Choosing a Music Director
As a music organisation, we understand the importance of the Music Director. She or he is an integral part of your chorus’ structure who can make or break your success from a musical standpoint. It is wise to allow sufficient time to find the best possible Music Director for your chorus, even if several months are required. In the interim, a temporary Music Director may be appointed to assume the musical responsibilities until a permanent director is found.
Before you even begin to advertise, you must first set your goals as a chorus including the members’ expectations of the Music Director. As a group, it is vital that you analyse and answer why you are looking for a Music Director and what can you offer.
Your chorus President/Team Coordinator should appoint a committee to oversee the search. This committee shall be responsible for drafting the job description, creating the application form and getting the post advertised. A sample application form is available in the Resources section.
The search committee chair should also contact potential candidates directly and ask them to submit their CV and application. This should include any person within the chorus who has the existing or potential abilities that you require.
Advertise the post on appropriate channels such as websites of choral organisations, discussion boards and social media channels. Don’t forget to also include the job advert on your chorus’ website and social media pages.
The search committee shall review all applications received and prepare a shortlist for interview. We recommend using the prospective Music Director’s questionnaire to determine the actual experience and potential for each candidate. Only those who are deemed qualified by the search committee should be invited to audition for the chorus. Each audition should be scheduled in conjunction with the chorus members’ maximum availability. Members should be given the opportunity to observe and evaluate the candidate’s:
- Conducting techniques
- Ability to teach new material
- Method of reviewing repertoire
- General knowledge of vocal production techniques
- Communication style and potential as a leader of the chorus
- People skills
- Organisational skills in planning and delivering a rehearsal night
Following the auditions, the search committee should make a recommendation to the Board of Directors/Management Team who, in turn, shall present the recommendation to the rest of chorus members for a final vote.
An agreement is presented to the selected Music Director and negotiated with the chorus Board of Directors/Management Team. It contains the responsibilities of the Music Director for the chorus and what she or he will get in return. The chapter leaders are responsible for executing the agreement and gathering appropriate signatures on behalf of all parties. Sample agreements are available in the Resources section.
Finally, notify us of your new Music Director’s name, address and other contact information. You should also complete the online, automated Chapter Officer update form available in the members-only section of the Sweet Adelines International website.
There is a complete guideline document for conducting a Music Director search in the members-only section of the Sweet Adelines International website. You will need your membership number to access this document.