Executive Director

American Youth Symphony (AYS)

Los Angeles, CA


We challenge. We nurture. We inspire. The American Youth Symphony (AYS) is a Los
Angeles-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1964 by Mehli Mehta. AYS is
dedicated to the artistic development of a new generation of musicians and to building the
audiences to support them. Led by Music Director Carlos Izcaray, Music Director of the
Alabama Symphony Orchestra, AYS trains outstanding emerging instrumentalists. These
musicians are selected by audition and seek to broaden their performance skills by participating
in an ensemble in addition to school-based orchestras.

AYS is an orchestra – a training ground – for musicians to master their craft and to develop a
deep understanding of the musical score. In collaboration with world-class artists like Daníel
Bjarnason, Anna Clyne, Sarah Chang, Johannes Moser, John Williams, David Newman, Alan
Silvestri, Charles Fox, and Lera Auerbach, AYS performs an annual series of five outstanding
concerts, the vast majority of which are free, at UCLA’s Royce Hall. AYS also participates in
community outreach initiatives designed to make orchestral music accessible to all. For more
information, please visit www.aysymphony.org.


AYS seeks a dynamic and creative visionary with experience producing results in an artistic,
youth-oriented community organization. The Executive Director will be responsible for the
financial sustainability and growth of our vibrant organization by:

▪ Acting as a primary liaison to the Board of Directors
▪ Leading a small team of professional staff
▪ Developing and diversifying funding sources and community partnerships
▪ Managing the organizational budget
▪ Ensuring implementation of an outstanding training program and innovative artistic
▪ Executing a clear communications plan
This position requires demonstrated success in fundraising, communications, board leadership,
staff, program, and operations management. The successful candidate should have knowledge
of classical music repertoire and experience in arts management, arts education, and/or
orchestra management. Experience managing the day-to-day operations of a small arts
organization is a plus. This position reports to the Board of Directors and is located in Los
Angeles, CA.


Development ● Communications ● Outreach

Develop and maintain high-level relationships within the philanthropic, arts/music, education,
government, and private sector communities. Be the main “face” of AYS in the community.
Oversee development planning, fundraising activities, and volunteer support, facilitating growth
in foundation, corporate and individual donations.
Act as a liaison to the Board of Directors by keeping the board well-informed about key
organizational activities, facilitating regular board meetings, ensuring ongoing training &
development, and working to support fundraising and community outreach goals.
Develop a thoughtful and effective communications strategy.

Program ● Management ● Operations

▪ Work closely with the Music Director to oversee all aspects of AYS programming
including orchestra auditions and selection, training and management, artistic planning,
and performance.
▪ Work with the AYS treasurer and accountant in preparation of financial statements and
the reporting of financial results.
▪ Work with AYS staff and Board of Directors in the preparation of a long term strategic
▪ Provide excellent leadership, promote organizational values, and clearly communicate
expectations amongst staff.
▪ Implement effective performance evaluation systems that promote growth and
achievement of individual and organizational goals.
▪ Promote a positive and collaborative work environment.
▪ Work closely with the Board of Directors to establish clear financial goals, ensure sound
fiscal planning, and manage a clear and transparent organizational budget.
▪ Oversee all aspects of administrative operations including human resources, office
management, utilities, ticketing, customer service, and donor relations.


Candidates should have…
▪ Experience as a successful leader in the nonprofit arts sector, preferably with an
orchestra or other music organization. Arts education experience is a plus.
▪ A clear understanding of the role of the Board of Directors and experience as a
professional board liaison.
▪ Strong familiarity with the strategic and operational planning process.
▪ Proven success in fundraising through foundation, corporate, and individual sources.
Experience in planned giving is a plus.
▪ Skill in financial planning and budget management.
▪ Knowledge of the cultural landscape of Los Angeles and surrounding communities, and
an ability to build collaborations with new and existing community partners for the
purposes of organizational support, arts education outreach, and audience
▪ A history of effective and evaluative staff management.
▪ A keen interest in the mission and programs of AYS.
▪ Knowledge of classical music repertoire and orchestra make-up.
▪ High comfort level with technology: electronic communications, social media, database
management, and office software, including Microsoft Office Suite.
▪ Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.


▪ Salary commensurate with experience
▪ Employer-paid health coverage
▪ Paid vacation, sick days, paid holidays

Please e-mail letter of interest and resume with salary requirements to:
Isabel Thiroux, Director of Orchestra Operations
[email protected]
AYS is an equal opportunity employer

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