The Grand Rapids Symphony invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President and General Manager, available in the Spring of 2018.
Now in its 88th season, the Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) is a highly acclaimed regional orchestra that presents more than 400 performances annually, reaching 200,000 audience members from fourteen counties across the state of Michigan. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens, and people with disabilities who participate through extensive education and community service programs. The GRS is a major source of civic pride throughout Michigan and has enjoyed national recognition as well. On April 20, 2018, loyal and enthusiastic GRS patrons will accompany the Orchestra to New York City for a special concert at Carnegie Hall.
The Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2017/2018 season features ten Richard and Helen DeVos Classical program pairs, presented at DeVos Performance Hall. The Fox Motors Pops series is comprised of six programs, presented three times each at DeVos Hall. The Great Eras four-concert series focuses on programming selected from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary eras. The Grand Rapids Symphony Coffee Classics programs are one-hour daytime concerts, featuring programming from the Great Eras series. The three Symphony Boom programs, sponsored by Gerber, combine live orchestral playing with film and theatrical performances.
The Grand Rapids Symphony is committed to a robust music education program. Since 1944, the GRS has provided concert experiences for more than 15,000 students annually as part of the Fifth Grade Concerts series. The 2017/2018 season marks the 10th anniversary of the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses and the 57th anniversary of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony. The GRS Gateway to Music program is comprised of seventeen varied musical offerings, including Lollipop Concerts, Mosaic Scholarships, and artist-in-residence programs designed to reach audiences of all ages.
Widely recognized in the field for innovative initiatives, the Orchestra’s Music for Health program, which sends musicians into area hospitals with a focus on music and wellness, was honored in June 2017 when program founder and GRS violinist Diane McElfish Helle was awarded the Ford Musician Award for Excellence in Community Service by the League of American Orchestras. Additional programs include Symphony Scorecard, and Free for Families initiatives.
The Grand Rapids Symphony has enjoyed celebrated successes in recording and has produced twelve records, including an album of new music by British composer Philip Sawyers, released in 2011. The Orchestra’s 2007 recording featuring jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant earned a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album.
The Grand Rapids Symphony is governed by a 50-member Board of Directors. President and CEO Peter Perez leads an administrative staff of 32. The Orchestra’s current operating budget is $10 million.
Marcelo Lehninger was appointed Music Director in 2016 and is now in his first season. John Varineau is Associate Conductor and Bob Bernhardt is Principal Pops Conductor.
The Orchestra’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, and the Grand Rapids Bach Festival. Julian Wachner has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival. The Grand Rapids Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company.
The Vice President and General Manager joins the VP of Marketing and Communications, VP of Development, and VP of Finance as a member of the senior management team that reports to the President and CEO and accomplishes the mission and develops future directions for the Grand Rapids Symphony. S/he assists in achieving the GRS's goals for developing partnerships and building bridges to the community. S/he seeks out live performance opportunities throughout West Michigan, including run-out and tour concerts. S/he seeks out electronic media opportunities, including recordings, television, radio, video, and Internet.
The VP/GM is responsible and accountable for planning, directing, and supervising all Orchestra operations, scheduling, concert production, collective bargaining, community programs, media activity as it relates to Orchestra and artistic matters, special events, and touring. S/he ensures that the highest standards of professional excellence are maintained in the execution of all Grand Rapids Symphony productions.
The VP/GM is a key member of management's negotiating team for all collective bargaining agreements. S/he ensures compliance with agreements and maintains a positive work environment that allows musicians to achieve the highest possible artistic standards. S/he maintains excellent communications between musicians and management.
The VP/GM serves as the principal staff artistic advisor and liaison with the Music Director, Principal Pops Conductor, Associate and affiliate conductors, other artistic personnel as required, and administrative departments to prepare a multi-year, progressively more detailed plan for all series (artists, repertoire, series’ focus and direction) to ensure optimal and economical use of Orchestra services.
S/he ensures that Orchestra's production and income requirements are met. S/he develops and monitors budgets and achieves income goals for programs and activities within the department's budget. S/he serves as a member of the GRS's financial management team and ensures that requests for budgets, cost estimates, and financial projections are filled in a complete and timely manner.
The VP/GM supervises the Personnel Manager, Librarians, Director of Operations, Director of Education, and various affiliate administrators. S/he attends meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and other committees as appropriate. When requested, s/he represents the President at meetings and functions in the community. The VP/GM participates in fundraising and other activities that heighten public awareness, appreciation, and support for the Grand Rapids Symphony.
The ideal candidate will combine strong entrepreneurial instincts and ability with a solid record of success in producing concerts and special events. S/he will have experience working with an orchestra or performing ensemble in operations, media projects, and touring. S/he will have the creative energy needed to enjoy the rapid pace of a vibrant musical organization and the creative talent to contribute substantially to the organization's continued growth, development, and success.
The ideal candidate will have successful experience in conducting collective bargaining negotiations; scheduling of services; booking and managing orchestra run-outs and tours, and special events; media activities; and developing community programs and partnerships. S/he will be experienced in managing backstage functions of a concert hall.
The successful candidate will have excellent organizational and communications skills. S/he will be capable of handling multiple demands, deadlines, and competing priorities. S/he will not hesitate to make decisions and will respond promptly and effectively to meet of needs musicians, staff, and others for information and action.
The successful candidate will have proven record of success in managing complex projects; developing and managing budgets; and in achieving budget goals. S/he will be creative not only in solving problems, but also in developing new ways to achieve the Grand Rapids Symphony's mission. S/he will be comfortable with use of technology for current operations, and will be actively interested in possibilities for future applications.
The ideal candidate will be a strong team builder and team player. S/he will have excellent personnel management and supervisory skills. S/he will have the demonstrated ability to work effectively with a volunteer Board and Board committees. S/he will be skilled and experienced in working with diverse community populations and organizations.
The successful candidate will be a person of the highest integrity and ethical standards. S/he will have a deep love of symphonic and choral music, a passionate belief in the value and importance of symphony orchestras, and an abiding respect for musicians and staff. S/he will be able to accept a work schedule that includes concerts and events on evenings and weekends. S/he will welcome the opportunity to become an active part of the Grand Rapids community.
Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Please prepare a cover letter that describes your specific interest in the Grand Rapids Symphony and outlines your qualifications for the position. Please submit with a resume, salary history or requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.
Please send materials to:
Grand Rapids Symphony – Vice President and General Manager
c/o Catherine French Group
2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623
Washington, DC 20007
Please submit material in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format