Inspiring audiences with live musical experiences that transcend tradition, the newly renamed Symphony Tacoma (formerly Tacoma Symphony Orchestra) has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape for 70 years. Today’s Symphony Tacoma is a metropolitan professional symphony orchestra with more than 80 orchestral musicians and a volunteer chorus of 70 singers. Sarah Ioannides, whom the Los Angeles Times called “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium,” has been Music Director since 2014. Symphony Tacoma performs for an annual audience of nearly 20,000 citizens throughout Washington’s Pierce County and the Greater Puget Sound area.
Symphony Tacoma offers a season of five to six main series classical concerts, pops programs, and annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. These concerts are primarily held in Tacoma’s downtown Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in the historic Pantages Theater and Rialto Theater, where Symphony Tacoma has been one of the primary resident arts organizations for more than 30 years.
Symphony Tacoma’s growing menu of community engagement activities includes Mini Maestros, an interactive series for children ages two through eight that features reduced orchestra and chamber ensembles, and Simply Symphonic, an educational series for fourth and fifth graders that includes a curriculum partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program. In addition, Symphony Tacoma’s principal string musicians offer regular coaching for orchestra students in underserved Tacoma high schools and master classes for the Tacoma Youth Symphony’s senior orchestra.
Deeply committed to its role as one of the hubs of Tacoma’s cultural sector, Symphony Tacoma is dedicated to the belief that the community is made stronger and more vibrant by experiencing great music together. Its Vision 2025: The 2016-2025 Strategic Plan sets forth cornerstones and goals in the three key areas of performance, community, and stewardship. With an annual operating budget of approximately $1.3 million, Symphony Tacoma is governed by an engaged and committed 13-member board of directors and has a staff of five full-time equivalent employees.
Located 30 miles south of Seattle and 140 miles north of Portland, Tacoma is surrounded by Puget Sound to the west and the Cascade Range to the east. In addition to these stunning natural surroundings, six major museums, showcasing some of the world’s best collections and unique artwork, line Tacoma’s downtown core to form an impressive and distinct district. This district also includes Symphony Tacoma. Arts and culture are a major component of Tacoma’s economy, generating approximately $137 million in economic activity every year according to a 2016 study. With a burgeoning technology and startup community, Tacoma serves as a base for several large companies, including BNY Mellon, Columbia Bank, and Key Bank. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the fourth largest military base in the country employing more than 50,000 people, is located about 10 miles south of the city. The city also has a rich maritime legacy.
Ranked as one of Sunset magazine’s 20 Game-Changing Places to Live, Tacoma offers an affordable lifestyle, with a median home price that is less than half of Seattle’s. A diverse mix of cultures make up Tacoma’s population of more than 211,000 people, of which 41 percent are under the age of 30. The city is home to several of the region’s top-rated universities and colleges, including the University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Puget Sound. Tacoma Public Schools often leads the state’s 296 districts in piloting new programs and implementing innovative ideas. It is the only district in Washington designated as an Innovative School Zone by the Secretary of Public Instruction.
Sources: traveltacoma.com, makeittacoma.com, tacomaschools.org, cityoftacoma.org
The Executive Director (ED) of Symphony Tacoma will serve as the chief administrative officer, responsible for the management of the orchestra’s human and financial resources and for leading and/or facilitating all aspects of its operations. Reporting to the board of directors and working in partnership with the Music Director, the ED will provide leadership and vision to ensure Symphony Tacoma achieves its mission and realizes its goals for artistic vibrancy, financial stability, advancement, education, communication, and community service.
Governance and Financial Stewardship
Operational and Strategic Planning
Community Affairs, Outreach, and Education
The Symphony Tacoma’s next ED will be an optimistic and resilient leader who is inspired by the organization’s mission, vision, and values and is excited to advance the orchestra as a vibrant and indispensable musical leader and community partner in the region. The ED will be an intellectually curious, versatile, and assertive professional and hands-on manager. An optimistic problem-solver with strong communication skills, this individual will also have the ability to thrive within an organizational culture that values practicality, simplicity, and tradition.
Other key competencies include:
Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, plus a minimum of five to seven years of increasing responsibility in a senior management role at a performing arts or similar nonprofit organization. Candidates should also possess a strong command of the business of running a performing arts organization, including financial management, staff development, communication skills, and a track record in donor stewardship and the successful solicitation of major gifts. Candidates must also know how to work effectively with a Music Director, board members, staff, musicians, and volunteers and have an avid interest in and/or knowledge of orchestral music or a closely related art form.
Symphony Tacoma provides competitive compensation for an organization its size and a standard benefits package, including health insurance, paid time off, and holidays, as well as the quality of life offered by the beautiful Puget Sound area.
Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:
Ms. Rebekah Lambert, Senior Vice President
818 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 236
Portland, OR 97204-2405
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 207
Symphony Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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