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Mendip Male Voice Choir

updated 1st January, 2024

Notice of Vacancy

 

Musical Director, Mendip Male Voice Choir

 

Mendip Male Voice Choir, based in North East Somerset, has a vacancy for a new Musical Director from Spring 2024. The choir has a long history in the area having been established in 1919. During this time, it has had only five musical directors.

Following a recent recruitment campaign, the choir is now around 70 strong, with a good balance between the four sections: bass, baritone, second tenor and tenor.

The current MD, Jamie Knights, has continued to build the choir’s reputation for quality performances, with entertainment at the heart of its repertoire.


Rehearsals are held every Monday evening in the village of Timsbury, seven miles south-west of Bath. The choir performs a number of concerts during the year, typically five or six at both Christmas and in the summer, sung without scores. The Musical Director will be given complete control over the musical content and will work closely with our established accompanist. The successful candidate will need to show that they can inspire the choir to strive for excellence in an enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere.

 

Candidates can take the opportunity to attend a rehearsal of the choir at St Mary’s Primary School Timsbury, BA2 0JR.  The rehearsals commence at 7.30 p.m. on Monday, January 8th or Monday, January 15th.

Applications close on January 19th 2024.

Please contact choir chairman Richard Luscombe for further information

Email chairman@mendipmen.co.uk

Application Process

The application process will include an interview for selected candidates with the choir appointments committee. Following this, the shortlisted candidates will then be required to conduct a short rehearsal of 30 minutes with the choir at one of our weekly Monday evening rehearsals, using two or three pieces selected from our current repertoire.

 

Please provide:

  • CV showing musical qualifications and relevant experience.

  • Covering letter of no more than 1,000 words to include, but not limited to:

Why do you want to lead Mendip Male Voice Choir?

Key priorities in leading a successful choir.

Your vision for the choir.

  • 2 referees. 

  • Details of any notice period required.

  • Fee expectation for two-hour weekly rehearsals and concert performance.

Applications should be sent by email to chairman@mendipmen.co.uk

Timing:

  • 19th Jan. Closing date for applications. 

  • w/c 22nd Jan. Candidates selected for interview.

  • w/c 5th Feb. Initial interviews. Shortlisted candidates notified.

  • 19th Feb or 26th Feb. Audition rehearsal with the choir. St Mary’s School, Timsbury.

  • w/c 4th March. Appointment of new MD. The current MD will be available to work with the appointee at rehearsals until Easter if required.

 

Remuneration:

We aim to provide an attractive level of remuneration for the successful candidate and this will be discussed further during the selection process. This is a self-employed position.

Job Description - Musical Director

Preparation

  • In consultation with the Choir’s Council, to develop the musical vision for the Choir;

  • To select, arrange, adapt or commission an appropriate programme of music (currently two sets per year) providing a broad and balanced repertoire for the Choir to perform;

  • To liaise with the librarian to ensure that scores are prepared or ordered in time to allow adequate rehearsal time;

  • As the choir performs without scores, to prepare backing tracks which members can access on the Choir’s website in order to consolidate work done during whole choir rehearsals;

  • To listen to all new potential members sing on their first evening with the choir and place them in the appropriate section for their voice.

 

Rehearsal

  • To take every scheduled rehearsal and endeavour to arrange for a substitute when this is not possible;

  • To liaise closely with the Accompanist and work with him/her to achieve successful and enjoyable rehearsals and performances;

  • To share the musical vision for the Choir with its members;

  • To ensure that choir members are well prepared and rehearsed for each concert;

  • To promote and encourage a high standard of singing and performance;

  • To encourage Section Leaders to arrange section practices (led by the Accompanist) to augment whole choir rehearsals.

 

Performance

  • To liaise with the Concert Secretary to determine whether or not to accept a proffered concert booking;

  • To be responsible for the overall style of each concert;

  • To select an appropriate set of pieces for each concert and, when appropriate, engage soloists whose repertoire will compliment that of the choir;

  • To present and conduct the Choir’s performances;

  • To liaise with other conductors/musical directors when preparing music for joint concerts.

 

Other

  • To endeavour to make being a member of the Choir enjoyable, satisfying and fun;

  • To attend and contribute to Choir Council meetings, as a non-voting member, to review and discuss the running and progress of the Choir and undertake any resulting follow-up actions;

  • To contribute to discussions concerning the dress code for the Choir;

  • To contribute to the content of the Choir’s website.

  • To write and annual report and present this to the Choir’s Annual General Meeting.

Musical Director - Person Specification

The applicant should: 

 

  • be enthusiastic, energetic and possess a sense of fun; 

 

  • have appropriate musical qualifications and experience;

 

  • have high expectations;

 

  • be articulate and a good communicator, able to convey musical requirements to choir members, some of whom possess limited musical knowledge; 

 

  • be a team player, with the patience to support members new to choral singing;

 

  • possess the presence and strength of character to project their personality; 

 

  • have a warm personality, able to relate easily to choir members, the accompanist and to audiences;

 

  • have a wide range of musical interests, a sense of where they would like to take the choir and the ability to help the choir progress; 

 

  • have the ability to teach members collectively, and if necessary individually; 

 

  • be able to analyse performance and provide constructive criticism;

 

  • be keen to develop their own score reading and choral directing techniques.

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