Job Opening

Civic Orchestra of Tucson seeks a Music Director

The Civic Orchestra of Tucson seeks a Music Director to begin at the start of its 2019-2020 concert season. Prior to the start of that season, the orchestra will select and audition qualified candidates. Each selected candidate will have an opportunity to rehearse and conduct one concert, with a program of his/her choosing, as approved by the Board of Directors. Each finalist will receive an $800 honorarium. 

About the Civic Orchestra of Tucson:
The Civic Orchestra of Tucson is a 60-plus member, all-volunteer orchestra that has been performing free concerts throughout the greater Tucson area since 1975. Please read our mission statement at the right.

Job Description:
The Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of Tucson (COT) is responsible for planning and executing the concert season of performances, which traditionally consists of three pairs of free classical concerts, two Pops concerts, a fundraiser concert, and a staged ballet with Dancing in the Streets Arizona. Within the framework of our budget and with the approval of the Board of Directors, the Music director selects the repertoire and soloists, taking into account the musical interests of the community at large and the skills of the COT membership. He/she will lead all rehearsals and determine necessity of sectionals, choosing appropriate personnel to lead the sectionals. Rehearsals are held Tuesday evenings (7:00-9:30pm) weekly.

The Music Director conducts auditions and chooses personnel, including appointment of the concertmaster of the orchestra. The Music Director will determine all player seating and part assignments.

The Music Director will work to extend the interest in classical music to the youth in our community by promoting and supporting our Young Artists’ Competition and Musical Instrument Petting Zoo programs. He/she will attend the Young Artists' Competition and choose which winners will appear in concert with the orchestra, taking in account availability of music and budget constraints.

The Music Director shall provide succinct commentary to audiences during performances. The Music Director serves as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors and shall report items of importance at each Board of Directors meeting. 

Attributes and Qualifications of the Successful Candidate:
  • A passion for orchestral music and thorough knowledge of its repertoire and instruments.
  • Superior musicianship, with knowledge of musical styles throughout history.
  • A commitment to bringing arts at no cost to all residents of the greater Tucson community.
  • Effective leadership and clear baton technique at rehearsals and concerts .
  • Availability to lead Tuesday evening rehearsals from mid-August through early May.
  • A willingness to commit to five years in the position.
  • Ability to work toward musical excellence in a positive manner with non-professional musicians.
  • Ability to help the orchestra grow musically through teaching and coaching.
  • Ability to communicate clearly—with the orchestra, the Board of Directors, staff, and audiences
  • A commitment to youth development, programming and education.
  • A history of positive interactions with volunteer musicians, boards, committees, and the public.
  • Willingness to support and participate in fundraising and community awareness activities
Important Dates:
Application deadline: March 20
Selection of finalists will be made by April 30.
This is a part-time, contract position with no benefits. Compensation is $3,500 annually, paid at the end of the season.

How to Apply:
To apply, please email the required documents listed below to
  • Cover letter stating why you desire this position.
  • Biography, suitable for a concert program or website page.
  • Detailed resume, including your education, conducting experience, and three professional references (including their names and contact information: affiliation, address, phone number, and email address).
  • Three potential concert programsPlease fill out this PDF, save it, and email it to
  • The Search Committee will want to view a video of you conducting an orchestra in rehearsal or performance, taken from the orchestra’s vantage point facing the front of the conductor, and created within the last five years. It can be recorded on a smartphone and uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. Include the link to the video in the Candidate Questionnaire below, in the designated text box.
  • Candidate Questionnaire - Please complete this online form.

If you have questions about the position or application process, please contact Marilyn McNamara


Mission Statement

The Civic Orchestra of Tucson (COT), an all-volunteer symphony orchestra, is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the greater Tucson area through its free* concerts at various sites and using innovative ideas to provide music education opportunities for students. The Civic Orchestra of Tucson sponsors guest artists representing talented elementary, secondary, college-age and other musicians. COT is also committed to providing opportunities for adult avocational symphonic instrumentalists to utilize and improve their skills through performance in a symphonic group.

* Concerts sponsored by other organizations or a benefit concert may have an admission charge.

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