Applications are now closed.

Thanks for your interest.

1/17/18 Update:
The application process is now closed and we are no longer accepting materials for this position. Thank you for your interest!

Since August 2007, Maestro Timothy M. Smith has been the Music Director and Conductor of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, where he has continued the tradition of fine music making that was established by his predecessors. Maestro Smith has given formal notice that he will be retiring from the position at the end of this 2017-18 season.

Therefore, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra is formally announcing the opening of the position of Music Director and Conductor. Please see the position details, requirements and application procedures below.

Download Music Director/Conductor Position Overview (PDF)


The Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra (CCCO) is a volunteer community ensemble, which was founded in 1977. CCCO has a long tradition of quality music making, and the orchestra’s artistic standards have grown consistently over the past eleven years, under the current Music Director/Conductor. New members are either auditioned or invited to join. Repertoire includes works for chamber orchestra and full symphonic orchestra, as well as works of smaller instrumental forces (string orchestra, chamber winds ensembles, mixed ensembles, etc.). Programs include works in a variety of genres, including both “classical” and “popular” music, based on a theme.

CCCO presents five concert sets per season. The season runs from the end of August (first rehearsal), to mid-May (last performance). The orchestra performs two formal concerts per set, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The venue for our Saturday afternoon concerts is the historic El Campanil Theatre in Antioch. The venue for our Sunday afternoon concerts rotates between the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek (where CCCO is a charter performing ensemble), and a facility at the Rossmoor Retirement Community in Walnut Creek. Occasionally, a third concert is added to a set – either a shared concert on a rehearsal night, mid-rehearsal sequence (most often with our rehearsal host’s orchestra), or a Friday evening concert preceding the Saturday-Sunday afternoon concerts (usually the May concert set) at Alhambra High School in Martinez (with a side-by-side component with the AHS String Orchestra).

Concert programs typically contain between 60-75 minutes of music, and often feature a guest soloist. The orchestra prepares the programs over the course of five or six 2.5-hour rehearsals, plus pre-concert sound-check/touch-up rehearsals in the concert venues (which vary in length from 20-90 minutes). The orchestra rehearses on Wednesday evenings, from 7:30-10:00pm, at College Park High School (CPHS) in Pleasant Hill. CPHS Percussion instruments are used for the concert performances.

CCCO pays the Music Director/Conductor an annual salary (in 10 monthly installments – September through June).

Currently, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra has a formal relationship with Saint Mary’s College of California, which uses CCCO as the orchestral ensemble for their qualified string students. The CCCO Music Director/Conductor is appointed to a position as Lecturer in the SMC Performing Arts Department, and receives a small stipend as the professor of record for the class (which currently carries a .33 weighted teaching load).


  • Work with the Board in setting the annual budget.
  • Work with the Board and the representatives of the various concert venues to set the annual concert/rehearsal calendar, and sign the formal contracts.
  • Work with the rehearsal site-host and school district on the formal process to obtain a Civic Permit to reserve the rehearsal room for rehearsal dates for the season.
  • Work with the Board and/or programming committee to select repertoire for the season.
  • Work with the Board and/or programming committee to identify and secure soloists.
  • Work with the Board and others on promotional and marketing materials for the season, and each of the individual concert sets, and in the process for creating concert programs.
  • Work with the Librarian to secure music for each concert set, working within the annual budget for the purchase and/or rental of music.
  • Serve as Personnel Manager for the orchestra.
  • Organize, plan and conduct weekly rehearsals in preparation for each concert set.
  • Communicate directly with soloists on all aspects of the preparation of repertoire and performance logistics.
  • Work with various concert venue liaisons, on concert logistics.
  • Work with rehearsal host (CPHS) on logistics related to borrowing percussion equipment for concert performances.
  • Work with CCCO percussionists on logistics of transportation of percussion equipment from CPHS to concert venues, and return of the equipment.
  • Conduct formal Saturday and Sunday concerts, as well as any additional concerts.



  • Bachelor of Music Degree
  • 3 years orchestral conducting experience
  • Experience conducting adults/community orchestra a plus
  • Experience working with a board of directors


  • A formal letter of application
  • Résumé/CV of education and experience as a musician/conductor, including names and contact information for 3-5 references
  • Three current letters of recommendation (references provided with Résumé/CV may also provide letters of recommendation)
  • A list of orchestral repertoire conducted in performance and/or rehearsal
  • DVD showing orchestral conducting (or links to videos)
    • 30-40 minutes in length
    • Showing 2-3 pieces of varying styles
    • Excerpts should include both rehearsal and performance modes
  • Three proposals for concerts, created with a theme (see synopsis of programs from 2007-2018 for examples of themes and repertoire):
    1. All “classical” music
    2. Concert combining “classical” music, and “popular” music
    3. Concert of all “popular” music


January 16, 2018: Submission Deadline

January 22-26, 2018: Interviews with semi-finalists

January 31, 2018: Finalists conduct the orchestra during rehearsal

Each finalist will be assigned a rehearsal block between 7:30 and 10:00

Repertoire:Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, Mvts. II and IV

Bernstein: Candide Overture

The CCCO Board will make its decision in mid-February and notify finalists.

Results will be announced February 17-18, 2018, during the “Ludwig and Leonard” concert performances.

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