Community-Embedded Musician Application

The Houston Symphony will hire one full-time, salaried Community-Embedded Musician (violin) for the 2016-2017 season whose primary role is to be embedded in Houston schools, neighborhoods and health-care settings as a teaching artist and performer, while also performing on stage with members of the Houston Symphony. Application deadline is May 23, 2016. 



The Houston Symphony’s Community-Embedded Musician position is designed to dramatically expand and enhance the impact of the orchestra’s growing education and community engagement activities. The Houston Symphony will hire one salaried Community-Embedded Musician violinist for the 2016-2017 season whose primary role is to be embedded in Houston schools, neighborhoods and health-care settings as a teaching artist and performer, while also performing on stage with members of the Houston Symphony.  The violinist selected for this vacant Community-Embedded Musician position will be joining three other Community-Embedded Musicians who were hired in July, 2015.

This Community-Embedded Musician position is open to violinists of all backgrounds who demonstrate a passion and aptitude for education and community engagement work.  In an effort to attract candidates who reflect the diversity of the Greater Houston community, among its other efforts to seek qualified candidates, the Houston Symphony encourages qualified candidates of diverse ethnic backgrounds to apply.  In addition, to best serve Houston’s population whose members collectively speak more than 90 languages, bilingual speaking skills will be considered a plus.

The selection process will entail both a standard Houston Symphony musical audition adjudicated by musicians of the Houston Symphony, and interviews with Houston Symphony administrative and education leadership.  Please read on for a detailed job description, candidate qualifications and application instructions.  For more information about the Community-Embedded Musician positions, or to read the press release and description, please visit:


Community-Embedded Musician will have three primary responsibilities:

1) Off-stage: Education and Community Engagement Work

Education and Community work will consist of a combination of the following potential activities. Duties may vary over time to align with the evolving priorities of the Houston Symphony and community:

  • Serve as teaching artists in the Symphony’s in-depth elementary school program. Musical instruction will include fostering active listening skills and music appreciation, basic composition skills, and recorder instruction
  • Visit Greater Houston elementary, middle and high schools to provide pre- & post-concert visits surrounding student attendance at Houston Symphony education concerts
  • Lead workshops, sectionals, and clinics for high school residency programs
  • Interact with patients in healthcare settings through music performance and music therapy-informed practices
  • Team-teach with early childhood specialists to engage very young children
  • Engage a diverse range of community members in collaboration with Houston area social service agencies and other non-profit organizations throughout the Greater Houston area
  • Perform small chamber concerts in a variety of community sites and settings


2) On-stage: Rehearsals and Concerts with the Houston Symphony

The anticipated schedule of rehearsals and performances for the 2016-2017 season is below. Community-Embedded Musicians’ on-stage schedule is subject to change on an ongoing basis. Consideration of necessary practice time will be factored into Community-Embedded Musicians’ comprehensive schedule in order to ensure that Community-Embedded Musicians have time to sufficiently prepare for on-stage services.

  • Classical Subscription: up to two (2) programs, most likely with Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Music Director (2 concert weekends consisting of three concerts per weekend with an average 4 rehearsals per program).
  • Pops Subscription: up to two (2) programs (2 concert weekends consisting of three concerts per weekend with an average 2 rehearsals per program)
  • Family Subscription: Up to four (4) programs (4 back-to-back concert services with one rehearsal each)
  • Student Concerts: Up to twelve (12) back-to-back concert services with corresponding rehearsals
  • Community concerts: quantity to be determined

3) Off Stage - Planning, Administration and Assessment 

  • Collaborate with Houston Symphony staff, Associate Conductor, educators, community partners, and fellow Community-Embedded Musicians to create programmatic and curricular content
  • Attend professional development workshops and training sessions
  • Assist with program assessment, including documenting student progress/participant impact
  • Attend Houston Symphony staff and board meetings as schedule allows


  • Accomplished violinist with proven experience as a solo, chamber and/or orchestral musician
  • Musicianship necessary to succeed in a Houston Symphony substitute musician audition
  • Interest in a hybrid musical career that incorporates orchestral and chamber performances, education and community engagement
  • Passion for working with underserved students and adults
  • Experience or potential to be a superior music educator
  • Belief in the power of music to change people’s lives
  • Desire to learn and grow
  • Experience living or working inside large, urban settings
  • Understanding of specific needs of economically disadvantaged communities
  • Bilingual speaking skills will be considered a plus
  • Must be qualified to live and eligible to work in the United States as of August 15, 2016
  • Must own or have access to a vehicle that will be driven for Houston Symphony purposes and have valid driver’s license


  • Annual Salary of $40,000.00 USD, plus the following:
  • For each on-stage orchestra service in which the Community-Embedded Musician participates, he or she will receive additional compensation at the per-service rate defined in the Articles of Agreement between the Houston Symphony Society and the Houston Professional Musicians Association (CBA). The per-service rate for the current contract year is $174.50; the per-service rate for the upcoming contract year beginning October 2, 2016 is $180.50. 
  • Comprehensive benefit package including Health, Dental, Vision, Instrument, Life, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance, all effective on date of hire
  • Paid Time Off: 15 vacation days, 4 personal days, 10 sick days, 9 holidays


All applicants must submit the three materials: résumé, cover letter addressing questions and recording, each detailed below.  Thank you in advance for carefully reading and following instructions.

Candidates must submit materials via email:

Application Deadline: Monday, May 23, 2016

1. Résumé 

  • Résumés should reflect the candidate’s musical education, experience and accomplishments and education/community engagement experience
  • Please indicate any bilingual or foreign language skills on your résumé

2. Cover Letter addressing these specific questions.  Please limit responses to one paragraph per question and include how you found out about this position in your opening paragraph.

  • Please explain why you are interested in being a Houston Symphony Community-Embedded Musician
  • Please describe your experience working as a music educator and/or engaging people through music.  Please cite specific examples and resulting impact
  • Please outline your personal philosophy/approach toward music education and community engagement work, including desired results
  • What are some specific things to keep in mind when working with underserved students and adults?

3. Recording Guidelines

  • No Studio Recordings please. A portable recording device such as a Mindisc, Edirol, Zoom or other digital recording device will be sufficient.
  • You should make your recording in a quiet room. Do not record in a room that is overly live and do not add any reverb. The recording device or microphone should be placed approximately 5 feet away. There should be no editing within each excerpt but you may stop between selections.
  • Please create a separate track for each excerpt.



Candidate's choice of a standard concerto, first movement exposition only (with cadenza if applicable)



SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 2, Scherzo, beginning to measure 54, without repeat

R. STRAUSS: Don Juan, beginning to 14 after C



MOZART: Symphony No. 41, Mvt. 4, measures 1-94

Houston Symphony administrators and musicians will review each candidate’s application materials. Between June 10-16, candidates who pass through the recorded audition round should be prepared to participate in a phone or Skype interview focused on their passion and qualifications for education and community work.

On or shortly following June 17, select candidates will be identified and invited to Houston for in-person auditions, interviews and classroom demonstrations that will be held on July 18 and 19, 2016. Some financial assistance for travel will be extended to all non-local candidates who are invited to Houston for the in-person round of auditions, interviews and classroom demonstration.



Candidate’s choice of a standard concerto, first movement exposition only (no cadenza)


BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4, Mvt. IV, measures 33-80 

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9, Mvt. III, measures 99-114 

MENDELSSOHN: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Op. 61, Scherzo, measures 17-100

MOZART: Symphony No. 39, Mvt. II, beginning to measure 61, Mvt. IV, beginning to measure 78

SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 2, Scherzo, beginning to measure 54, no repeat

R. STRAUSS: Don Juan, beginning to 14 measures after C


Candidates must be available for full-time work in Houston on August 22, 2016.



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