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Orchestra Manager

Reports to: Producer

Works with: Music Director, Business Manager, Technical Director, Librarian, orchestra personnel

Summary: Recruit orchestra personnel; oversee distribution and retrieval of music; arrange for the use of any special instruments or equipment (e.g. timpani) as needed; participate in rehearsal and performance logistics

Job skills: Good organization skills; familiarity with local community of musicians and/or participation in the orchestra is helpful but not required

Specific Duties:

  • Work with Music Director regarding personnel members; rehearsal and performance schedule; changes to the music, if any (cuts, repeats, additional music, etc.); and other special needs (e.g. timpani, keyboards, chimes).
  • Work with the Producer regarding the budget for personnel and other expenses
  • Recruit players
  • Make arrangements for using and transporting timpani (owned and shared by the Durham Savoyards and St. Philip’s Episcopal Church).
  • Work with Music Librarian to ensure all needed parts are available, readable and complete (no missing pages)
  • If the Music Director wants changes (cuts, extra or fewer repeats, extra music), prepare a description of these changes for each part affected, including copies of any additional music (such as “God Save the Queen” and “Hail Poetry”)
  • Distribute music to each player before the first rehearsal. Maintain a record of the individual part number assigned to each player.
  • Provide the Producer and Business Manager with a list of all players and their total honorarium amount.
  • At rehearsals and performances, act as liaison between players and production staff, as needed (e.g. repairing stand lights)
  • Distribute honoraria checks
  • Retrieve all parts after the final performance and return to the Music Librarian for storage

Notes and Practices from Previous Years

  • Meet with Music Director several months before performance to begin the process of determining numbers of players and other special requirements (e.g. music alterations, additional instruments)
  • In developing the budget with the Producer, determine honoraria based on a fixed per-service rate. Avoid differential rates based on instrument, chair, or seniority. This will simplify the process of budgeting and paying for substitutes.
  • Begin the recruiting process as soon as possible, because the better players are often booked several months in advance. It is most desirable to have players who can attend all rehearsals and performances. However, it may be necessary to find substitutes for some performance dates (having full coverage for rehearsals is important but less critical). Confirm all dates and honoraria individually in writing.
  • The Savoyards own a set of timpani (4 drums) jointly with St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. The instruments are stored at St. Philip’s, and scheduled and maintained by their Director of Music. Notify the Director of Music as far in advance as possible about schedule and which specific drums will be needed (usually only two of the four).
  • Work with the Technical Director regarding transportation and placement of timpani and other large equipment. The Technical Director is also responsible for setting up the orchestra pit with chairs, stands and stand lights, and will need to know the numbers and special placement requirements.
  • The Music Librarian will ensure that each orchestral part has a “Property of Durham Savoyards” label affixed with a unique part number encoded.
  • It is important to clearly annotate all changes (cuts, extra or fewer repeats, extra music) before distributing parts to the players. This will save time in rehearsal and avoid confusion during performances.
  • Distribute parts to each player 3-4 weeks before the first rehearsal. Parts should be delivered in person or by mail (budget permitting). Keep a log of part numbers, the player to whom the part is assigned, date distributed and date returned.
  • Provide a list of orchestra personnel to the Producer so it may be included in the program and on the website.
  • Try to avoid last-minute personnel scheduling conflicts and substitutions – but these will arise anyway. The Business Manager will have the checks ready by the last performance. Let the Business Manager know about personnel shifts and honoraria changes, whether any checks (for substitutes) are needed before the final performance.
  • Immediately after the final curtain, retrieve parts and distribute checks at the same time. Check for problems and remove extraneous materials (such as paper clips) before returning to the Librarian for storage.