Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra | Director of Operations

October 5, 2020

Job Listing


The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is seeking qualified candidates for a Director of Operations to join our collaborative, enthusiastic team as we enter our 100th Anniversary season. You will report to the Executive Director and join our senior leadership team. This is a full-time position.

Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan’s premier musical organization and the state’s third-largest orchestra. Serving Michigan’s sixth-largest metropolitan area, the KSO provides more than 40 concert performances each year and reaches more than 31,000 adults and youth annually through exceptional symphonic music, world-class guest artists, and a vibrant educational program.

Our mission is to serve our community through outstanding musical listening and learning experiences. You will help carry out this mission in an environment where you are valued for the work you do and have an opportunity to make a difference in the community.

To Apply

To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter of introduction outlining your specific experience and qualifications, and a résumé in PDF format to HR@kalamazoosymphony.com. For best consideration, please apply by October 23, 2020. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Position Summary

The Director of Operations is responsible for ensuring that the scheduling and production of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s concerts, rehearsals, tours, and special events run smoothly, effectively, and in a financially responsible manner. This person oversees compliance with vendor and union contracts and interacts with musicians, artistic administration, artist managers, and facility management in a way that builds strong, positive relationships for the KSO.

This individual will be a self-starter and will be able to succeed in a dynamic, fast-paced, regional performing arts institution. This position oversees the Operations staff, including Personnel Manager, Orchestra Librarian, Stage Manager, and stage personnel.


  • Oversee the scheduling of orchestra services, including rehearsals, performances, recordings, runouts and tours, auditions, and meetings.
  • Ensure any schedule change falls within the parameters of the Master Agreement and is communicated to all. Maintain the master calendar.
  • Coordinate education and engagement activities with the Director of Education & Community Engagement.
  • Supervise the technical elements of productions, including facility rental and scheduling, as well as equipment, instrument, and music acquisition, maintenance, rental, transportation, and security.
  • Manage logistics related to load-in, stage set-up, audio, video, lighting, backline, and load-out, as well as transportation and accommodations for runouts and tours.
  • Ensure the successful management of and best possible working environment for musicians and stage personnel in accordance with their respective Master Agreements.
  • Serve on the negotiating committee for AFM negotiations.
  • Participate in regular Musicians’ Committee meetings.
  • Ensure individual musician contracts, tenure notifications, and related documents are issued and executed in accordance with the Master Agreement.
  • Work with the Personnel Manager to resolve any musician request, issue, complaint, or grievance.
  • Work with the Music Director and Executive Director, as well as designated Board and musician committees, to shape and implement artistic goals, plans, and initiatives, ensuring smooth operation and adherence to mission, vision, values, budget, policies, procedures, and other negotiated agreements.
  • Develop and manage a strong artistic operations team and ensure that each service is staffed appropriately.
  • Participate in defining concert programs and selecting guest artists, as needed.
  • Negotiate and prepare artist contracts. Oversee the coordination and management of guest artist logistics and itineraries.
  • In partnership with the Director of Finance, prepare the operations budget, and once approved by the Board, ensure the KSO operates within that budget.
  • Create production and monthly reports, reconcile discrepancies, explain variances, and implement changes as necessary.
  • Manage the procurement and inventory of supplies, licenses, equipment, and services for the operations department.
  • Establish a strong collaborative relationship with internal and external partners.
  • Help to identify, align, and fulfill funding opportunities as they relate to KSO productions.
  • Ensure accuracy in messaging about artists, repertoire, and productions in all mediums.
  • Serve as a liaison with venues and artistic partnerships.
  • Draft contracts, review invoicing and foster effective communication with each.
  • Work with media partners on the recording and broadcasting of KSO performances in accordance with approved agreements.
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Staff, assisting the Executive Director in setting institutional policy, procedures, and long-term strategic planning.
  • Attend meetings of the Board of Directors and its committees as assigned.
  • Represent the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in the community and industry.
  •  Perform other duties as assigned, requested, or needed.


  •  Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of five years’ experience in symphony orchestra administration
  •  Strong familiarity with symphonic repertoire, soloists, conductors, and living composers
  •  Experience negotiating and/or administering collective bargaining and individual agreements
  •  Established history of producing high-quality performances, creating production budgets, and a demonstrated ability to operate within the approved budget
  •  Superior communication, organization, management, diplomacy, and conflict resolution skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite
  • Highly self-motivated and goal-oriented with astute attention to detail
  • Must have a flexible schedule, the ability to work nights and weekends, and travel occasionally
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and the ability to drive
  • Physically be able to lift 25 lbs., unassisted
  • Must have a positive, calm, and professional attitude, be able to work as part of a high-functioning team, and possess a passion for the performing arts, as well as a strong desire to bring them to audiences of all ages and backgrounds

Compensation and Benefits

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra offers a comprehensive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience, and in line with similar positions of this scope within similar-sized orchestras in the country. Benefits include medical insurance, life insurance, vacation and sick time, parking, 403b, and a diverse offering of voluntary benefits.

At the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, disability status, marital status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. Candidates from all backgrounds and walks of life are encouraged to apply. Additional information about the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra can be found on our website at KalamazooSymphony.com.

2020 Southwest Michigan First. All Rights Reserved.