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Available position:

ESYO Chorale Director for Melodies of Christmas

Position: Chorale Director for Melodies of Christmas
EMPLOYMENT: Part-time, seasonal

Empire State Youth Orchestra is seeking an experienced area high school choral music teacher to audition, select, and rehearse the Melodies of Christmas Chorale in preparation for four performances of Melodies of Christmas and subsequent TV broadcasts conducted by ESYO’s Music Director, Etienne Abelin. Melodies of Christmas is CBS6’s annual benefit for the pediatric oncology program at Albany Medical Center. The Chorale Director collaborates with ESYO’s Music Director and CBS6’s production staff. Weekly rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings, with performances in December. For a complete calendar please refer to the Melodies of Christmas Chorale Schedule, at the end of this description.

Duties & Expectations: The Chorale Director will:

  • Help suggest challenging and engaging holiday repertoire in collaboration with ESYO’s Music Director & CBS6.
  • Coordinate the audition process with support from ESYO’s operations staff.
  • Participate in the August repertoire planning meeting with ESYO’s Music Director & CBS6.
  • Recommend a rehearsal accompanist.
  • Support ESYO’s recruitment efforts by leveraging colleague network to help publicize auditions.
  • Meet with ESYO’s Music Director ahead of and during the rehearsal process to coordinate musical interpretations.
  • Rehearse the Chorale in the October, November and December rehearsals in cooperation with ESYO’s Music Director.
  • Optional: Conduct the Chorale in an a-cappella piece during the Melodies of Christmas performances.

The Ideal Candidate Will Possess:

  • Proven experience and expertise in directing high school chorale and large scale productions.
  • Exceptional ability to collaborate effectively with a production team.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage effectively with young musicians and inspire dedication and enthusiasm.

The Hiring Process:

  • Search committee will arrange to observe a candidate’s rehearsal and/or concert in May/June.
  • Interviews will take place in late May/early June.
  • Position will begin August 1, 2023.

How to Apply

Empire State Youth Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free workplace.Please submit the following items to Etienne Abelin, Music Director, Empire State Youth Orchestra at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      1. Letter of interest

      2. C.V. and 3 References

      3. Preferred but not required: 10-minute informal rehearsal video (online format—YouTube, Vimeo; does not need to be professionally filmed)

Closing date for the receipt of application materials is May 31, 2023.

Melodies of Christmas Chorale Director Schedule


  • Participate in a planning meeting at CBS6 to make programming decisions.
  • Review audition information, application, and excerpts with ESYO staff.
  • Confirm rehearsal schedule with ESYO staff.


  • Tentative Audition Dates: Sept. 30 - Oct. 1. 2023
  • Arrange for an accompanist and additional judge; ESYO handles all logistics.
  • Provide audition results to ESYO for dissemination.


  • Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm-9:30pm at Brown School, 150 Corlaer Ave. Schenectady, NY. Oct. 11, 18, 25; Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29; Dec. 6
  • ESYO librarian will prepare music in individual binders for the first rehearsal.


  • Dress rehearsal, tech rehearsal and all performances take place at Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady, NY.
  • Dress rehearsal (orchestra & chorale only): Tuesday, December 12; 6:30-9:30
  • Tech rehearsal (full production run-through) Wednesday, December 13; Time TBD
  • Performances Thursday-Saturday, December 14-16; Warm-up 5pm; Performance 7pm
  • Performance Sunday, December 17; Warm-up TBD; Performance 1pm