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Executive Director | Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras Executive Director

Reporting directly to the 23-member board of directors, the Executive Director (ED) is CYSO’s chief advocate, networker, and ambassador, cultivating new donor relationships and enhancing the organization’s profile and visibility with local, national, and global audiences and partners. The ED will be a collaborative and forward-looking individual who will work in tandem with CYSO’s leadership team and musical talent to identify new partnerships and training opportunities to further develop skills and enhance the educational experience of CYSO musicians.

The ED will be responsible for all areas of organizational management, directly leading the administrative operations and providing general leadership to the 40-member team, 20 of whom are part-time. The ED has four direct reports and up to 13 total administrative staff. The Music Director, also reporting to the board of directors, oversees the artistic team (conductors and coaches).

Some specific requirements include:

• Management and team-leading experience, preferably in nonprofit music organizations, arts education, or youth development programs.

• Strong leadership skills in general management, culture-building, organizational leadership, human resources, finance, and external relations, with a style that empowers others to lead in their areas of expertise.

• Ability to articulate a clear vision and plan for continued growth and impact of the organization.

• Success and enthusiasm for seeking investors and philanthropic donors. Direct experience with donor management, cultivation, and solicitation is desired.

• Deep appreciation for symphonic music as well as the expanded definition of the ‘orchestral’ experience that CYSO offers.

• A Bachelor’s degree is required, a relevant advanced degree or equivalent is preferred.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience and skills up to $130,000, along with the potential for performance-based bonuses and continuing professional education opportunities.

A competitive compensation package includes health, dental, and life insurance including short-term and long-term disability coverages, FSA, vacation, holiday, year-end time off, and sick pay, flexible work hours. Additionally, a retirement savings plan with an employer contribution after one year of full-time employment is provided.

CYSO is an equal opportunity employer. BIPOC, trans and gender-nonconforming people, women, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

COVID Policy: CYSO requires that all staff are vaccinated for COVID-19.

KEES has been exclusively retained by Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras in its search for an Executive Director.


To assure confidential tracking of all applicants, no applications will be accepted via email. ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE HELD IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.

This search is being managed by Heather Eddy, President and CEO, and Randi Blasutti Project Coordinator of KEES. Questions may be addressed to

KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams and dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public entity sectors. A woman owned and operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and HR support. For more information, please visit

With a rich history dating to 1946, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) is committed to educating, encouraging, and empowering student musicians so that they may pursue personal excellence both on and off the stage. Bringing together young musicians from diverse backgrounds in a collaborative environment that develops self-confidence, teamwork, and leadership, CYSO provides one of the most comprehensive music training programs in the country that inspires both musical and personal growth. To learn more, please visit

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago Loop