Artistic Director Search

For Fall 2022

Qualifications: The Artistic Director must display a passion for making music that motivates and challenges all singers to their highest potential. The Chorale seeks someone who will sustain a sense of community within the choir through acknowledging and respecting all singers and instrumentalists, while leading rehearsals efficiently. Experience with mature voices is a benefit, as is understanding small community dynamics while not feeling limited by them. 

The Artistic director should have a broad grasp of choral repertoire from early music to new compositions and have expertise in planning programs that reflect different traditions, cultures and a diverse range of composers; and that promote the role of the Chorale in the larger community through entertaining, educating, inspiring, and enriching its audiences. We want the Chorale to continue to make an artistic contribution to the community. 

The Artistic Director works closely with the Board’s efforts to increase financial resources through fundraising activities; and to advance cultural, racial and age-related diversity in membership and audience development. 

  • The Artistic Director receives administrative, concert management and marketing support. 
  • Compensation for the position of Artistic Director is competitive and commensurate with experience. 
  • Preferred qualifications in addition to above: 
  • Master’s degree in choral conducting or equivalent course work and/or experience 
  • Evidence of ability to lead a group such as RainShadow Chorale 
  • Attendance at Board meetings, rehearsals, and fundraisers 
  • Physical stamina 

Application: Submit a letter of interest, resumé, and a list of references with contact information to pnerison@broadstripe.net by February 15, 2022.


Philosophy and Artistic Direction

RainShadow Chorale, under the leadership of Rebecca Rottsolk as Artistic Director until November 2021, is a mixed chorus of auditioned singers with a passion for making music. With exceptional conducting and a professional pianist, the Chorale has prepared two programs per year with multiple performances of each program. Performances include a broad range of choral repertoire, from early music to new compositions, which challenge singers to constantly develop their highest level. The Chorale has achieved a reputation for “the RainShadow sound” that has attracted a faithful audience of followers. Concert programs include the text of each piece to facilitate appreciation for the integration of message and musical inspiration. RainShadow Chorale is recognized as a meaningful part of the musical community of Port Townsend and the northern Olympic Peninsula, one that is rich in artistic opportunities. For its Fall 2019 program the Chorale contracted with Jake Runestad to rehearse and conduct two of his works.

After an absence of activity due to COVID-19, the Chorale gave two performances with Rebecca Rottsolk in November 2021.  Spring 2022 concerts will be under the direction of guest conductor Jolene Dalton Gailey.

Membership

RainShadow Chorale singers bring vocal expertise from high school and college choirs, church choirs, energetic community choruses, professional choruses, degrees in music, strong instrumental experiences, and lifelong participation as choral performers. Several singers are professional soloists; however, for major works, such as Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem, soloists have been drawn from outside the Chorale. The size of the Chorale ranges from forty to fifty singers per season. Each member holds a strong commitment to excellence, a dedicated work ethic, and an attitude of working together to achieve the highest possible level of performance.  Rehearsals are highly organized and are supported by independent practice and separate sectional rehearsals. In addition to the joy of making music together, Chorale members also share a strong camaraderie, fostered through fundraising and social events.

RainShadow Chorale began in the late nineties with sixteen singers determined to utilize and enjoy their vocal talents by singing professional choral repertoire.  Over the next several years the organizational structure was formalized and in 2008 the Chorale achieved tax-exempt (501c3) status.  In 2013 under the leadership of Rebecca Rottsolk, the Chorale created the position of Artistic Director and began the process of developing a long-range vision for its future. 

Community Characteristics

The Port Townsend area, with a population of about 30,000, has a strong performing arts tradition. Two chamber-music series draw region-wide audiences. Centrum, a non-profit organization housed at Fort Worden, fosters yearlong creative art experiences, attracting leaders and participants from across the country. The area attracts musicians of the highest caliber to live or retire in the area, giving RainShadow ongoing opportunities to audition new singers.  The community is highly supportive of the arts, both in attending performances and through financial support.

Governance

The RainShadow Board consists of six to nine members, each serving up to six years, and meets monthly with ad hoc meetings as required.  The Artistic Director and Administrative Manager are non-voting members.  New Board members are elected by vote of active singers at the Chorale’s annual meeting.

Finances

The 2018-2019 annual budget was $22,000 for a two-program cycle, fall and spring. Revenue includes

  • Membership suggested donations – 24% (currently $80/singer, scholarships available)
  • Concert revenue – 49%
  • Donations and grants – 27%

Expenses:  About 62% of the budget is for contracts, hourly payments, and honoraria for the artistic director, pianist, administrative manager, and front house manager.  The balance goes to concert costs, insurance, and music.  On an occasional basis, major workshops are held with invited faculty.

Fundraising is ongoing and successful.  As needed, a major fundraising event is held to meet one-time challenges, e.g., producing a major work with a fully paid orchestra.

Personnel

The Artistic Director currently holds both this and conductor responsibilities for typically two performances per program. The Artistic Director’s duties include

  • selecting repertoire content and conducting rehearsals and concerts;
  • providing overall artistic leadership and direction to the Chorale;
  • attending board meetings and working with Board of Directors in establishing and maintaining long-term vision and artistic direction, creation of rehearsal and concert performance standards, determining programming feasibility and financing, and selection of concert venues;
  • conducting Chorale auditions and selecting Chorale members;
  • working closely with the Administrative Manager in all aspects of concert production;
  • participating in fundraising events.

The Administrative Manager receives an honorarium.  This individual

  • coordinates venues for rehearsal and performance;
  • coordinates performance costumes for singers;
  • works with the Publicity and Media Coordinator for poster, ad and program cover and coordinates printing
  • develops a timeline for concert readiness;
  • creates the concert program and arranges for printing
  • provides signage and other logistical needs for performances
  • attends Board meetings and informs Board members of progress and issues

The Front House Manager receives an honorarium.  This individual

  • arranges for volunteers needed at each performance;
  • supervises volunteers;
  • arranges for staging or decorating as needed.

Accompanying instrumentalists are contracted as needed for each program, are recruited locally and regionally, and are paid at negotiated rates.

Publicity and Audience Relations

A Publicity and Media Coordinator works closely with the Administrative Manager.