Job Vacancy

Musical Director

South Warwickshire

Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir

Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir

Recruitment of Musical Director April 2018


The Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir (RLSBC) has given regular choral concerts in and around its hometown since 1939.

The choir’s founder-conductor, Dr Stanley Vann, conducted its first concert in March 1940 in Holy Trinity Church, a performance of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The choir’s repertoire includes most of the major choral works from the Baroque era to the twenty-first century. Under its current conductor, Nigel Stark, the RLSBC has performed music ranging from Bach (as our name suggests) through Mozart, Handel, Brahms, Vaughan Williams and Fauré to Paul Mealor and Eric Whitacre.

RLSBC performs three or four concerts a year at a variety of local venues, and in addition, we sometimes join with other choirs in double performances of major works. Two recent collaborations took us to Peterborough and Portsmouth.

In addition to our Musical Director, we have a professional accompanist. At least one of our annual concerts is accompanied by a professional or semi-professional orchestra and we generally engage professional soloists for our major works.

Choir Organisation

The choir has an elected committee which decides strategy and runs the choir on a day to day basis. The committee meets formally once a term to plan and prepare for concerts. We expect our Musical Director to be a partner in this process by attending committee meetings as required and planning programmes for future performances.

The choir rehearses every Wednesday during the school term, from 7.30 pm to 9.45 pm, at Lillington Primary School, Cubbington Road, Leamington Spa. We also hold choral workshops or come-and-sing events and accept Wedding and Carol singing engagements.

Choir Membership

Choir numbers range between 70 and 85. We are an auditioned choir and auditions are carried out by the Musical Director, who decides on suitability for membership. All new members are auditioned prior to full membership and we aim to re-audition all members on a three-year cycle.

Job Description

Musical Director Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir


Programme planning

  • Proposing an annual music programme for the Choir in a timely manner, with sensitivity to budget implications and an eye to developing our repertoire, skills and audience over a 3-5 year period
  • Attending Committee meetings as required, meeting with and liaising with committee members on an ad-hoc basis as required.


  • Conducting all rehearsals through the year and organising a deputy conductor in the event of having to miss a rehearsal
  • Auditioning new members and re-auditioning a selection of choir members annually
  • Liaising with the accompanist regarding rehearsal schedules and other requirements
  • Advising on the selection of soloists and orchestras
  • Planning a rehearsal schedule, in collaboration with the accompanist, to ensure that the Choir is prepared and confident and in a position to give excellent performances for our audiences
  • Working with the Choir on ensemble development, blend and tuning – the subtleties of how to get the best sound possible from a group of singers


  • Attending the dress rehearsal on concert days
  • Conducting concert performances
  • Rehearsing the orchestra on its own, if required, for one or two rehearsals

Personal Attributes

  • Creative, pleasant, sensitive and ambitious: a source of good ideas to move the Choir forward
  • Reliable and organised; an asset to the running of the Choir
  • Calm and confident leadership style; able to inspire confidence in others and maintain authority
  • A talent for musical detail; able to work constructively with the Choir to improve accuracy and blend in order to deliver high standards of performances
  • An articulate speaker: able to communicate well with the Choir and our audiences
  • Motivating, professional, dynamic, encouraging and enthusiastic; a dedicated choir trainer with the ability to make rehearsals productive and fun

Musical requirements

  • A talented conductor with exceptional conducting, choir training and vocal coaching skills
  • Significant prior experience of Choral conducting (5 years or more with a similar size and type of choir)
  • Some prior experience of Orchestral conducting (2 years or more)
  • A formal qualification in music such as a diploma or FRCO would be helpful, although not essential if appropriate experience is present.
  • Proven ability to motivate choral singers
  • Comfortable working on singing technique in Latin, German and French as well as English
  • Evidence of being able to design imaginative and engaging concert programmes with broad audience appeal, which will develop the Choir
  • Enthusiasm for working on a wide range of repertoire, from baroque to modern.
  • Well networked, with the ability to attract soloists, players and new choir members
  • Not over-committed to other choirs and ensembles.