Oct 21, 2023

Pacific Symphony

Irvine, CA

Building upon 30 years of serving Orange County California’s schools, Pacific Symphony’s vision for the future includes deepening, expanding, and optimizing partnerships with K-12 schools, contributing to a community where every student has equitable access to the transformative power of music.

As a key leader within the Education and Community Engagement team, the Director of Education will serve as a connector, program manager, and collaborator. The primary focus of the Director’s role is leadership for the nationally recognized elementary school partnership
initiative, the Frieda Belinfante Class Act program. Class Act is approaching its 30th Anniversary, and the program is currently undergoing a strategic program review, with the majority of research and evaluation to be completed by the close of 2023.

The Director will have the opportunity to shape the new direction of the program, based on the research and recommendations from the program review. This will be done in collaboration with the current Class Act staff, volunteer, and musician team, and alongside the Vice President of Education and Community Engagement. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced leader to impact the future of partnerships between Pacific Symphony and Orange County schools, and to take a central role in creating equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for Orange County’s students.

In addition to the duties as program director for Class Act, the Director will serve as the primary connector to the education community for the Symphony. The Director will stay current on educational practice, building strong relationships with the local education community, including music specialists, visual and performing arts coordinators, and leaders in school districts. The Director will also make recommendations on, and contribute to, the future direction of Pacific Symphony’s work with K-12 schools and will advise on content for other Education and Community Engagement programs as required.

In the summer months, the Director will oversee all educational content for the Musical Playground at Symphony in the Cities Concerts. The Musical Playground provides pre-concert, interactive, and family-friendly activities at each of the concerts, currently three concerts each
summer. They will manage a summer coordinator for this project and provide direction and training to the coordinator to ensure a positive learning experience for both the coordinator, and the children and families served through the program.

The successful candidate will be a strategic and empathetic leader and strong manager who possesses the ability to maintain and grow programs that are innovative, educationally sound, financially sustainable, and well-aligned to both community needs and the Symphony’s mission. They will have an enthusiasm for working with orchestral musicians, and experience in collaborating with and guiding teaching artists.

The Director’s role is firmly anchored at the crossroads between the educational community and the orchestra, with primary work environment being on the administrative staff of a professional orchestra. The successful candidate will be experienced and comfortable in the orchestra environment or have an excitement and willingness to learn and grown as a manager within an orchestra.


Class Act and the Education Community

  • Serve as Program Director for Class Act, the Symphony’s award-winning elementary school
    partnership program, overseeing partnerships with up to 35 schools (the program currently
    serves 19 schools).
  • Collaborate with the Vice President of Education and Community Engagement on the final steps of the Class Act program review and lead the implementation of the program redesign and launch.
  • Lead curricular design and script-writing process with team of collaborators and designers, including conception, evaluation, and piloting of new program elements.
  • Provide leadership, training, guidance and support to Class Act musicians. Facilitate
    training sessions, workshops, and ongoing professional development to enhance musicians’ pedagogical skills, ensuring they remain effective and inspiring mentors to young learners.
  • Thoroughly understand the Symphony’s collective bargaining agreement and ensure
    compliance with work rules
  • Supervise and support the Class Act Program Manager in overseeing all administrative
    aspects of Class Act.
  • Co-lead interdepartmental team in developing content for annual Youth Concerts, including assisting with contracting and overseeing guest artists and collaborating with the Director/Scriptwriter.
  • Develop effective assessment tools and oversee program assessment.
  • Develop and monitor program budget, assisting in the preparation of funding proposals, and maximizing earned and donated income strategies.
  • Develop and maintain quality relationships with students, parents, teachers and
    administrators in Class Act’s partner elementary schools, leveraging opportunities to
    support schools in advocating for strong music and arts education.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with leaders in the Orange County education community, including Visual and Performing Arts Coordinators and district TOSAS(Teachers on Special Assignment).
  • Attend twice-monthly meetings with the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators, representing the Symphony and building opportunities for collaboration.
  • Remain current on issues facing the education community on the local, state, and national levels, maintaining an understanding of how these issues interface with the Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement programs.
  • Serve as a music education resource for the Education and Community Engagement
    department, including review of content as needed.

Symphony in the Cities

  • Recruit, hire, and supervise the Musical Playground Coordinator in the creation of
    educational content for the Musical Playground for Symphony in the Cities summer
    concerts (currently 3-4 concerts each summer).
  • Provide management support and oversight for the Musical Playground as needed to
    Symphony in the Cities sites.

Organization and Cross-Departmental

  • Serve as a leader and contributor in strategic planning, evolution, design and data-driven
    decision making around existing and future educational programming.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to equitable and inclusive practice, both in content
    creation and program design.
  • Collaborate with the Vice President of Education and Community Engagement in soliciting
    input from the Symphony’s Music Director and President, ensuring a smooth flow of
    communication on all programmatic considerations.
  • Collaborate with major gifts team by participating in fundraising and stewardship visits.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Institutional Giving and the Vice President of Education
    and Community Engagement in preparation of grant applications and reports.
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Public Relations colleagues to promote education
    programs and to create marketing materials for public education events.
  • Support institutional and departmental projects as needed.
  • Given that Class Act is currently undergoing a program review, the Director’s duties may evolve based on program evolution. It is anticipated that the Director will take an active role in this evolution, and that any changes in duties will be in service of program constituents’ needs, and of the Director’s professional growth.



Bachelor degree in Music or Music Education required. Masters degree or advanced training
in Music, Music Education, or Arts Management/Administration a plus.


Seven to ten years of increasingly responsible experience in managing arts education
programs for an orchestra or other not-for-profit, or in leading an education and community
engagement department. Though this role is primarily a management one, experience gained
in curriculum design and/or teaching music is a plus.


  • Deep knowledge of, and professional experience in, classical music, music and arts
  • A strategic thinker, with experience in program design for in-school partnerships with
    arts organizations, and a vision for optimizing opportunities for growth and evolution.
  • Strong written and verbal communicator, able to navigate complex interpersonal
  • An inspirational leader and manager, excited to grow and sustain a high performing team
    of staff, teaching artists, and volunteers, unified around a shared vision.
  • Prioritizes inclusivity and equity in program design and decision making.
  • Understanding and sensitivity in working with people from a variety of identities and lived experiences.
  • Independent and self-motivated, with strong project management skills and the ability to juggle competing timelines and priorities efficiently and creatively.
  • A connector of people, and an empathetic listener, able to build an environment of mutual respect.
  • Enthusiasm for, and experience with, managing and collaborating with professional
    musicians and functioning optimally and collaboratively within a collective bargaining
  • Experience in working with schools and school districts, with an understanding of current educational practices, and the unique role a symphony orchestra can play in celebrating, supporting, and enhancing music programs in schools.
  • Strong financial management skills, including experience in creating and managing
  • Strong organizational and operational ability with a keen attention to detail
  • Engaging public speaker.

Some candidates may see the above list and choose not to apply because they don’t match every single bullet point. If this opportunity is an exciting or inspiring one for you, we encourage you to apply anyway! If you have life or professional experience that you feel would serve you well in this role but may not be listed here, please be sure to highlight that in your cover letter.


Direct supervision of part-time Class Act Program Manager and summer Musical Playground Coordinator. Indirect supervision of four part-time Class Act Regional Managers. Responsible for supervising project managers, content creators, orchestra musicians, student musicians, interns, and volunteers.

Salary: $70,000-$85,000

Benefits: Pacific Symphony offers a comprehensive compensation and benefits package including a 401(k) retirement plan, paid vacation and paid holidays, as well as sick leave and personal days off. It provides a wide selection of health benefit options including medical, dental, vision, life and long- term disability insurance, as well as flexible spending
accounts, an employee assistance program, and complimentary tickets.


  • Email your resume and cover letter to Patrick Brien, Vice-President & COO, Arts
    Orange County: pbrien@artsoc.org.
     Arts Orange County will be partnering with Pacific
    Symphony in this search process.
  • Please submit all materials no later than November 21, 2023.
  • Please begin your subject line with the words “Director of Education”
  • No phone calls please

Please see job description for details here