The Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (HPYO) is the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s flagship education program and is inviting applications for the role of Music Director.   

About the HPYO:

The Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (HPYO) is the foremost student-based symphony orchestra in the Greater Hamilton region and is the leading education program of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO). Founded by Glenn Mallory in 1965, the HPYO has given the joy of orchestral music to generations of young people and has delighted thousands of audience members. Graduates of the orchestra are involved in professional and community orchestras across Canada, in the United States and in Europe.   

The HPYO is seeking an inspiring and engaging Music Director who will continue a legacy of excellence in youth orchestral music education. Working closely with the HPYO General Manager and reporting to the HPO Executive Director, the Music Director will build the orchestra’s artistic potential and work collaboratively to further develop our educational programming so that it is relevant, accessible, responsive and appeals to the diverse communities of the Greater Hamilton Region.  

The HPYO supports two orchestras, a senior Philharmonic Orchestra and a junior Concert Orchestra. Rehearsals run on Saturday mornings from September until May with three concerts a year, and an additional joint side-by-side holiday concert with the HPO. 

HPYO Music Director Job Description: 

The Music Director is responsible for the artistic direction and development of the orchestra for the 2022-2023 season with potential for contract renewal. They are the conductor, artistic director and community arts leader, working on behalf of the orchestra and its community.  

The Music Director leads artistic matters according to the guidelines established with the General Manager and Executive Director. As the orchestra’s artistic leader, they will also be the forward-facing representative for the ensemble and participate in the strategic growth of the ensemble through fundraising, sponsorship activities and community partnerships. 

Desired Experience, Skills and Qualifications:  

  • three (3)+ years’ experience as a Music Director/Conductor with a youth orchestra or community/professional orchestra; 
  • proven ability to lead and inspire people;  
  • significant musical talent and a proven ability to provide a high-caliber performance experience;  
  • thorough knowledge of the orchestral repertoire and styles, particularly orchestral repertoire suited for youth orchestras and developing musicians; 
  • experience in developing imaginative programming ideas that have significance to the orchestra, the occasion and the community; this may require both a willingness to explore a variety of directions in music-making and experience in diverse repertoire;  
  • basic knowledge of the orchestra as a non-profit organization, with an appreciation of the roles of the Board, management, musicians, families and volunteers. 
  • an effective and efficient rehearsal technique that balances attention to technical details with communication of overall interpretive goals and is positive and supportive of developing musicians 
  • an effective baton technique that maintains the continuity of the overall performance of a work while evoking and controlling response by gesture at all levels of musical detail;  
  • determine the stage setup to present the orchestra at its best acoustically and visually;  
  • develop the overall artistic quality of the orchestra.  
  • the successful candidate must be legally entitled to work in Canada. 

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is dedicated to increasing the presence of diverse voices within our organization. We are an equal opportunity employer, with a policy of non-discrimination in employment hiring. We encourage and welcome applicants of Indigenous heritage, applicants who identify as racialized, marginalized or disabled and people of colour or diverse cultural backgrounds. Early-career candidates who may have previously experienced barriers to gaining the posted requisite experience are encouraged to apply. 

Application Process and Timeline 

Interested applicants are asked to submit a package to the HPYO General Manager, Megan Benjafield by August 22, 2022 at mbenjafield@hpo.org.  Please provide a CV and list of references. In lieu of a cover letter, please submit a one-page document detailing your philosophy of youth orchestral music education. 

Virtual interviews will take place during the week of August 29.  

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to audition at a 45-minute rehearsal with the orchestra on the morning of Saturday, September 24. The successful candidate will be asked to join the HPYO on or before the second term of the season in January 2023.