Executive Director

Waterbury Symphony Orchestra

Waterbury, CT

Work Location: Hybrid: remote & office


  • Full Time
  • Waterbury, CT
  • Sun, May 30, 2021
  • Work Location: Hybrid: remote & office
  • Symphonic

Website Waterbury Symphony Orchestra

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra is seeking a dynamic leader willing to stretch their potential to expand the musical reach of the Symphony and engage a diverse and growing audience.  Founded in 1938, the Symphony’s core belief is that music education and shared cultural experiences are essential to creating communities.  During the pandemic, the Symphony has been reaching into diverse communities and exploring music genres, while building connections across Waterbury and throughout Connecticut (and even beyond).  It also offers exploratory concerts, both live and virtually, along with educational programs for children and adults. Under the musical direction of Leif Bjaland, who has served as Music Director and Conductor of the WSO since 1994, the Symphony has assembled talented musicians across New England and the Tristate area.

This position is well-suited for an individual who is looking to move to that next step in their careers.  Executive Directors who have previously been in this position have been able to develop the skills and experience after several years to lead larger orchestras and even a music school.  This is a unique opportunity.

Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. The ED will initially develop deep understanding of the organization, its diverse community, its core programs, operations, and business objectives. The ED will be thoroughly committed to Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.  Specific requirements include:


  • Advanced degree, ideally an MBA, or MFA with at least 5 years of senior management experience; track record of effectively leading and regionally scaling a performance- and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Deep understanding of music; able to converse with musicians and have a working knowledge of diverse genres of music.  Music training preferred.
  • Dedication to promoting and engaging diversity throughout the organization, locally and regionally to create an organization that represents equity and inclusion in all it does.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to performance planning.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.


Leadership & Management:

  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Actively engage and energize Waterbury Symphony Orchestra volunteers, board members, key stakeholders, including musicians, partnering organizations, and major contributors and funders.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for meeting to diverse goals of the organization.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s staff, helping each member to grow and become an integral part of a highly functioning team.
  • Prepare annual budget for review by the Board of Directors. Monitor and manage budget and cash flow and ensure that appropriate checks and balances are in place.  Oversee and manage compliance and reporting for all aspects of the organization.
  • Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, forward strategic planning objectives and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Expand local and extended revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and grow innovative and diverse programming.
  • Maintain existing major donors support and significantly grow financial support from both major donors, regional funders and potentially legacy support.
  • Support and mentor board members in the process of building relationships with significant donors.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to virtual and streaming options with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.

Planning & Artistic Development:

  • Working collaboratively with the Music Director and others, design and innovate ways to bring the musical experience to more diverse populations and multiple generations.  This should include different performance opportunities and venues, along with music education.
  • Grow and develop virtual and place-based music education programs, particularly focused on children, adults and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).
  • Evaluate new venues both physically and virtually as a way of growing new audiences.
  • Ensure the smooth and consistent flow of all musical productions so that each produces a quality experience for all audiences.
  • Begin to build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders, and community leaders locally and throughout the region.
  • Be an external local, and regional presence that publishes and promotes program results with an emphasis on the successes of the local and regional program as models for future growth.

To apply for this job email your details to symphonywaterbury@gmail.com

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