Position Available: Executive Director

The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director, available in the Summer of 2021. The mission of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (The Symphony) is:

To be a year-round regional cultural resource, engaging, inspiring and enriching audiences of all ages and cultures by offering performances of the highest professional quality.

The Orchestra & Chorus

The Symphony’s orchestra is comprised of more than 50 tenured professional musicians from Central and Northern New Mexico. The size of the orchestra is expanded with guest professional musicians when required by the programming. The Symphony’s chorus is a volunteer ensemble of more than 60 singers, augmented by 12 paid professional vocalists, all of whom live in the Santa Fe area. The Board is currently comprised of 15 donor members and five musician members. The administrative staff totals six individuals.

The organization in typical seasons performs 11-12 subscription concerts and three free community concerts with an annual budget of approximately $1.6 million. The Foundation for The Santa Fe Symphony (The Foundation) holds assets of more than $3 million. The Symphony’s Music Education Committee supports and assists community engagement programs to provide classical music involvement to families and students throughout Northern New Mexico. Through small ensemble concerts in the schools and assisted living facilities, annual symphony performances for all area fourth grade students, and a highly regarded mentoring program in the schools, the Music Education Committee has greatly increased the impact of the organization in the community.

The Symphony has a cooperative system of governance. Activities are divided into artistic and operational functions. Artistic functions are the domain of the musicians within limits that may be imposed by the ability of the Board to provide necessary funding and administration. The Board is responsible for all operational functions.

Artistic functions consist of all matters relating directly to the selection of repertoire and the quality of performances. The musicians collectively govern artistic matters through the Musicians’ Steering Committee. Twenty-five percent of board members come from the musicians’ ranks. In the cooperative model of The Symphony, the Executive Director serves as a bridge between these two groups, musicians and the Board.

The City

Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico, is one of the most vibrant, culturally rich and diverse communities in America. Santa Fe is home to more than 250 art galleries, an outstanding professional symphony orchestra, a world-class opera house, a long-established summer chamber music festival and numerous additional performing and visual arts organizations and activities. The high desert mountain region offers a superb climate with outstanding skiing, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities. One of America’s great and historic destination cities, Santa Fe hosts an average of two million visitors each year.

The Opportunity

In the past two years, The Symphony has made great progress in the areas designated as critical in the most recent strategic plan despite the challenges of the pandemic. The number of patrons engaged by viewing and listening to concerts has more than doubled through an innovative, nationally recognized virtual concert series and one-on-one concerts. The donor base has also doubled. The budget has been balanced and cash flow is positive. Marketing and promotion have become more sophisticated. The website, program, and promotional materials have been overhauled and the Santa Fe Symphony TV, through Vimeo OTT, provides a rich offering of both free and pay-for-view multimedia content.  Throughout the organization, there is a new spirit of cooperation and esprit de corps among the Board, musicians, volunteers and staff.

The next Executive Director will have an unusual opportunity to build on this progress by executing a vision to expand the audience, diversify revenue streams, and establish The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus as one of the most innovative regional orchestras in the United States.

The Position

The Executive Director is the chief administrative officer of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and reports to the Board of Directors through the President. S/he is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the administrative operation of The Symphony, including marketing, audience development, fundraising, financial management, and community engagement. The Executive Director supervises and develops the staff, setting goals and evaluating performance.

Working with the Board, the Executive Director develops mid-range and long-range strategic and operating plans. S/he oversees the preparation of the annual budget for submission to the Board and maintains a system of internal controls. S/he monitors the budget and regularly provides the Board with updates to the forecast of year-end financial results.

The Executive Director works with the Board, Musicians’ Steering Committee, Chorus Director, and Principal Conductor in developing artistic plans and schedules. S/he oversees the contracting of guest artists, guest conductors, and performances venues.

The Executive Director takes a leadership role in fundraising, including donor cultivation and solicitation, developing business sponsorships, and maximizing contributed income from all sources. S/he develops effective marketing strategies to strengthen brand recognition, reach new audiences, and meet or exceed goals for earned revenues. S/he works to expand and improve community engagement programs.

The Executive Director serves as the public spokesperson for The Symphony and maintains positive working relationships with civic leaders, governmental agencies, and other area cultural organizations. S/he serves as an ex-officio member of all Board Committees and The Foundation. S/he maintains regular communication with the Board, and assists the Board in identifying and recruiting potential new Board members.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be an experienced executive with at least five years’ progressive leadership experience in orchestra or performing arts management. S/he will combine a passion for music with a highly developed knowledge of symphony orchestras, artistic administration, and orchestra operations. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with the ability to inspire and align all stakeholders around an exciting vision for the organization’s growth and development. S/he will have demonstrated skills in fundraising and the cultivation of donors; marketing, digital, and social media skills; and outstanding communication and leadership skills.

The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

The successful candidate will be a collaborator and a consensus builder. S/he will able to work effectively with orchestra musicians and other creative artists in a cooperative leadership environment. S/he will be knowledgeable about current trends and issues in orchestras and philanthropy.

The successful candidate will be a person of integrity and high ethical standards. S/he will demonstrate a strong personal commitment to the principals of equity, inclusion, and access. S/he will be imaginative, curious, flexible, and resilient. The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to be an active part of the vibrant Santa Fe community.


Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.


The Symphony is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the organization and welcomes applications from all qualified candidate regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin.

Please send a cover letter outlining your specific interest and qualifications for this position. Include a resumé, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s prior knowledge and agreement.

The position will remain open until filled. The Search Committee is currently reviewing credentials.

Please send materials to:

The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
c/o Catherine French Group
2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623
Washington, DC 20007


© 2020 The Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus