Musical Director: Job Description
Cardiff Polyphonic Choir Musical Director
Cardiff Polyphonic Choir, one of Wales’s leading amateur choirs, is seeking to appoint a new Musical Director to succeed David Young, who will be stepping down in June after seven highly successful years.
The choir enjoys an excellent reputation for the quality of its concerts, working regularly with professional orchestras and soloists, and performing sacred and secular music from Baroque to the present day. Testament to the choir’s ambition and sustained success is the fact that both David Young and his predecessor Neil Ferris have gone on to lead symphonic choral ensembles, the National Symphony Chorus in Dublin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
Cardiff Polyphonic Choir is a mixed voice auditioned group which in March 2020 numbered around 60 singers. Rehearsals were maintained via Zoom from then until June 2021, when in person rehearsals resumed for the rest of the year within the constraints in place at the time. We are now rehearsing normally again, and it is likely that the choir’s membership will settle at between 40 and 50 singers and that recruitment of new members will be required.
As well as aiming to give three main concerts each year, the choir also performs an annual carol concert in support of a local charity and takes part in the wider cultural life of the local community, occasionally singing at the Welsh Proms and appearing on Radio 4’s Sunday Worship. The choir has aimed to tour abroad roughly every two years, with the most recent overseas trip being to Berlin in October 2019 to perform Elijah in the Philharmonie Hall. The choir also occasionally sings works written for larger numbers when the music director will be required to rehearse material performed with other choirs under another conductor.
Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings at Howells School in Llandaff, Cardiff.
We are looking for an individual who:
- is a natural communicator
- has experience of choral training
- has experience of working with professional orchestras and soloists
- can challenge and further develop the choir and its repertoire
The successful candidate will have the vision, commitment, and enthusiasm to take this thriving choir forward. He or she will have excellent vocal coaching skills, a personable manner and be able to maintain the group’s strong sense of community and enjoyment of music-making.
The musical director will play an active committee role, plan repertoire and concert content, source accompanying musicians and soloists and prepare rehearsal scheduling. The committee consists of a chair, treasurer, press/publicity rep, secretary and two choir reps, and meets regularly. The choir also has a librarian and has access to catalogued music scores, collected over more than forty years.
Remuneration: Weekly rehearsal fee, £120-140 depending on experience. Concert fees £450-£750, depending on the style and location of concerts and experience of the conductor. Additionally, a range of other fees are paid for events such as charity concerts, broadcasts or invitation events for CPC, and tours.
CPC will be able to contribute to some travel costs for the successful candidate if their home base is a significant distance from Cardiff. This would be discussed and clarified at the time of appointment.
To apply please submit your application by email only to Rachel Davies at [email protected]. Applications must include a CV and a covering letter detailing your suitability for the post and outlining what you believe you can bring to the choir. In addition, candidates are also asked to submit suggested programming for two seasons. Each season should contain three distinct programmes, one of which is with a small-medium size orchestra and the other two unaccompanied and/or with one or two instruments (e.g., piano/organ). If possible, please give links to any on-line examples of your work.
The closing date for applications is 5pm on Saturday 30 April, with interviews for selected candidates planned for late May/early June. Whilst we would ideally hope to meet candidates in person, online interviews will also be available if necessary. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to rehearse the choir on the evening of either Thursday 23 June or Friday 24 June and the successful candidate will be informed as soon as possible after that. The successful candidate will take up the position in September 2022.
The choir’s next concert is on 19 June in the Dora Stoutzker Hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, when the main work will be Handel’s Dixit Dominus.