The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra is an enthusiastic and thriving community-based orchestra that features an extraordinary level of talent in its ~80 players, and attracts soloists of international stature such as Gil Shaham, Jennifer Koh, Anthony McGill, and James Ehnes. It is financially stable, with healthy reserves and an annual operating budget of ~$600,000. The BSO is the resident orchestra of the historic Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham, WA.
Bellingham is located between the Vancouver B.C. and Seattle metropolitan areas, nestled on the shores of Puget Sound and in the shadow of majestic Mt. Baker. It offers a rich variety of recreational, cultural, and educational activities, as well as natural beauty and exceptional schools. Bellingham regularly tops lists of “Best Places to Live,” and is ranked the second best arts community in the country (based on the number of active arts businesses per capita).
The upcoming season will be the 47th for the orchestra, and the 9th with Yaniv Attar as Music Director. Juilliard-trained, Attar is beloved by audiences and players alike for his engaging podium style and programming that honors the classical canon while celebrating contemporary works and commissioned pieces. The 2022-23 season also features the eighth year of the Harmony from Discord program, honoring the works of those who composed in the face of oppression, and celebrating the power of music to overcome adversity. The BSO has a robust Youth & Community Engagement program with more than 60 chamber and solo music performances outside of the concert hall each season and the Bellingham Youth Chamber Players program. More information about the BSO can be found at www.bellinghamsymphony.org.
Essential Job Functions:
Support the operations of the Board of Directors and BSO committees by advising and informing members, and interfacing between board and staff.
Manage human resources for the organization, in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and BSO policies. Work with the board Governance Committee to ensure organization policies and staffing meet the needs of the BSO.
Work with the Players Committee and individual musicians to identify and address issues that affect player motivation and retention, performance, and conduct.
Manage staff personnel, establishing specific performance objectives and milestones for the team and individuals, recommending compensation, and overseeing work and performance, with authority to hire, review, discipline, and terminate.
Recruit, create and negotiate contracts, employ, and release independent contractors (with the exception of the Music Director).
Develop and support an organizational structure that will enable efficient operations and provide capacity for delivering the BSO’s annual programming.
Carry out the strategic plan and work with the board Strategic Planning Committee on development and oversight of the strategic plan.
Work with the board Finance Committee and staff members to prepare the annual budget for approval; administer the budget.
Oversee timely reporting on financials throughout the year, proposing budget adjustments as needed.
Ensure timely filing of nonprofit and tax reports, retain insurance as required by the organization, and maintain oversight of all BSO assets and instruments.
Oversee the preparation of the annual IRS Form 990, in conjunction with the outside CPA.
Work with the board Finance Committee and staff to oversee and promote the endowment funds.
Oversee fundraising appeals, integrating these communications with the marketing and public relations messaging of the organization.
Work closely with the board and Development Committee to plan and execute special events and fundraising efforts throughout the season.
Steward existing relationships with funders, while researching and cultivating new individual, corporate and foundation supporters. Build strategies to solicit support for current BSO programs, and new initiatives as they are developed.
Participate in the Artistic Planning Committee and work with staff to estimate expenses for the annual artistic plan presented to the board.
Develop contacts with artist agents to secure desirable artist fees for chosen guest artists during a season. Negotiate, sign and execute contracts for soloists based on the board-approved artistic plan.
Explore new programming and presenting activities as they become available.
Community and Public Relations
Manage the BSO’s Youth & Community Engagement program and the Bellingham Youth Chamber Players program.
Build mutually beneficial relationships with the Mount Baker Theatre and other arts and cultural organizations throughout the community. Increase the orchestra’s profile throughout Whatcom County and the region, by strengthening connections with stakeholders, community members, and elected officials.
Represent the organization professionally to businesses, coalitions, and community organizations active within the area.
Other duties as assigned
Management skills: planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and evaluating; interpersonal sensitivity, oral and written communications, problem solving and decision-making, time management.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of nonprofit management.
Develop a working knowledge of orchestral functioning and orchestra management.
Work collaboratively with the board, staff, and volunteers and community leaders.
Creativity and innovation, especially as applied to program, organizational, and fund development.
Develop a working knowledge of the Bellingham and Whatcom community, and the broader arts community in the Pacific Northwest.
Ability to stay on track in completing work plans and accomplishing strategic goals.
Knowledge and skill in developing and managing the organization’s finances and budget.
Ability in public presentations to inform and market the BSO.
The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra performs under the direction of Music Director Yaniv Attar. The BSO is a community-based orchestra that is composed of musicians from various levels, ranging from professionals to dedicated musicians in our community with an orchestra of over 85 members. The orchestra has delighted the surrounding areas and visiting soloists with its professionalism and musical excellence. Nationally and internationally prominent soloists with the orchestra have included Gil Shaham, Midori, Johannes Moser, Jennifer Koh, Alex Klein, and many more. The BSO typically performs six to eight concerts throughout the season, including concerts for our Harmony from Discord Series, a chamber orchestra concert, and an educational concert. In addition, the BSO engages with our community through over ninety solo and chamber performances each year. From Soloists in the Schools to Classical Around Town, we aspire to reach our community with music in new and interactive ways.
In Covid times, the orchestra has responded with an innovative and successful online season, featuring the ability to see soloists in their own homes and studios, as well as performances from BSO members,... in chamber groups, and following all safety protocols.
The BSO has tremendous community support, a stable artistic and administrative staff, and a highly-engaged Board of Directors, which is a part of its success and financial stability. The organization has four paid staff as well as a paid music director and certain paid positions in the orchestra. The culture of the BSO is one of excellence, respect, and mutual support.
The BSO is the Resident Orchestra of the historic Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, which seats over 1,500. The BSO regularly fills the hall with sold out concerts each season.