Music Director/Conductor

Posted by Contemporary Youth Orchestra ; Posted on 
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Music Director/Conductor




Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO) seeks a dynamic and energetic conductor and educator to lead our premier youth orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio.   CYO changes lives through the study and performance of new and contemporary music and introduces students to opportunities in the creative arts industries.  Candidates should have a distinct interest in contemporary orchestral literature and demonstrated experience leading youth ensembles.

The Music Director is responsible for the preparation and execution of CYO’s artistic vision through rehearsals and performances.  The ideal candidate will be able to foster an environment where students, families, staff, organizational partners and the broader community experience CYO as a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization connected through music.  In addition to demonstrating expertise as a skilled conductor, the ideal candidate knows how to inspire the minds and hearts of young people and welcomes the opportunity to make a lasting impact on these young musicians.

Who We Are

Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO) includes advanced ensembles that focus on the study and performance of orchestral works by living composers. Made up of musicians aged 12 to 18 and representing more than 60 schools in Ohio, CYO fosters students’ technical ability and creative growth in a challenging yet supportive community.

We are in residency at Cuyahoga Community College (Metro Campus), and we are a community of staff, parents, volunteers, students, musicians and teachers who are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.  We believe that music is a powerful vehicle through which we can cultivate connections between people and communities.

CYO has premiered works by Pulitzer Prize winning composers, commissioned innovative new works and performed at Cleveland’s most respected music venues.  Since 2004, CYO has presented its signature Rock the Orchestra concerts with illustrious rock musicians such as Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Jason Mraz and Chris Thile.  To learn more about CYO, please visit us at

CYO values and embraces the full spectrum of human differences (life experiences, work experiences, perspectives, cultures, ethnicity, gender, age and other aspects of life) and understands that creating and maintaining an inclusive environment is integral to our success. Our culture is defined by practices and policies that recognize and embrace each person’s unique abilities, strengths and differences. We promote diversity and inclusion within our organization, the students and families we serve, and all others with whom we interact.

About the position

The Music Director serves as the full and string orchestras’ primary conductor and works collaboratively with the CYO team to establish and meet CYO’s goals.  The Music Director exercises leadership in artistic matters, including repertoire selection, auditions, rehearsals, competitions, the selection and seating of players, and ensuring that CYO students receive a top-quality educational and artistic experience.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve as conductor for the full and string orchestras.
  • Prepare written rehearsal and sectional notes for students and sectional coaches.
  • Communicate regularly and work collaboratively with sectional coaches.
  • Participate in orchestra auditions and help determine seating placements.
  • Lead the panel judging the annual Solo/Concerto Competition.
  • Suggest and help solicit judges for the Solo/Concerto Competition panel.
  • Lead the selection of works to be performed, set schedule of rehearsals and communicate rehearsal schedule to coaches.
  • Stay informed of repertoire appropriate for youth instrumentalists; determine levels of difficulty and ensure the effective use of orchestra players.
  • Determine the stage setup needed for optimal orchestral performance and collaborate with Executive Director for any special needs.
  • Adhere to budget.
  • Maintain healthy and safe environment during any CYO activity in compliance with policies, rules and regulations of host/residency facility.
  • Participate in recruitment efforts for CYO.
  • Speak publicly when called upon as an advocate for CYO
  • Support communication and marketing efforts
  • Participate in CYO team meetings
  • Willingness to be a flexible and committed team member
  • Maintain current knowledge of regional schools and community music schools with band and orchestra programs and maintain collegial relationships with directors of these programs
  • Possess outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.

Education/Experience Requirements

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, Conducting, Music Education or equivalent.  Minimum 5 years’ experience in a lead conductor role.

Application Information

Please email the following to Executive Director Kimberly Deichler at by August 1, 2021:

  • Résumé.  Include at least 3 references.
  • Letter of interest describing your qualifications and experience.
  • Links to at least three conducting videos available online demonstrating contrasting styles and clearly showing the conductor from the orchestra’s perspective. If videos are available on a password-protected channel or site, please provide login information.

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