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Chorus Profile

Chora Nova, a Berkeley, California-based chorus, was founded in 2006 by 16 singers. They engaged Paul Flight to be their Artistic Director and he remained in that position for 17 years. The incoming Artistic Director will be only the second in that position.

Chora Nova is an auditioned chorus with a mandated membership of no more than 60. The chorus presents three concerts per season. Each program is performed once. Repertoire  ranges from major choral works such as Handel’s Messiah and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater to smaller pieces such as Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music. We are proud to have presented the American premiere of the chamber orchestra version of Holst’s The Cloud Messenger. Budget considerations make it necessary to limit the number of concerts we present with full orchestra. Regardless of the size of the instrumental complement, Chora Nova produces professional-level and memorable performances of choral music from the Baroque, classical, romantic, and modern periods employing professional vocal soloists and instrumentalists, all of whom receive compensation. A history of the chorus, a complete list of concert repertoire and audio clips are available on our website, The chorus rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:15-9:45  p.m. in north Berkeley. We retain a regular accompanist. A concert week in which we have an orchestra consists of an orchestra only (or orchestra/soloist) rehearsal, a chorus-only rehearsal, a full dress rehearsal, and the concert. All these are held in the concert venue.

Chora Nova is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded by tuition of chorus members, ticket sales, grants, and donations from the chorus and the general community. Over the years Chora Nova has consistently maintained an accumulated surplus. We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that develops and implements policy and is responsible for the financial management of the organization. The Board handles most of the logistical tasks for rehearsals and concerts as well as implementing fundraising throughout the year.

General Artistic Director Profile & Qualifications

Chora Nova is seeking an experienced, dynamic and inspiring music professional to lead our chorus into the next stage of its growth. The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:  

  • Clearly communicates expectations, and inspires singers to an enhanced vocal ability and understanding of the music.
  • Is competent conducting an orchestra and soloists drawn from local professional musicians. Communicates effectively with the orchestra and soloists. 
  • Transmits enthusiasm and knowledge to the chorus, orchestra and audience.
  • Values and appreciates our extended family of supporters, donors, patrons, and volunteers.
  • Works collaboratively with the Board of Directors, and with the broader community.
  • Embraces and promotes an internal culture of civility and respect.
  • An advanced degree in music is preferred, but not required, as is broad knowledge of classical choral repertoire and music theory. Basic keyboard skills are essential (advanced skills preferred), as well as an ability to read and conduct from orchestral scores.

 Specific Duties & Responsibilities

  • Organize rehearsal schedule and lead the full Chorus in regular Tuesday night rehearsals, from September through November (ending before Thanksgiving), from January through March and from March through May. Planned activities should include rehearsal warm-ups and joint rehearsals of chorus with orchestra and soloists in the final week of each concert season. In addition to the regular Tuesday evening rehearsals there is a  5-hour extended Saturday double rehearsal in preparation for each concert.
  • Audition prospective members and re-audition returning members with a view to continually improving the quality of the chorus.
  • Conduct the Chorus, Orchestra and soloists at concerts. Communicate effectively with audience if the need arises. Supervise editing of concert performance CD  from master recording.
  • With support from and financial approval of the Board of Directors, appoint and supervise all professional musicians engaged for concerts and events, including the accompanist, orchestra members, and soloists. Arrange for and compensate an appropriate substitute Artistic Director in the event of illness or other required absence.
  • Work collaboratively with the Board of Directors to select repertoire. In addition to the primary choral work(s) to be performed, concert programs may include one or more short pieces for orchestra or soloist(s). Program selections must take into account the abilities and interests of the chorus as well as budgetary guidelines of the organization.
  • Select editions of the works to be performed. Prepare notations and handouts as needed. Select reference YouTube performances for study.
  • Report to and regularly communicate with the Board of Directors, including attending Board meetings when invited and one afternoon Board retreat annually.
  • Solicit and accept feedback from chorus and Board regarding the rehearsal and performance experience.
  • Be available for and support opportunities for outreach and expansion.  Attend periodic fundraising event(s) organized by Board.


The position is an 8 to 9 month position annually from late August to late May of each year, with an extended hiatus between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Starting compensation is $30,000. No benefits are included, and no relocation allowance is available.

Application Timeline

  • Complete applications will be accepted until February 15, 2024.
  • Search Committee will interview a short list of candidates; finalists will be selected by April 15, 2024.
  • Finalists will audition with the full chorus in May of 2024.
  • Board of Directors will appoint new Artistic Director by June 15, 2024.
  • Start Date:   Planning for the 2024-25 season begins immediately after selection (usually on Zoom); annual meeting and auditions are in late August; regular rehearsals begin shortly after Labor Day, 2024.

Application Items Required

  1. Letter stating your interest in the position and explaining how your skills and experience combine to make you an excellent candidate.
  2. Resume.
  3. Letters of reference from three professional references, emailed to, or email addresses of references.
  4. Sample concert program or list of repertoire you have conducted or would program for a chorus of our size and composition (include title, composer or arranger). Please do not submit CDs or DVDs of past performances with the initial application; these may be requested at a later date.
  5. Availability for the interview/audition dates described in timeline above, and any current time commitments that may conflict with the current Chora Nova schedule of activities.
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