Employment and Auditions


JOB TITLE: Orchestra Personnel Manager
DATE: November 2020

General Description:
Serves as the primary employment and logistical contact for all contract and per service musicians performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Hires and assures the proper complement of orchestra musicians for each individual piece of music that is performed at every rehearsal, concert and recording session. Handles all administrative matters related to such activities. Prepares the payroll for the orchestra, including per diem, mileage etc., and maintains all necessary records related to musician attendance. Maintains adherence to the Collective Bargaining Agreement on matters pertaining to the personnel management of the orchestra. Works with operations staff to coordinate the needs for the orchestra as it pertains to services at Kleinhans Music Hall, runout and tour services and services held at other performing venues.

Key Areas of Responsibilities:
1. Act as primary liaison between musicians and administration
2. Ensure CBA compliance
3. Manage orchestra personnel
4. Audition Coordination

Primary liaison between Musicians and administration:

  • Maintain a respectful and positive environment for the Musicians of the orchestra, fostering and encouraging open communication between orchestra and management.
  • Act as liaison between the Society and Orchestra leadership, the union or its representatives, including communication with the Music Director, Principal Pops Director, Assistant Conductor and guest conductors.
  • Communicate with Music Director, Principal Pops Director, Assistant Conductor and Guest Conductors to determine rehearsal schedules and notify of any musician absences.
  • Communicate with library staff to ensure proper information flow to musicians.
  • As appropriate, coordinates with other departmental staff to resolve problems as they arise on stage from Musician or conductor needs, stage set up, illness or discipline.
  • Regularly consults with the Music Director regarding Musician performance, managing Musicians tenure and probationary process, hiring of substitute and extra Musicians.
  • Attends all meetings between the Musicians and Music Director.
  • Addresses personnel, facility or other issues in partnership with Kleinhans Music Hall and Buffalo Philharmonic Staff in a manner that ensures such issues do not affect or utilize service time.

Ensure CBA compliance:

  • Responsible for maintaining decorum and deportment of the orchestra and is expected to deal with problems as they arise and anticipate potential problems when possible; suggests appropriate course of action to be implemented in problem situations.
  • Has thorough knowledge and applies provisions of Collective Bargaining Agreement appropriate to the circumstances. Monitors various contractual issues and policies such as length and intermissions of services, stage conditions, travel arrangements, etc. Sees that all rehearsals and concerts begin and end properly according to contract rules. Researches facts related to work issues and grievances for discussion between the Society and the Orchestra. Implements authorized and agreed upon corrective measures appropriate to the situation.

Manage Orchestra Personnel:

  • Annually prepares and distributes individual Musician agreements and side letters.
  • Creation and distribution of weekly Blue Sheets.
  • Maintains Musician information portal and Google Calendar.
  • Prepares seating rosters and string rotation. Keeps attendance and accrual records for contract players, tracks string reductions and string equalization, tracks various types of time off outlined in the CBA. Takes and maintains record of attendance at all services.
  • Maintains proper instrumentation on stage and hires extra musicians called for by the score or as needed. Hires substitute musicians when necessary. Ensures the ensemble meets the minimum size requirements identified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Prepares payroll information related to the orchestra, extra musicians, radio broadcasts, recording sessions and other media activities, including the preparation of pay additions/deductions and other information necessary for payroll processing. Oversees administration of various contractual benefits, including overtime, move-up, doubling, sick leave, and time off, travel time, rotation and seating assignments. Provides support and acts as liaison with the Finance and Administration Department on insurance/benefit programs related to the orchestra.
  • Works closely with the Finance Department to address issues relating to Musician disability, long term, and medical leaves.
  • Works to make sure that all foreign Musicians have provided the needed visa documentation.
  • Works closely with the Director of Artistic and Orchestra Operations and others in developing the orchestra service schedule in conjunction with planning each BPO season. Participates in matters of tour planning, scheduling, itinerary, accommodations and transportation. Coordinates with other BPO staff in the development and implementation of safety and emergencies procedures as they impact on the orchestra.

Audition Coordination:

  • Convening and creation of audition committee in compliance with the CBA.
  • Function as liaison between the audition committee chair, Music Director and Library on the selection of the repertoire list.
  • Facilitating informed discussions regarding candidate recruitment, advertising, etc. working to ensure the maximum number of high quality candidates.
  • Creating and distributing audition advertisements.
  • Planning and implementing the audition process working to ensure that candidates have a positive experience.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements:

  • College or Conservatory degree in Music, Arts Administration or Business Administration required, along with knowledge of symphony orchestra structure, symphonic repertoire and standard references.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, leadership and organizational skills are necessary.
  • Must exhibit maturity in behavior, patience and understanding, and be decisive in reaching, communicating and implementing decisions.
  • The ability to handle multiple priorities in stressful situations is essential for this position, as is the ability to cope with the stressful situations in a calm manner. Must be able to cope with confrontation, manage altercations, and assist with problem resolution.
  • Computer skills and proficiency with Word, Excel, OPAS or other similar programs is mandatory.

Reporting to the Director for Artistic and Orchestra Operations, the Personnel Manager is part of a 9- person department including two full-time stagehands, two part-time stagehands, two librarians, production manager and an Associate Manager of Artistic and Orchestra Operations. The position offers medical insurance, paid vacation, a 401 (b) 3 retirement plan among other benefits. Prior orchestra experience necessary. Interested persons should send a cover letter and resume to abolton@bpo.org. No phone calls please. Please submit materials by Friday January 8, 2021.


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