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Head of Orchestral Operations

Posted on 3 October 2018

Application closing date 9am on Wednesday 24th October 2018

Introduction to Sage Gateshead

Founded in 2004, Sage Gateshead has an international reputation as a new centre for music combining performance, education and participation working across a wide range of musical genres and reaching a broad audience. Founded with a mixed business model, the charity’s turnover of £15million combines, box office, commercial, fundraised income with public subsidy.

Sage Gateshead runs:

  • Royal Northern Sinfonia, the UK’s only full time contract chamber orchestra
  • One of the largest Music Creative Learning Programmes in the UK
  • A Performance Programme of events and festivals across musical genres (folk, classical, rock, indie, jazz, electronic) for 360 days of the year
  • One of the biggest conference and events businesses in the region
  • A folk development agency, Folkworks
  • An iconic visitor attraction, designed by Foster + Partners on the banks of the Tyne with a large public space, three auditoriums and 25 learning spaces.

In 2014 Sage Gateshead completed its first decade. During this period the charity had:

  • 6 million visitors
  • 1.5 million participants
  • 1000 conferences
  • 4000 concerts
  • £283 million of economic benefit to the region

In 2016/17 Sage Gateshead delivered:

  • 451 Concerts
  • 10,609 Workshops
  • 112 Conferences & Events

About the role

The Head of Orchestral Operations is a new senior role in the classical team at Sage Gateshead, created to oversee the day-to-day running of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s operations, which are becoming more complex as the orchestra seeks to expand its role across the region and internationally. The role has line management responsibility for the RNS musicians and the operational team and leads on negotiations with the Musicians Union.

This post suits an experienced orchestra manager, who enjoys managing a diverse range of people and is a confident decision-maker. A thorough grounding in the working practices of professional contract orchestras and chamber orchestra repertoire is essential.

Job Information

Job Title: Head of Orchestral Operations
Department & Team: Performance Programme (Classical)
Location: Sage Gateshead
Working Hours: Full time (36 hrs). Regular weekend and evening working will be required, in line with the orchestra’s rehearsal and performance schedule.
Salary: Subject to experience

Position in Organisation

Reports to: Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Classical Music Programme
Responsible for: Line-management of Concerts & Tours Manager, Orchestra Manager, all RNS musicians
Works in conjunction with: Classical Music Producer, colleagues from other departments.
Budget accountability: Sign off up to £5000; responsible for classical overheads and salary budget with Director RNS and Classical Music Programme

Overall purpose of the job

To manage the day-to-day operations of Royal Northern Sinfonia, ensuring smooth delivery processes and the well-being of the RNS musicians at all times. The role will work in close collaboration with the RNS Director and Classical Music Producer to drive forward RNS and classical music at Sage Gateshead in coming years, shaping the future of RNS as a chamber orchestra for the 21st Century.

Main Duties and responsibilities

Line Management of Royal Northern Sinfonia:

  • including annual 121s and any formal matters, such as disciplinaries, capability procedures
  • oversee all recruitment and appointments to the orchestra, chairing panel meetings, and adapting procedures in line with changing requirements
  • development of the orchestral agreement with the Musicians Union, to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, compatibility with Sage Gateshead HR processes and procedures and best use of the orchestra at all times

Lead on relationship with the Musicians Union:

  • regular contact over individual personnel matters as they arise
  • keep track of wider operational issues which could necessitate contract alterations or amendments, to bring into annual negotiations.

Management of operational team:

  • ensure the smooth running of day-to-day operations at all times, including chairing regular operational team meetings
  • devise suitable administrative and operational processes and ensure these are being adhered to, even if the classical team is delivering multiple projects concurrently

Lead on Health and Safety for RNS:

  • ensure compliance with legislation and sector-specific advice, staying on top of the latest development in this area at all times
  • lead specifically on Noise at Work Regulations, implement suitable noise control and measurement systems for performances at Sage Gateshead, regional and tour venues and oversee their regular operation

Duty Management:

  • create the monthly duty rota, ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of orchestra management shifts, as well as adequate coverage for all ancillary duties
  • regularly duty-manage key concerts, thereby ensuring first-class duty management standards at all times

Budget Management:

  • responsible for day-to-day management of overheads and orchestra salary budgets (ca, £1.5m) with RNS Director
  • manage regular reporting and create accurate forecasts

Partner Relationships:

  • as a senior member of the classical team, manage and hold certain promoter and partner relationships as key contact

Any other duties:

  • travel with the orchestra across the region and on tour nationally and internationally will be required regularly
  • meeting attendance within and outwith Sage Gateshead, representing the classical team
  • deputising for the RNS Director when required
  • champion the observance, promotion and implementation of Health & Safety, Customer Care, Equality and Diversity, Dignity at Work and other policies with the Trust
  • Undertake other duties appropriate to the post and in line with the needs of the organisation

Knowledge, experience and skills required to do the job

Essential (required):

  • Degree (or equivalent)
  • At least five years working for a professional orchestra at manager level
  • Significant Line Management experience
  • Demonstrable experience in budget creation and management
  • Excellent communication skills, and skillful advocacy for classical music across a large organization
  • Good working knowledge of current orchestral working practices
  • Good knowledge of chamber orchestra repertoire
  • Excellent skills in logistical forward planning and problem solving
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Strong and confident decision-making skills
  • Ability to work constructively as part of a high-performing team
  • Ability to confidently interact with a wide variety of people from high profile artists to external venue staff.

Desirable (optional):

  • Music or arts management qualification
  • Significant experience of working within the confines of an orchestra contract
  • Experience of negotiations with the Musicians Union
  • Experience of working successfully across departments in a large organization

Terms and Conditions

We believe Sage Gateshead is a great place to work – an innovative and friendly environment, where no two days are ever the same.

Salary according to experience.

The holiday entitlement for this post is 33 days pa pro rata (including statutory holidays).

We also offer subsidised parking for staff members, as well as a discount in our café, and access to a voluntary health cash plan, bike to work scheme and travel ticket scheme.

How to Apply

Applications must be made on a North Music Trust online application form.

We regret that CV’s cannot be accepted. If you have any queries about your application please contact 0191 443 4624

Download the job description

Completed applications should be returned no later than 9.00am on Wednesday 24th October 2018.

Interviews are to be held on Thursday 1st November 2018.