaching studios, music library and instrument inventory, including an all-Steinway piano fleet.

The VP of Artistic Planning’s primary goals include:

• Craft the Academy’s year-round artistic vision and program in collaboration with the administration and faculty

The Music Academy attracts top-tier fellows aged 18 to 34 from many of the most reputable music programs. Building upon this success, the Academy has expanded its artistic endeavors beyond the summer months, leveraging partnerships and community outreach activities year-round. The VP is responsible for developing and implementing this artistic strategy while continually growing and enhancing the Summer Festival. This requires a diplomatic approach to the unique needs of fellows, faculty, administration, and local and international constituencies, and balances the Academy’s rich history with a proactive approach to innovation. This role maximize educational goals while keeping in mind work-life balance for fellows, faculty, and staff. The VP of Artistic Planning is responsible for recruiting and retaining exceptional instructors in conjunction with the Dean of Students, plus world-renowned conductors, talented guest artists, and composers.

• Foster a culture of collaboration

With the significant volume of events and number of stakeholders involved, it is crucial that the VP of Artistic Planning be a proactive and transparent communicator. They work with faculty committees to develop repertoire and pedagogical goals for the Lehrer Vocal Institute, orchestral, and chamber music programs. The VP should seek input and feedback from appropriate parties, engage in active listening, and empower others to take ownership of the Academy’s artistic vision and mission to develop compelling and innovative artistic instruction and programming. As a leader and mentor, the VP will also provide thoughtful support and guidance for artistic program staff and professional development opportunities.

• Develop programs that attract audiences and new revenue streams

The VP of Artistic Planning will design a robust artistic program that generates broad audience excitement and donor engagement. This entails selection of diverse repertoire incorporating canonical pieces, contemporary music, and commissions to appeal to a broad audience. Further, the VP will have strong fiscal acumen and budgeting skills, and be able to forecast finances accurately, particularly when it comes to establishing new artistic programs. The VP will partner with the Chief Financial Officer to build a reasonable and sustainable budget. This role will also collaborate closely with the Advancement team and participate in fundraising and donor cultivation efforts where appropriate.

• Develop partnerships and community outreach programs, increasing the visibility of the Academy and a 12-month calendar of programs

The Academy’s reputation has grown exponentially in recent years, and the VP of Artistic Planning will play an instrumental role in ensuring that the Academy continues this upward trajectory. This role will have an extensive network of artistic contacts and be able to effectively advocate for and represent the Academy on local, national, and international stages. Given the success of partnerships with the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and Young People’s Chorus of New York City, the Academy aspires to continually develop mutually beneficial national and international collaborations. In concert with the CEO, the VPAP should be forward-thinking around developing strategic partnerships that will advance the Academy’s mission.

Candidate Profile
The Music Academy values colleagues with diverse perspectives who thrive in a collaborative, highly communicative workplace. Our administration collectively informs and agrees upon the organization’s expectations for teamwork, including a positive, goal-oriented environment that positions every employee for success.

The ideal candidate is a professional in the classical music industry with a minimum of ten years experience working with distinguished musicians and/or faculty, administration, and students in a high-level training and/or programming environment. This person will combine broad knowledge of orchestral, chamber, and vocal repertoire with the ability to engage artists and develop creative programs for concerts, recitals, and special events. Such knowledge will form the basis for the development and implementation of the artistic direction of the institution.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate some, if not all, of the following professional experience, skills, and personal qualities:
• An advanced degree in music, music education, administration, or related field is preferred
• A demonstrated track record of artistic planning in a performing arts or non-profit arts organization
• A strong appreciation for the mission and culture of the Academy
• A demonstrated commitment to collaboration and the ability to cultivate trust and credibility with colleagues
• Experience as a fair, respectful leader, as well as a proven ability to manage resources—human, financial and physical—to maximize productivity and assure the highest quality work
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• A bright, inquisitive, and agile mind
• An ability to work successfully in a complex and fluid environment demanding self-reliance combined with team spirit, outstanding judgment, and people skills
• Commitment to developing programs and opportunities that support diversity, equity, access, and belonging

Additional Information
● Intensive 2024 Summer School & Festival scheduled June 1 – August 12, 2024

Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time, exempt position. Annual compensation is $200,000-$230,000, commensurate with experience. Music Academy provides a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees, which includes health and dental coverage, life insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and a 403(b) plan.

Application Process
Please email a letter of interest and current resume to hr@musicacademy.org, using the subject header Vice President of Artistic Planning. PDF format only. No phone calls, please.

The Music Academy is an equal opportunity employer. We aim to create a diverse and inclusive work environment, and we value each employee’s unique experiences and perspectives.

About the Music Academy
Located in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy creates a space where exceptional talent can thrive by encouraging artists to stretch, experiment, improvise, and play. The Music Academy provides artists with the tools they need to become not just great musicians but great leaders. The Music Academy’s programs are: the annual eight-week Summer School & Festival which trains up to 140 fellows ages 18-34 and presents more than 120 performances and events, competitions, and a fully staged opera; Sing!, a children’s choir free of charge for all participants that performs with local, national, and international partners; the MAX (Music Academy Exchange) partnership with international orchestras; the Innovation Institute’s Alumni Enterprise Awards; and the Mariposa Series of concerts by Academy-affiliated artists.
For more information, visit musicacademy.org.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@musicacademy.org