Join Our Team

Executive Director

Description of Organization

The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra is an enthusiastic and thriving community-based orchestra that features an extraordinary level of talent in its ~80 players, and attracts soloists of international stature such as Gil Shaham, Jennifer Koh, Anthony McGill, and James Ehnes. It is financially stable, with healthy reserves and an annual operating budget of ~$600,000. The BSO is the resident orchestra of the historic Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham, WA.

Bellingham is located between the Vancouver B.C. and Seattle metropolitan areas, nestled on the shores of Puget Sound and in the shadow of majestic Mt. Baker. It offers a rich variety of recreational, cultural, and educational activities, as well as natural beauty and exceptional schools. Bellingham regularly tops lists of “Best Places to Live,” and is ranked the second best arts community in the country (based on the number of active arts businesses per capita).

The upcoming season will be the 47th for the orchestra, and the 9th with Yaniv Attar as Music Director. Juilliard-trained, Attar is beloved by audiences and players alike for his engaging podium style and programming that honors the classical canon while celebrating contemporary works and commissioned pieces. The 2022-23 season also features the eighth year of the Harmony from Discord program, honoring the works of those who composed in the face of oppression, and celebrating the power of music to overcome adversity. The BSO has a robust Youth & Community Engagement program with more than 60 chamber and solo music performances outside of the concert hall each season and the Bellingham Youth Chamber Players program. More information about the BSO can be found at

Position Summary:

The Executive Director is the chief administrative officer, reporting to the Board of Directors through its president and collaborating closely with the Music Director. This position is an essential part of the organization’s leadership team, ensuring the BSO meets its mission, vision, and strategic goals while maintaining financial sustainability. The organization seeks a dynamic leader who is skilled at working with diverse groups, well-versed in classical music and arts leadership, and comfortable supervising staff both in person and remotely.

Essential Job Function Areas:

Organizational leadership, human resources, supervision, financial management, contract negotiations, resource development and fundraising, artistic planning, relationship building and stewardship, public speaking and presentations, community and public relations, and other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in the arts, business, or a related field; an advanced degree in a related field is desirable.
  • Minimum of five years progressive leadership experience in the nonprofit arts sector.
  • Organizational financial management experience including budget development, tracking, and oversight.
  • A proven record of fundraising success; experience soliciting and bringing new donors to an organization is preferred.
  • Proven record of successful personnel management and stewardship of community relationships.
  • A basic working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs and Google Drive is required. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience studying or performing classical music.
  • Experience building consensus amongst diverse groups of interested parties.
  • A working knowledge of the Bellingham community and the broader arts community in the Pacific Northwest, or demonstrated success in developing such an understanding.

Application process:

Please submit the following:

  • Resume/CV
  • Cover letter describing your affinity, experience, and work in the arts & culture sector.
  • Complete, concise responses to the following questions (separate from cover letter, no more than 500 words per response):
  1. Describe your experience working with a community-focused organization that depends on the work of volunteers to accomplish the mission.
  2. How have you demonstrated success in leading and managing a team?
  3. What is your experience with fundraising and what have been some key accomplishments?
  4. Describe your fiscal management experience including budget preparation and oversight.
  5. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values in the BSO. Please include a brief statement describing your demonstrated leadership skills, abilities, and commitments to advancing these core values.  The statement should include both past experiences and plans for future contributions. 

This is a full-time, exempt position. Starting salary range is $72,000 - 82,000, commensurate with experience. Professional references will be required upon request.

Materials may be sent either by postal mail or email to the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra at:

PO Box 5892, Bellingham, WA 98227-5892 | 

No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled on an ongoing basis.

The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity employer.