Assistant Music Director

Alongside Sinfonietta’s hired professional conductors, Sinfonietta acts under the musical guidance of the Assistant Music Director (AMD). This person has a vital role in the orchestra not only for deciding repertoire but conducting parts of or entire concerts. This role is for anyone aspiring to be a professional conductor in their future career, both students of Southampton University and externally. It is a fantastic way of exposing and training aspiring amateurs to the life of conducting and all it involves. Due to the nature of the role, they get one-to-one guidance from industry professionals and gain invaluable experience as young conductors; it builds their confidence and develops them not only as conductors but as musical leaders. If you would like to find out more information or sign up to be Sinfonietta’s next AMD, check out the application form below.

Creating invaluable experiences

How to become our next AMD?

The role of Assistant Music Director for Sinfonietta is auditioned and requires you to complete an application form. The application form consists of questions about your musical experience and why you would like to go for Assistant Music Director for Sinfonietta. After reviewing the applications, a short list of 3-4 conductors is chosen for auditions. The audition consists of applicants conducting a selection of extracts provided by Sinfonietta and will last about 15 minutes. We aim to e-mail all candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, within 24 hours of the end of the audition period. If you are not successful in getting a place as AMD for Sinfonietta this year, please don’t be disheartened – it is a very competitive process and you shouldn’t be put off trying again next year. If you would like feedback, you should e-mail us at susinf@soton.ac.uk.

If you would like to apply for Assistant Music Director for Sinfonietta 2020/21 please fill in the following application form and email it to susinf@soton.ac.uk by Tuesday 8th September 2020.

  • The Assistant Music Director rehearses and conducts typically one piece per concert. This means they conduct one piece in the Autumn, Spring and Summer concerts.
  • The AMD rehearses and conducts ALL the pieces for the Christmas concert and for the potential fundraising concert planned in late January.
  • The AMD plays a big part in the decision of the repertoire that Sinfonietta plays and that they conduct.
  • The AMD conducts and represents Sinfonietta in every concert of the SWO/Sinf tour abroad (a joint tour with Southampton University Symphonic Wind Orchestra, SUSWO, and Sinfonietta), which occurs during the Easter holiday every year. If the AMD is a student at Southampton University, half of their basic travel and accommodation costs for the tour will be covered by Sinfonietta.
  • The Assistant Conductor is on the panel for the audition weekend at the end of Fresher’s Week and for the election of the new Assistant Conductor in April. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the AMD is unable to be on the panel for Sinfonietta’s auditions this year).
  • The role is unpaid. Travel costs will, in most circumstances, not be reimbursed.
  • The role starts in September 2019 and ends after the Summer concert in 2020.
  • The Assistant Conductor is expected to be available to conduct for a short time (usually 30 minutes) in every Thursday evening rehearsal (6:30-9:30pm), or for times/dates agreed by them, the President, and the Conductor. Rehearsals also occur regularly on weekends.
  • The Assistant Conductor must, in their own time, intensively prepare their scores prior to rehearsals. This is so they can confidently and efficiently rehearse the orchestra and express their musical interpretation within the allotted rehearsal time. The scores will be provided and funded by Sinfonietta.
  • The Assistant Conductor is required to work closely with all the members of the committee in a professional manner.
  • When they are not conducting, the Assistant Conductor is expected to observe the rehearsal taken by the Conductor, though this is not obligatory.
  • The Assistant Conductor must be respectful of the Conductor and open to any advice they give to help. The extent to which guidance is given is as agreed between them.
  • The Assistant Conductor is expected to take the place of the Conductor for rehearsals when the Conductor is unavailable. This will only happen in rare cases as deemed appropriate by the President and Conductor.