Job vacancy: DUCS Musical Director

Durham University Choral Society are seeking a new musical director from October 2015 to lead the choir in rehearsals from October to March for two concerts per year. Previous choral and orchestral conducting experience is essential. More details:

Durham University Choral Society is one of the oldest choral societies in the North East, having performed continuously at a high standard for nearly seventy years. With between eighty and one-hundred members drawn from the staff and students of Durham University, we are an auditioned society that rehearses weekly during university term time in order to perform in two concerts each year. The majority of our members are students at the University, and bring youth and enthusiasm to every concert whilst still producing excellent, well-reviewed performances.

Recent concerts have included such works as Duruflé’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and a commission for the society by Ben Rowarth entitled Christus: A Passiontide Sequence. We usually perform in Durham Cathedral in our Epiphany term concert, often with orchestral accompaniment, and collaborate with professional soloists or small chamber groups. Details of our previous performances can be found on our website at http://community.dur.ac.uk/choral.society/concerts

Our present conductor Michael Summers will be retiring from the society due to work and family commitments, and we are looking for an experienced conductor to take his place starting from October 2015. He, and his predecessor James Lancelot, have benefited the society with their commitment to musical excellence in our concerts, and we are looking for a new conductor to continue with this.

The role of conductor involves leading the society in the weekly Monday evening rehearsals and conducting in the twice yearly concerts. With the executive committee, the conductor is also jointly responsible for choosing the concert repertoire and musical direction of the society. Those candidates invited to interview will be asked to provide examples of works they would like to feature in upcoming concerts.

Due to exams in Easter term, the society only rehearse and perform in Michaelmas and Epiphany terms. Consequently, the society only perform in December and March, with rehearsals running from early October to mid December, and mid January to early March. This comprises approximately 20 rehearsals in the year, and for these services the society are willing to offer a fee of £800 for the year.

The society currently employs a piano accompanist for the rehearsals. Consequently, the ability to accompany on piano is by no means essential, but it is a favourable skill in a candidate.
Previous conducting or directing experience is essential, and it is preferable if this experience has been with a large choral society. Moreover, because Durham University Choral Society often collaborate with an orchestra in the March concert, experience with orchestras is also desirable.

To apply for this role, please send a C.V. and short covering letter detailing your suitability for the role to choral.society@durham.ac.uk before 5pm on Wednesday 18th February. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to a rehearsal on Monday 23rd February. Candidates will be given the opportunity to lead the society for a short section of the rehearsal, and then answer questions posed by an interview panel featuring members of the executive committee and long-standing members of the society.
Any questions are welcome, and more information about the society can be found at http://community.dur.ac.uk/choral.society or through emailing choral.society@durham.ac.uk.
Daniel Waite
President
Durham University Choral Society