The Catskill Symphony Orchestra announces a search for the position of Music Director and Conductor to assume responsibilities for the 2020-2021 Season


The Music Director reports directly to the CSO Governing Board of Directors and is responsible for the fulfillment of the orchestra’s artistic programs, image, and impact in the community. S/he is responsible for the repertoire, programming and artistic production, and has customary authority for the selection, development, and (if necessary) replacement of musicians. As the orchestra’s artistic leader, s/he must sustain and build the orchestra’s performance quality and successful integration into the community. The Music Director, as a community arts leader and advocate, will actively contribute to the orchestra’s regional outreach, educational and fundraising activities. In addition, the Music Director is expected to work closely and effectively with the CSO Executive Director, Governing Board of Directors, Administrative Council, volunteers,  and related CSO organizations in carrying out these responsibilities.

Candidate Profile
The ideal candidate will possess:
• Exceptional musicianship and conducting skills; significant conducting experience, including extensive work with professional musicians; knowledge of a broad range of repertoire, symphonic as well as the full canon of music
• Vision, passion, and ability to develop music strategies for the CSO and produce the highest quality of music
• Strong interpersonal, leadership, administrative and communications skills
• Ability to cultivate existing and new audiences and patrons, providing the region with cultural and performing arts experience second to none
• Experience with outreach, audience development and fundraising
• Previous or current music directorship or comparable experience preferred.

About the Catskill Symphony Orchestra
Since 1953, The Catskill Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has provided an unparalleled resource to entertain, educate, and inspire audiences of all ages in upstate New York—by presenting an ensemble of the highest artistic quality performing the full range of symphonic literature. The CSO typically holds five concerts per season to an audience of over 3,500 patrons. The CSO selects repertoire from the five major musical periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, and Contemporary. Each season includes beloved, familiar works, unfamiliar traditional works, and new music. Nearly every concert includes an exciting soloist. The CSO resides on the campus of SUNY Oneonta, in Oneonta, NY, which is the second smallest city in the nation to boast a professional orchestra.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra is to entertain, educate, and inspire audiences of all ages by presenting a professional ensemble of the highest artistic quality performing the full range of symphonic literature. The Orchestra also seeks to broaden the availability and appreciation of symphonic music in Oneonta and the surrounding communities, and to provide a challenging environment for talented regional musicians.

The Oneonta Region
Oneonta, NY, is a vibrant city of 14,000 fulltime residents and 7,000 college students. Known as the “City of the Hills,” Oneonta boasts an exceptional setting in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains, alongside the Susquehanna River.
Oneonta’s historic and walkable downtown is surrounded by beautiful homes in quiet neighborhoods. A variety of small businesses line Main Street, including an independent bookstore, coffee shops, antique stores, a vintage clothing shop, the artisans’ guild, a Farmers’ Market, and the History Center. An eclectic set of downtown restaurants offer fresh, local flavors; Italian specialties; authentic Thai foods, family fare, pubs, and bistros.
The small town feel of this upstate city is enriched by a vibrant cultural life for residents and visitors alike. In addition to the acclaimed Catskill Symphony Orchestra, Oneonta is home to the Catskill Choral Society, the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble, the Oneonta Concert Association, CANO (Community Arts Network of Oneonta); Foothills Performing Arts Center, and more. The city is home to not one, but two, colleges: Hartwick College and the State University of New York at Oneonta. Both welcome community members to their museums, galleries, music and theatre performances, and lectures and presentations.
The list of assets continues. Oneonta is equally proud of its strong public schools; AO Fox Hospital, part of the regional Bassett Healthcare Network; two municipal parks; historic Damaschke Field for baseball, where Babe Ruth once played; and south side shopping with national retailers.
Oneonta is easily accessed by Route 88, approximately halfway between Binghamton and the state capital of Albany, both of which have orchestras, as does Schenectady. Cooperstown, home to an art museum, a history museum, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is 30 minutes away; New York City is 3.5 hours by car; and Boston is 4 hours.
The State of New York recognizes Oneonta as a city on the move, and recently named it the one community in the Mohawk Valley region to be awarded a $10 million downtown development grant. Exciting plans are well underway to make Oneonta an even better place to live, work, and play.

Application must include:

(1) Personal letter of interest from the candidate

(2) Resume

(3) Samples of programs the candidate has directed and conducted

(4) Names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least three professional references

(5) Conducting video samples. Submission of conducting samples via video sharing websites (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) is strongly preferred. If video sharing is not possible, digital recordings may be submitted (notice must be given in a candidate’s application if using this method).

(6) In addition, each candidate is asked to submit a separate cogent and concise written statement with professional/personal examples that demonstrate the candidate’s proven capabilities and/or potential in the areas of community engagement, artistic leadership, fundraising, and engagement and development of subscribers and patrons.

The CSO Music Director Search Committee will review all applications, conduct phone/skype interviews, possibly make site visits, and make recommendations on finalists to the Governing Board in early 2019. Finalists approved by the Board will be asked to guest conduct and meet our community during the 2019-2020 Season (September 2019 to May 2020). A new Music Director will be named after the 2019-2020 Season and will conduct the opening concert of our 2020-2021 season.

Compensation is commensurate with experience.

Please submit your application package by Friday, September 28, 2018.  

For e-mail submissions, our address is  E-mail submissions are strongly preferred.

For documents, submit PDF attachments only.

For conducting video samples, links to uploaded video on YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing sites are strongly preferred. If this cannot be completed, please include notice in the application that you will be submitting digital samples.

For mail submissions, our address is:

Catskill Symphony Orchestra, Attn: Music Director Search


Oneonta, NY 13820

Should you have questions concerning the announcement, please direct your questions to

The Catskill Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer.

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