Music Director Opening

The Winchester Orchestra is looking for a music director.

As a community orchestra, our mission is to share the joy and experience of quality classical music with our community and to provide opportunities for our musicians to experience and perform interesting and challenging repertoire. Our orchestra is made up of volunteer professional and amateur musicians from all walks of life, including music educators, engineers, retirees, dentists, librarians, programmers, business owners, and more.

Our Music Director is responsible for guiding the organization and its musicians in its mission. This includes developing the programming for the orchestra’s four main concerts, conducting weekly rehearsals of the orchestra, and providing input into selecting guest artists and youth soloists.

The Music Director is also expected to work closely with the Board of Directors in carrying out these responsibilities, and to assist with general promotion of the orchestra.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will possess exceptional musicianship and conducting skills; significant instrumental conducting experience; knowledge of a broad range of repertoire; strong interpersonal, leadership, communication, management, and planning skills; vision, passion, and ability to make symphonic and chamber music relevant and exciting for existing and new audiences, as well as to enhance orchestra members’ understanding. Previous or current music directorship or comparable experience is preferred.

Finalists will be invited to prepare and conduct a concert set, from rehearsals through performance, during the 2018-19 season.

About the Orchestra

Information about the orchestra is available here. Past concert repertoire is available here.

Videos of previous performances

Compensation and Responsibilities

As a community orchestra on a tight budget, the Winchester Orchestra can offer only limited compensation for this part-time position. While the Orchestra is well-managed and boasts a strong and vibrant set of volunteers, the Music Director is the only paid position in our organization.

In addition to leading weekly rehearsals (on Monday evenings in Saratoga), the Music Director is expected to participate in Board and committee meetings and to represent the Orchestra to the local community. Based on this, a successful candidate ideally should already make their living performing or teaching music somewhere within reasonable travel distance from San Jose / Saratoga, or is currently planning to move to the Bay Area in the near future.


Applications should include:

Selection Process

All applications must be completed by August 31, 2018

Semi-finalists will be selected based on application and review of videos, and will be asked to participate in interviews in early September 2018.

Finalists will be selected to guest-conduct one concert each during our 2018-2019 season. Both the search committee and all the musicians of the Winchester Orchestra will participate in assessing each guest conductor/finalist.

Our current plan calls for our new Music Director to be introduced as part of the announcement of our 2019-2020 season program, in the June 2019 timeframe.

Any questions can be submitted to Dawn Murakami, at

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