Title Executive Director
Organization Houston Youth Symphony
Closing Date
Location Houston, TX

Award-Winning Major Youth Orchestra Seeks Proven, Dynamic Executive

Position: Executive Director, Houston Youth Symphony
Location: Houston, Texas
Reporting Relationship: Board of Directors
Work Week: Sunday-Thursday
Website: www.houstonyouthsymphony.org

The Houston Youth Symphony (HYS) is one of the largest, oldest and most award-winning youth orchestras in the United States. Its unique position within the most diverse, fastest growing major city in the United States provides the organization – and its new executive director – with an unparalleled opportunity to shape the lives of gifted young musicians and historically underserved communities. This is a full-time, permanent position for immediate hire.

A Rich Past – The Houston Youth Symphony is celebrating its 75th anniversary in the upcoming 2021-2022 season. Its many national awards include the Mark of Excellence Award from The Foundation for Music Education and the American Prize in Orchestral Performance. Dr. Michael Webster, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony, has also been recognized with the American Prize in Conducting.

A Powerful Present – HYS educates, develops and nurtures hundreds of passionate Houston-area students between the ages of 7 and 19 through a professional training program organized around five separate orchestras. In addition to the core orchestra program, HYS has also built a competitive chamber music training and performance program and two groundbreaking community outreach programs that provide music education opportunities for talented youth in select economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

A Promising Future – With the retirement of the long-time executive director, HYS has an opening at the highest level of the organization. We seek a non-profit executive driven to maintain and enhance HYS’s position as one of the finest, most inclusive, highest impact youth orchestral training and performance programs in the country.

Key Responsibilities
The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of HYS and has primary responsibility for its strategic vision and day-to-day functioning, within the budgetary and operational guidelines set by the Board of Directors. This individual will prepare budgets and manage the assets of HYS, raise funds, plan programs, engage with the local community and make key decisions related to the overall operations. Three full-time, two part-time and contract personnel comprise the HYS staff under the Executive Director’s supervision. The Executive Director is charged with dynamic leadership, maintaining standards of excellence in programming and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion in pursuit of the mission of HYS.

• Manage the overall operational and fiscal health of the organization.
• Maintain the business office of HYS.
• Keep abreast of applicable legal and industry standards on governance, personnel issues and finance and comply with same.

Finance and Risk Management
• Prepare annual operating budget for approval by the Board.
• Monitor and authorize expenditures in accordance with the budget.
• Ensure that appropriate internal controls are in place and operating as intended.
• Keep accurate, complete and timely financial records, and make all required filings.
• Generate and review monthly financial reports and periodic updated projections.
• Maintain bank accounts and relationships.
• Work with contract accountant to ensure financial records are reconciled in a timely fashion.
• Coordinate payroll with payroll services provider and ensure adherence to state and federal regulations.
• Manage the process and granting of financial aid scholarships for orchestra tuition.

• Oversee all hiring and firing of personnel, including contract employees. (Artistic staff is engaged in consultation with the Artistic Director, and with his/her approval.)
• Develop and periodically review staff job structure and descriptions, and perform annual reviews of staff.
• Set salaries and benefits, within the budget plan and with Board guidance.
• Develop personnel manual and organization policies in consultation with the Board.

Board of Directors and Committees
• Serve as the primary liaison with the Board of Directors and its committees.
• Collaborate with the Board president to set meetings and agendas and facilitate the work of the Board.
• Communicate with the Board in a timely manner, attend all meetings, prepare relevant financial and operational reports, and maintain all records of the Board.
• Assist in identifying and recruiting candidates for the Board.

Development and External Relations
• Develop and execute annual fundraising campaign in accordance with the budget by targeting foundations, corporations, government and individual sources.
• Prepare grant proposals, cultivate donors and acknowledge gifts.
• Oversee all activity of any development staff.
• Plan and execute special events such as house and community concerts and receptions.
• Maintain accurate records and prepare regular fundraising reports and projections.
• Develop and execute all marketing and communications efforts, including print, radio and social media advertising.
• Ensure maintenance of the HYS website.
• Maintain local community engagement through key partnerships with Arts Connect Houston, schools and other organizations, as well as relationships with regional and national colleagues.

Planning and Programs
• Lead program and artistic staff in annual planning for season, including personnel needed, scheduling, facilities, budgeting and strategic discussions.
• Negotiate and execute contracts required to implement programs, as budgeted.
• Manage effective communication with all participants in the programs of HYS.
• Attend orchestra rehearsals on Sundays and all concerts and programs.

Professional Experience and Qualifications
The successful candidate should be a proven, highly skilled executive director with a thorough understanding of non-profit practices and a passion for music and education. Combining inspirational leadership with sophisticated management acumen, the candidate will advance the organization in terms of culture, capability, processes and impact. Experience managing a complex organization employing both business and artistic staff, and willingness to learn and participate in all aspects of the business, is essential. The candidate should provide thoughtful and visionary executive leadership that is inclusive, transparent, and empowering in a manner that supports and guides the mission of HYS.
• Financial acumen and knowledge, including building and adhering to budgets, monitoring expenses, financial reporting, reviewing and adhering to internal financial controls and complying with laws.
• Ability to think analytically and lead tactically and strategically.
• High level of curiosity and intellectual horsepower.
• Strong writing, oral, and public speaking skills that reveal a persuasive and passionate communicator with strong interpersonal skills.
• Working knowledge of laws applicable to non-profit organizations.
• High level of integrity and character, reflecting the values and culture of HYS.
• Maturity, sound judgment, vision and a proven ability to get the job done.
• Flexibility and a sense of humor.
• Ability to inspire and motivate students, parents, volunteers, staff and donors.
• Experience in working successfully with diverse communities.
• Ability to work flexible hours, including Sundays and occasional nights.
• Computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office, WordPress, QuickBooks, Adobe Acrobat, e-mail marketing (such as Constant Contact or MailChimp), social media and knowledge of such industry-specific platforms as Acceptd and Remind.


With 10-15 years of experience and preference for a master’s degree, candidates may emerge from the business, arts management, or music sectors.


For immediate consideration, please send your resume and cover letter to hys.search@gmail.com
and be prepared to provide names and contact information for three references upon request.

The application deadline is May 31, 2021. A review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will, however, begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

Candidates will be required to undertake credit and criminal background checks and a drug screen. Vaccination for Covid-19 is required, with exceptions for religious or medical reasons as provided by law.

HYS is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Website http://www.houstonyouthsymphony.org