Application for Music Director

The Kanata Symphony Orchestra (KSO) is inviting applications for the position of Music Director. We intend to select a permanent Music Director to take the role as of the 2025-2026 season, following the selection process outlined below.

KSO Profile:

The Kanata Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra founded in 1981, and presenting three concerts per year, focusing mainly on the Classical repertoire. Members are amateur players, from students to retired people, with a range of abilities. We do not require a formal audition for membership, but do require members to meet minimum standards of ability and technique. The Orchestra is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the members. The orchestra rehearses on Wednesday evenings, at the Glen Cairn Community Centre in Kanata. Further information is available on our website,

Music Director Profile:

The Music Director reports to the Board, and is responsible for the planning, preparation, and implementation of the Orchestra’s season, in collaboration with the KSO Board of Directors. This entails selecting a variety of music, remaining within the Orchestra’s budget, and encouraging the artistic development of the Orchestra’s members and the Orchestra as a whole. Specific responsibilities include:

● Leading weekly rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, and dress rehearsals;

● Conducting a minimum of three concerts per year;

● Selecting repertoire in cooperation with the Board, and particularly with the KSO’s Music Librarian;

● Assisting in the selection and engagement of soloists and supplementary players (as required); and

● Furthering the artistic development of the orchestra.


The following are the required qualifications; in the absence of formal qualifications, significant relevant experience, documented by references, will be considered.

● Bachelor’s degree in Music;

● Experience as an orchestral conductor;

● Experience working with amateur musicians with a range of experience and ability;

● Experience in selecting music for orchestral performance;

● Comfort with a wide range of musical styles and periods; and

 ● Strong interpersonal and technical skills.

In addition to the above requirements, the following are considered assets:

● Graduate degree in Music;

● Good connections to the music community across the National Capital Region;

● Charisma and the ability to engage with an audience;

● The ability to arrange music; and

● Familiarity with relevant music software and music databases.


Remuneration will be negotiated with the successful candidate based on qualifications and experience. The position will be contract-based; the contract will be renewed annually at the discretion of the Board.

Working Language:

Rehearsals are conducted in English; the ability to communicate in French with Francophone members is an asset.

Application and Selection Process

Applications for the position of KSO Music Director will be accepted until April 30, 2024 at midnight. Applications received after this time cannot be considered.

Applications must be submitted electronically (pdf or Word format) via email to Kate Wilson, Applications must consist of the following:

● A cover letter describing the Candidate’s qualifications and experience, as outlined above;

● Three references (contact information only; letters of reference are not required to be included in the application package); and

● A proposal for a concert that the Candidate may be invited to prepare and conduct with the Orchestra. The proposed music must be consistent with the Music Selection description that follows.

Music Selection:

The music proposed by each Candidate must meet the following criteria: 

 ● It must be suitable for the KSO’s level of ability and experience, yet still challenge the Orchestra to develop artistically;

● It must be selected from the IMSLP music database; we will not be able to prepare music from paper copies; and

● No more than five separate pieces may be selected; the KSO hopes to avoid concerts containing a multitude of shorter pieces, preferring somewhat longer works. A typical concert will consist of between ninety minutes and two hours of music, with a short intermission.

Concerts are planned for November 23, 2024, March 22, 2025, and May 10, 2025. The Kanata Symphony Orchestra welcomes all applications, but will only contact those candidates selected for further evaluation as described below.

Application Evaluation

The Selection Committee, consisting of the Board plus two members of the orchestra at large,  will review all applications received, and rank them based on the criteria outlined above, and on the suitability of the proposed music for the KSO’s membership and audience. A short list of three Candidates will be prepared; each of the three Candidates will be invited to work with the orchestra during the 2024-2025 season, to prepare one of the season’s three concerts using the music proposed in their application. The three Candidates will be informed of their selection no later than May 15, 2024. Remuneration for each concert will be offered to each of the three Candidates.

Immediately after each Candidate’s concert, the membership will be surveyed to ascertain their views regarding the music selection, the music direction, and the Candidate him/herself.

The successful Candidate will be announced after the orchestra’s Annual General Meeting, to take place on or about May 17, 2025.

If you have any questions about the application or selection processes, please send them to Kate Wilson, email