The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO), the premiere community ensemble exclusively devoted to performing video game music in the D.C. area, seeks a Choir Director to lead the ensemble’s choir alongside our Music Director, Jamin Morden, during the full concert seasons in the Fall and Spring, as well as choir-only concerts. During our optional summer small ensemble showcase (SES), the Choir Director may participate in any way they choose, but is not obligated to direct the choir for the SES concert. The Choir Director serves as a volunteer and is not an employee of the WMGSO; however, they shall be permitted to receive reasonable reimbursement or allowance for expenses incurred. An annual stipend of $1,000.00 is available, payable in installments at the end of each concert season.
The Choir Director will report directly to the Board, and is granted the power of decision about matters pertaining to the artistic and musical direction and presentation of the choir. The Choir Director will collaborate with the Music Director on repertoire, rehearsal plans, and other duties pertaining to the musicality of the choir and integration with the instrumentalists for joint pieces. Beyond the expected musical expertise, the Choir Director must have strong communication, organizational, and administrative skills, and be able to work collaboratively with the rest of Music Leadership, performing members, and the Board.
The position will start with a one-year contract which will be followed by a review. Depending on the results of the review, the contract will be eligible for renewal for a three-year term.
About WMGSO: The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt community orchestra and choir whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. WMGSO is a volunteer-run organization; our performances and other endeavors are primarily funded by county and state grants.
Since the ensemble’s first rehearsal in August 2013, membership has grown to more than 100 performers. WMGSO stages concerts three times a year: full ensemble concerts in the fall and spring and chamber concerts in the summer. Additional chamber performance opportunities at fundraisers, conventions, and community outreach events are available to membership throughout the year. Our repertoire ranges in style from pre-Baroque to modern pop genres. Most of our arrangements are created in house from current and former members. To view past concert programs, please visit: https://wmgso.org/programs.
In celebration of WMGSO’s five-year anniversary in 2018, the ensemble ran a successful IndieGoGo campaign and recorded its first professional album. WMGSO: The Album includes 12 tracks performed by the full orchestra and/or choir. Thanks to meeting crowdfunding stretch goals, an additional eight tracks of chamber music were released shortly thereafter as a download-only album, WMGSO: The Album DLC. Additional album information can be found online: https://wmgso.org/albums.
Notable performances: In 2015, WMGSO performed at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in front of a capacity crowd and at the first-ever Super Smash Con. Three years later, WMGSO performed on the mainstage at MAGFest in front of 2,000 attendees. In 2019, WMGSO collaborated with composer Tony Manfredonia on the North America debut, and global choral debut, of music from Kharon’s Crypt. The ensemble performed for a global audience at the 79th Annual World Science Fiction Convention and the Hugo Awards in December 2021. WMGSO's home stage for the past few years has been the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, Md.
Job Opportunity: WMGSO Chorus Director
Beyond the expected musical expertise, the Choir Director must have strong communication and organizational skills, and be able to work collaboratively with the rest of Music Leadership, performing members, and the Board.
Plan, lead, and coordinate choir-only rehearsals to prepare joint and a cappella pieces, usually five 5-6 joint and 1 a cappella per concert (directed by the choir director).
Exercise full musical direction over choir-only concerts.
Conduct a capella pieces in concert and direct any choir-only concerts.
Run all auditions for a capella vocal solos, and consult with the Music Director for auditions that require a vocal solo for joint pieces.
Hold auditions for section leaders and choir candidates.
Provide reviews of choral parts for arrangements submitted to the Library team.
Assist the Music Director in planning concert repertoire.
Qualifications and Experience
2-5 years’ experience conducting and coaching vocalists and choral groups, with some level of instrumental and/or orchestral knowledge.
A BA/BM/BS in Music/Performance/Music Education and 1-2 years of conducting experience or a MA/MM/MS degree in Music/Performance/Music Education/Conducting may be substituted for the above.
Ability to conduct and rehearse a wide range of musical genres.
Ability to recognize, diagnose, and correct musical, interpretive, rhythmic, balance, and intonation problems in choral groups and to address them efficiently and appropriately
Ability to conduct rehearsal in an efficient and engaging manner.
Adherence to fairness, sensitivity, and discretion in all matters pertaining to orchestra personnel such as auditions, terminations, seating, etc.
The judgment, imagination, and practical sense to create (along with Musical Leadership, which includes the Library branch) balanced programs of significance to the ensemble, the occasion, and the community.
Knowledge of video game music is a plus but is not required so long as the applicant is willing to put forth the effort to understand the context and impact of the source material.
Desired Competencies and Skills
Ability to teach members appropriate performance styles in a wide range of genres.
Functional piano keyboard skills.
Practical experience in music composition.
Functional knowledge of and respect for the orchestra's administrative/business operation, including governance, fundraising, and marketing/public relations.
Rockville, Md. (rehearsals) and D.C. area (concerts).
How to Apply:
To apply for this position, please submit your information via the Google Form below. You may also send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org; however, the Google Form is the preferred method.
Additional documentation that can be submitted with an application, but is not required, includes: video recording of conducting work, professional website and/or social media, examples of arrangements and/or original compositions, letter(s) of recommendation, and academic transcripts.
Applicants can expect to hear back within 48-72 hours of receipt of the application. Applications will be open until 08/15/2022 or until the position is filled. Applicants may also expect to receive responses within 48-72 hours to all communications during their application process.