Community Music Center of Boston Executive Director Arts Consulting Group Executive Search

Community Music
Center of Boston

Executive Director


Founded in 1910, Community Music Center of Boston (CMCB) transforms lives throughout Greater Boston by providing equitable access to excellent music education and powerful arts experiences. It strives to build a civic culture that values lifelong involvement in the arts where all can actively participate in music making and embrace holistic arts experiences. CMCB wants every young person in Boston to have access to music instruction, both during the day and after school. It therefore offers programming from its central facility in Boston’s vibrant South End neighborhood and at 11 satellite locations throughout Greater Boston. CMCB partners with 18 Boston Public Schools and four Cambridge Public Schools, serving approximately 6,500 students each year in all its programs. Recently, CMCB entered into partnerships with two additional private schools and one parochial school, providing music instruction in after-school and arts enrichment periods during the day. It also continues to nurture a rich network of community partners, including The Learning Project, Project STEP, and Mssng Lnks. CMCB’s Early Childhood Program supports the development of cognitive and social skills and its summer offerings include daily instruction in music, dance, drama, and visual arts.

Providing instruction on nearly 30 instruments and in every music style, CMCB offers individual and group music instruction for students of all abilities, ranging in age from five months to 80 years, with performance training, ensemble and orchestra coaching, technique classes, music theory, and composition. A full range of ensemble opportunities provides all students with a high level of instrumental expertise, group engagement, and performance experience. Each ensemble performs three to five times per year at CMCB and in the Greater Boston community. CMCB’s music therapy program supports those with special needs who may not be able to access music in traditional ways. Connections are made through music to realize clinical goals focused on improving social, cognitive, physical, and/or emotional challenges of clients. Experienced music therapy professionals serve 450 students per week in partnership with dynamic human services agencies and the Boston and Cambridge public schools.

CMCB’s recently completed three-year strategic plan focuses on further increasing equitable access to instruction and improving overall program quality. One ambitious goal is to boost enrollment in classical and contemporary ensembles and to gain access to additional rehearsal and performance spaces. Marketing and fundraising strategies will therefore focus more intensively on individual and major giving, while reflecting CMCB’s dual objectives of philanthropy and education. It will seek to recruit board members beyond its traditional focus on alumni and their families to enhance fundraising and increase board diversity. CMCB also recognizes that it must continue to develop and centralize its most important resources – the human ones – with technological support systems and sustainable leadership development to support its management and faculty within organizational equity and inclusion goals.

CMCB is governed by an 18-member board of directors, led by President Mary Carney. Executive Director David Lapin, supported by a five-member senior management team, leads an administrative staff of 12 full- and part-time individuals, as well as approximately 60 full- and part-time faculty members. David Lapin will be retiring from the post in 2017 after a 35-year tenure. CMCB’s current operating budget is approximately $2.8 million, with approximately 50 percent of revenue from earned revenue and 50 percent from fundraising activities. Its ongoing financial health is bolstered by a $2.6 million endowment that includes board-designated and restricted funds.


As New England’s largest city, Boston has long been the region’s economic and cultural hub, offering a variety of performing and visual arts organizations. CMCB is based in Boston’s South End, a centrally-located neighborhood just minutes away from downtown. As one of the city’s most popular and vibrant neighborhoods and home to many young professionals and their families, it features numerous parks, a thriving arts community, and amazing restaurants. With an estimated population of 667,000, Boston is one of the 25 largest cities in the country and Greater Boston comprises nearly 4.6 million residents. With strong professional sectors in education, technology, and healthcare, Greater Boston is youthful, culturally diverse, and socially active. Robust public and regional transportation systems support its draw as a preeminent international destination. Approximately 36 percent of the population are ages 24 or younger; 33 percent are ages 25 to 44; 20 percent are ages 45 to 64; and 10 percent are 65 or older. Boston is a thriving city, with a community that includes 24 percent African American, 17 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent Asian residents. As Boston looks ahead to 2017 and beyond, the development of One Seaport Square and the Innovation District in South Boston will continue to bring new industries, including life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and consumer technology, to this bustling region.


The Executive Director (ED) of CMCB will be a visionary leader responsible for supervising and directing all aspects of its strategic vision, public visibility, and managerial operations. Reporting to the President of the Board of Directors, the ED will be the main spokesperson for the organization and will energize and execute CMCB’s strategic plan. Maintaining multi-generational relationships with the board, faculty, staff, parents, students, strategic partners, and donors, the ED will exude warmth and energy while leading a historic community music education organization focused on access for diverse and at-risk populations. The ED will guide, advise, and mobilize board members as they embrace their roles as fundraisers, policymakers, and community ambassadors. The position will also oversee best practices in hiring, training, mentoring, and supervising human resources while maximizing earned and contributed revenues.

Roles & Responsibilities

Program Development, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Identify and promote innovative programming that challenges the status quo and pushes the organization to consider choices which may be outside its traditional comfort zone.
  • Foster and leverage CMCB’s strong reputation as an extraordinary community music school to sustain current programming and to develop future opportunities for expansion and growth.
  • Create and sustain mutually supportive relationships with new leadership at Boston Public Schools and similar institutions.
  • Develop new partnership agreements with schools and community organizations to advance CMCB’s outreach activities throughout the Greater Boston area.
  • Ensure the highest level of programs, services, and facilities that meet the needs of a diverse community.


Contributed Revenue Enhancement

  • Provide organizational leadership in all aspects of fundraising and development by establishing personal relationships with key funders and donors to support CMCB’s strategic and capitalization goals.
  • Identify and maintain strong relationships with key community partners to diversify and expand the organization’s individual, foundation, corporate, and government donor base.
  • Broaden CMCB’s public image and increase brand awareness for the organization, clearly articulating the mission, vision, programs, and impacts of CMCB.
  • Energize contributed revenue opportunities with board and development staff in annual and long-term fundraising plans.
  • Cultivate existing donors for ongoing support while seeking new prospects to assure a robust and diversified funding base.


Stakeholder Cultivation and Community Engagement

  • Listen carefully, speak persuasively, and anticipate concerns of parents, students, faculty, staff, board members, external partners, donors, and the public.
  • Lead efforts to increase diversity of faculty and staff to reflect student diversity.
  • Leverage CMCB’s wealth of diversity in musical pedagogy, genres, and ensembles to increase visibility, participation levels, and performance opportunities.
  • Guide board prospect identification, cultivation, and recruitment by utilizing participation on board committees that develop future board members and leaders.
  • Mobilize the talents, connections, and resources of the board to stimulate their continued active involvement.
  • Refine, monitor, and implement the 2017-2019 strategic plan with the board, enabling CMCB to gain market visibility and achieve greater organizational impact.
  • Guide marketing, branding, and public relations programs that highlight CMCB’s impacts and reputation.

Financial Acumen and Organizational Management

  • Oversee, direct, develop, and manage the organizational structure to perpetuate the organizational culture of trust, cooperation, and collaboration.
  • Spearhead innovation and creativity to allow CMCB to become more structured, prescriptive, and analytical.
  • Lead day-to-day operations to ensure that faculty, staff, students, and parents have a memorable experience that leaves a legacy on their future growth and personal development.
  • Supervise and integrate all aspects of CMCB, including faculty, administrative staff, facilities, and technology.
  • Empower and build camaraderie among senior management to recognize and leverage individual strengths that contribute to organizational success.
  • Monitor and report organizational financial performance and design an organizational structure that exceeds industry standards.

Traits & Characteristics

The ED will have effective people skills and will be a natural coach and mentor with the ability to earn the respect of seasoned educators, students, staff, parents, and a discerning board. This individual will be a model of integrity and fairness, a facilitator, and a consensus builder. An experienced team player for whom the ownership of ideas is less important than the result of the collaborative effort, the ED will be an open, confident, and communicative professional who enjoys exploring ideas and is adept at setting priorities. The ED will bring a passion for music education and a well-rounded set of competencies as a motivational leader, effective communicator, problem solver, advocate, and strategist. The ED will also maintain organizational focus on the value of music education.

Other key competencies include the following:

  • Leadership – The ability to organize and motivate other people to accomplish goals, create a sense of order and direction, and gain active participation among a variety of stakeholders.
  • Diplomacy and Employee Development – The capacity to interact with others in a positive manner, treat them fairly, and listen carefully to what they say while facilitating their professional growth.
  • Personal Accountability – The competence to prioritize and complete necessary tasks in order to meet or exceed the mutually agreed upon expectations of the role and to assume accountability for leadership actions.
  • Stakeholder Satisfaction – The dexterity to embrace diverse stakeholder perspectives, including those of staff, faculty, students, families, board, and the Greater Boston population, and set a course that balances organizational goals with those individual needs.


Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, plus a minimum of five to seven years of related senior management experience. Expertise in planning, organizational development, and team building in a collegial environment of mutual respect is needed. A successful track record in best practices within the nonprofit, education, or music field and a high level of leadership and fundraising experience is expected. The successful candidate should have a passion for music and music education, as well as enthusiasm for CMCB’s dual mission of excellence and access.

Compensation & Benefits

Competitive salary and benefits include medical insurance (group health and flexible spending account) paid time off, non-contributory 403(b) retirement plan, long-term disability insurance, and the quality of life that Greater Boston has to offer.

Applications & Inquiries

Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:

Mr. Bruce D. Thibodeau
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel        (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Fax       (888) 284.6651

Community Music Center of Boston is an equal opportunity employer that
welcomes any qualified applicant and values diversity of all kinds.

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