MCP Artistic Administrator & Director of Singing is RAD!
About The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP), the region’s premiere symphonic chorus and oldest continuously performing arts organization at 114 years young, occupies a unique position in the Greater Pittsburgh arts landscape: it is an independent arts organization that simultaneously has been the choral partner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) for almost 100 years—a signature accomplishment and a core part of MCP’s identity, and it is a professional chorus whose artists are primarily amateur singers. Through recordings, performances with the PSO heard over Public Radio International (PRI), and innovative programming such as its composer in residence program and the new on-line Global Choral Traditions, MCP’s impact can be felt on the regional cultural landscape and beyond.
About This Position
The Artistic Administrator & Director of Singing is RAD! will have primary responsibility for two initiatives: expanding the range of voices and song traditions presented by MCP to better reflect the rich diversity of our region; and transforming thousands of community members into active participants in the arts through neighborhood-based choral activities culminating in the county’s largest mass singing event ever at the 2023 Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF).
Expanding MCP’s Range of Voices & Song Traditions
During the past year, MCP has been asking itself what equity and inclusion should look like for MCP as we seek to be part of creating a more inclusive and sustainable future for ourselves and our community. The pandemic has provided the opportunity to consider who and how we engage with our art and what assets MCP possesses that it can bring to bear on this work. It has meant getting to the core of what we do—our art—and understanding how it structures our organization and its programming. It has challenged us to consider how we can bring added value to the artistic experiences we create and how we can use our art as a lens to invite broader dialogue both within and beyond the organization.
The Artistic Administrator & Director of Singing is RAD! will play the key leadership role guiding MCP’s efforts to explore a broader range of choral and song traditions including those associated with ALAANA cultures, immigrant cultures in the region, and the music of under-represented or silenced composers within the Western classical canon. Essential to this work will be a willingness to learn from culture bearers from the traditions we seek to explore, to cultivate partners across cultural divides, to find new ways to collaborate around programming when MCP is not the appropriate entity to perform or present specific works, and to explore how MCP platforms to support the exploration of non-Eurocentric or classical song traditions.
Key deliverables for the position will be to develop a second year series of Global Choral Traditions in Spring 2022; and to craft a five-year artistic plan of projects designed to help MCP more fully reflect the diversity of the Pittsburgh region.
Singing is RAD!
Singing is RAD! celebrates the diversity and unity of Allegheny County’s citizens by inviting ALL people from across the generations—from shower singers to church/school choristers to individuals too often neglected by traditional arts programming—to participate in the region’s largest ever mass singing event, aptly called The Big Sing, to be held at the June 2023 Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF). A well-known vocal music artist will join the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) in leading a crowd of thousands in a joyous explosion of sound and civic pride—an epic “wow” moment. However, the deepest and most long-term impacts of the project will lie in the experiences of the individuals who participate in the neighborhood pop-up choirs created to prepare for the TRAF event, the hundreds of volunteers who will lead these groups, and the wide range of organizations which will host these groups. This project is one of several funded by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) to celebrate 25 years of investing in the county’s quality of life through financial support of libraries, parks and trails, arts and cultural organizations, regional attractions, sports and civic facilities, and public transit.
The Artistic Administrator & Director of Singing is RAD! is an exempt, full-time position (40 hours per week) that requires some evenings/weekends including attendance at concerts and events. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Artistic Administrator & Director of Singing is RAD! will work closely with MCP’s Music Director, board members, other staff, and community members.
This is a new position that will begin September 1 and is grant funded through August of 2023.
Essential Roles and Responsibilities
- Design and implement a second year of MCP’s Global Choral Traditions program.
- Create a five-year menu of projects and collaborations designed to more fully reflect the diversity of the Pittsburgh region.
- Have overall responsibility for implementing MCP’s Singing is RAD! project including program design and implementation, hiring teaching artists and interns, cultivating a wide range of community partners across the county, coordinating all aspects of the project’s culminating event at Three Rivers Arts Festival (June 2023), establishing and monitoring project budget, and assist in designing a multi-faceted project evaluation.
- Work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Music Director, and Director of Individual Giving as necessary to cultivate and solicit individual sponsors or institutional donors.
- Work collaboratively with the Marketing Director and others (publicist, graphic artist, etc.) to promote programming and design digital and print materials as needed.
- Possible conducting or teaching artists opportunities if candidate has the necessary skills.
Desired Skills, Education, and Experience
- Master’s degree preferred in music, choral conducting, or arts administration.
- Experience leading amateur singers in rehearsal and performance.
- Successful experience in project management.
- Knowledge of Western classical music and non-Western song traditions.
- Familiarity with the Pittsburgh region or the ability to quickly learn the area and its organizations.
- Strong desire and effective communication skills to forge partnerships and connect diverse communities within the region.
- The ability to think creatively and “outside the box” to plan innovative programming.
- Effective organizational and time management skills to be successful working in a virtual workplace environment and the ability to maintain a home office.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality when dealing with proprietary and/or sensitive information.
- Possess a passion for the arts/music/choral singing, a sense of curiosity, and the ability to be
Salary range is $39,000 to $45,000. Benefits include paid vacation, holidays, and reimbursement for certain employee expenses.
Submit resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please. Applications will be reviewed on an on-going basis until the position is filled.
MCP is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable work environment. All applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. At the time of employment, you must present documentation that you are legally authorized to work in the United States.