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Executive Director

We're hiring an Executive Director!

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 approximately $700,000. The BSO is the resident orchestra of the historic Mount 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 Mount Baker (Kulshan). 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 current season is the 48th for the orchestra, and the 10th 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 2023-24 season also features the ninth 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’s Youth and Community Engagement program, including the Bellingham Youth Chamber Players, extends outside of the concert hall and into local schools and the broader community. 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 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 engaging in the community and supervising staff both in person and remotely.

Essential Job Function Areas:

  • Organizational Leadership and Management of Human Resources
  • Financial Management, including preparing, executing, and monitoring the operational budget 
  • Resource Development and Fundraising
  • Community and Public Relations, including building and stewarding relationships in our community, as well as public speaking. 
  • Artistic Planning, including preparing budgets and negotiating & executing contracts
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors


● Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the arts, management, business, or a related field; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred. Experience studying or performing classical music preferred.

● Substantial leadership experience in the nonprofit arts sector; five years progressive experience preferred. Experience building consensus amongst diverse groups of interested parties preferred.

● Organizational financial management experience including budget development, tracking, and oversight.

● A proven record of meeting fundraising benchmarks; experience soliciting and bringing new donors to an organization is preferred.

● Proven record of effective relationship building with both internal and external individuals. A working knowledge of the Bellingham community and the broader arts community in the Pacific Northwest preferred.

● A working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs and Google Drive is required.

Application process:

Please submit the following by October 9. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Materials may be sent to

● Resume

● Cover letter describing your affinity, experience, and work in the arts & culture and/or non-profit sector

● Responses to the following prompts (separate from cover letter, no more than 500 words per response):

1. Describe your experience managing and overseeing an organizational budget in excess of $250,000. 

2. Please provide two examples of successful fundraising campaigns and briefly explain why you consider them successful.

3. Describe your approach to leading and managing a team in order to achieve results.

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.

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

The Bellingham Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer.

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