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submitted by
Lynne Sorkin

Manager, Civic Fellowship Program Chicago Symphony Orchestra



TITLE: Manager, Civic Orchestra Fellowship Program

Revised: June 2021


DEPARTMENT: Negaunee Music Institute

About the Civic Fellowship Program. Launched in 2013 with leadership by Yo-Yo Ma, the Civic Fellowship Program prepares 10-15 young professionals for multifaceted careers in music. Through a series of training workshops and the delivery of various Negaunee Music Institute programs, fellows develop skills and experience in artistic planning and chamber music performance, music education, community engagement and project management. Fellows also serve as members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Position Summary. The Manager, Civic Fellowship Program supervises the fellows and leads planning and execution of all Fellowship activities. Additionally, the person in this position supports education and community engagement projects of the full Civic Orchestra.

CSOA is an equal opportunity employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. We value diversity and inclusion and seek to build and maintain a community and culture that celebrates and values diverse backgrounds, identities, and perspectives. We consider equivalent combinations of experience and education for jobs, and all candidates who believe they possess equivalent experience and education are encouraged to apply.


1. Lead the design and implementation of all aspects of the Fellowship curriculum, including:

• curation and performance of chamber concerts -- at Symphony Center and in communities across Greater Chicago -- with an emphasis on new music and collaboration with living composers;

• partnerships with Chicago Public Schools;

• mentorship of young musicians through programs like the Chicago Youth in Music Festival;

• songwriting projects with families who have lost children to gun violence as part of the Notes for Peace program;

• and fellow-led group and independent projects.

2. Identify and engage musicians and staff of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as a roster of guest faculty to provide training workshops and seminars throughout each season.

3. Supervise the fellows. Facilitate regular Civic Fellows meetings, manage absence requests and hiring of substitute personnel, submit payroll memos, maintain online calendars and manage the Civic Fellowship Program budget.

4. Manage operations needs of Fellows projects, meetings and rehearsals. Work with the Civic Operations Coordinator on larger Fellowship projects that require additional operational support. Attend CSOA Production Meetings.

5. Collaborate with Negaunee Music Institute and CSO Marketing staff colleagues on creating Fellowship content for and Civic Orchestra social medial channels.

6. Manage select education and community engagement activities for the full Civic Orchestra including side by sides with local youth orchestras, the annual Bach Marathon and “artistic challenges” issued to the orchestra by guest artists and Civic staff.

7. Provide support when requested for full Civic Orchestra concerts, open rehearsals and other special events that occur outside of Symphony Center. Undertake additional promotional efforts that build diverse audiences for these events.

8. In association with CSO Development, contribute to funding proposals, program impact reports, and stewardship of donors. Participate in ongoing evaluation of the Fellowship.

9. Other duties as assigned.


• Bachelor’s degree in Music or Music Education, or equivalent experience.

• Minimum 3-5 years of experience managing personnel for a youth, pre-professional or professional orchestra, university school of music or conservatory.

• Advanced project management skills in music education and experience working collaboratively in diverse communities.

• In-depth knowledge of symphonic music (standard repertoire and new music) and a passion for how music can transform lives.

• Superior communication, organizational, written and verbal skills. Ability to speak publically in front of large audiences.

• Diplomacy and sensitivity in communicating with a broad range of constituencies.

• Ability to function as a strong leader as well as a member of a team.

• Ability to manage multiple time-sensitive tasks simultaneously.

• Willingness and availability to work evenings and weekends.

• Demonstrated proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite.

• Good sense of humor and ability to work well under pressure.


Reports to the Director of The Negaunee Music Institute. Primary contacts include:

Civic Fellows, Civic Orchestra Members, Civic Orchestra Manager, Civic Operations Coordinator, individuals and organizations from dozens of Chicago area communities, CSO Development staff, Operations and PR/Marketing departments, CSO musicians, guest artists and clinicians, members of the CSOA League, teaching artists, and volunteers.


Pleasant office environment.

Contact Info:
Human Resource Department
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago