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Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Seeks Director of Orchestra Personnel

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Seeks Director of Orchestra Personnel

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is the largest cultural organization in Wisconsin performing over 135 concerts each season. Since its inception in 1959, the orchestra has received critical acclaim for artistic excellence and the organization as a whole has been a leader in musical education and technology. The MSO is a cultural cornerstone as it provides enrichment and education activities for audiences of every age, economic status, and background.  Excitingly,  the MSO is preparing to own and control its own home for the first time in history by renovating and moving into the Grand Theater in 2020.


The Director of Orchestra Personnel is critical in maintaining a healthy and respectful relationship between the members of the orchestra and the administration of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, providing effective and efficient management and administration of all orchestra personnel activities, and maintaining compliance with the collective bargaining agreement.


Directly supervises the Assistant Personnel Manager and the members of the orchestra in cooperation with the Vice President for Artistic Planning and Operations.   


(Other duties may be required or assigned):

  • Promote positive relationships with musicians, administration, and other relevant entities
  • Assist with ensuring compliance with the Musicians’ Agreement, foresee and communicate any potential violations or concerns, and assist in resolving any such matters amicably.
  • Liaison with conductors and guest artists of related contractual matters including intermission length
  • Hire extra and substitute musicians in consultation with principal players as required by instrumentation needs for all orchestra services
  • Participate in various committee meetings including Players’ Council and Artistic Liaison Committee
  • Attend all orchestra services; monitor compliance with the CBA; keep official time clock and take attendance
  • Ensure that musicians meet requirements of attendance, punctuality, dress and discipline
  • Prepare the orchestral payroll and communicate with Finance department
  • Maintain all records of leave, personal days, sick days and other absences
  • Prepare and distribute schedules and rosters for orchestra services
  • Prepare and manage personnel budgets for all orchestra events and for use in the Finance department’s preparation of the annual budget
  • Oversee auditions and ensure compliance with CBA regulations
  • Assist with logistical concerns of orchestra events
  • Assist with the negotiation of individual full-time musician contracts
  • Work with Human Resources to ensure compliance with all state and federal labor laws
  • Liaison between musicians and Human Resources on benefit matters
  • Assist the Marketing and Development departments in identifying musicians to perform for other events
  • Participate on the negotiation team in collective bargaining and research relevant topics and practices within the industry


Bachelor’s degree and preferably 5 years experience in orchestra personnel management, or related experience and experience as a professional orchestral musician.


This position interacts with musicians, staff, Music Director, conductors, guest artists, the public, legal counsel and volunteers.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily, have exceptional interpersonal skills, and a positive “can-do” attitude, ideally with a good sense of humor.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Contribute to building positive team spirit putting team success above own interests, build morale and group commitment to goals and objectives, and support other’s efforts to succeed by fostering a cooperative work environment
  • Treat people with respect, keep commitments, inspire the trust of others, work ethically and with integrity, and uphold institutional values
  • Accept responsibility for ones actions, decisions, and results
  • Behave and communicate in a manner that is transparent and honest
  • Speak clearly, confidently and persuasively in positive and negative situations, listen with empathy and get clarification, participate constructively and thoughtfully in meetings
  • Identify and resolve problems in a timely and effective manner, develop alternative solutions, work well in group problems solving situations and use reason and empathy when dealing with emotional topics
  • Detail oriented with a high level of accuracy
  • Ability to analyze and interpret financial data and prepare budgets and projections
  • Knowledge and Familiarity with Microsoft Office and Databases
  • Write clearly and informatively and present numerical data effectively
  • Improve and promote quality
  • Work within approved budgets; developing, recommending and implementing cost saving measures
  • Show respect and sensitivity for cultural differences and promote a harassment-free environment


This position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills.


None at this time


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Work schedule requires flexibility including nights and weekends.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

The above is representative of the position; there may be other activities or responsibilities required which are not listed. This does not constitute a contract with any person in any position.


It is the policy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to employ the most qualified person available for a job. This policy recognizes individual differences and the specific demands of each position. The MSO has a firm commitment to extend equal opportunity for employment and promotion to all people without regard to age, race, creed, color, disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest or conviction record, military service or any other characteristic prohibited by law except where a bona fide occupational qualification precludes employment.


The MSO complies with all provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Accommodation of Disabilities. This means that we do not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability in any phase of the employment relationship to include: application for employment, recruitment, hiring, promotion, and/or advancement in employment, compensation, training opportunities or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

The MSO believes in and practices equal employment opportunities for all employees and applicants for employment. Managers and supervisors are responsible for implementation of this policy. All questions about this Act should be discussed with the Human Resources Manager.


Salary will be commensurate with experience as appropriate.  The Director of Orchestra Personnel is entitled to all benefits available to full-time employees including health, dental, life and long term disability insurances and eligibility to participate in vision insurance, flexible spending account plans, and staff retirement savings plans.


Please send your cover letter and resume, addressed to Bret Dorhout, Vice President for Artistic Planning and Operations, by email in PDF or Word formats to Please, no phone calls or hard copy/physical mail submissions.

The MSO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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