Coventry - Community Choir Director

Background

The Choir with No Name (CWNN) run choirs for people affected by homelessness across England and Wales. Our mission is to support our members to make friends, build confidence and skills, improve wellbeing and find a supportive community.

Our Coventry Choir has been running since November 2021 and was born out of a partnership with Cardboard Citizens who create theatre productions alongside people who have experienced homelessness.  The project was a great success, and the choir continues to this day with a strong sense of coproduction underpinning its ethos.  Choir members take on roles within the choir to make the rehearsals happen and power is held by the collective members, not just a few people. 

We are looking for a Choir Director who is knowledgeable in the ethos of coproduction and confident in working alongside vulnerable adults to deliver projects.  You will also work with a Choir Manager who will help to support member involvement, and you will deliver rehearsals and gigs alongside choir members.  This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in a pioneering and creative project, that aims to empower the people involved and shine a light on the wonderful strengths and resources of its members. Your ability to engage, inspire and amuse 30 or so people who may not be your usual choir member will be a skill you’ll bring, and will help this project going from strength to strength.    

Hours: 6 hours a week. One evening (currently Wednesday) 6–9pm with some preparation, plus extra for gigs and workshops on an ad hoc basis
Contract: Freelance - 1 year contract
Fees: Rehearsal - £150 (including preparation time and joining in with meals), Gig - £100 - £200 (dependent on time commitment), Workshop - £75 - £100 (dependent on time commitment)
Location: Coventry Central Hall, Warwick Lane, Coventry, CV1 2HA

You can download a pdf and word version of this job description at the bottom of this page.

Responsibilities

Rehearsals

  • Be responsible for all the musical aspects of weekly rehearsals (1.5 hours of singing, with an additional 1.5 hours necessary attendance for set up and dinner afterwards).
  • Plan each season’s repertoire and set rehearsal schedules, in consultation with choir members.
  • Manage accompanist, ensuring they have the necessary resources to fulfil their role well.
  • Lead and help to develop musical aspirations of choir members, developing individuals’ strengths as appropriate.
  • Inspire any member who is willing to be a soloists and coach them in their parts
  • Understanding of Safeguarding legislation for vulnerable adults and work collectively with members and the choir manager to oversee the wellbeing of the group.
  • Liaise with member volunteers who will take the lead on preparation, meals and safeguarding

Performances

  • Conduct choir, lead accompanist and other musicians.
  • With choir manager and members, gain appropriate performance opportunities
  • Manage the musical side of gigs; book band, ensure they have appropriate scores, ensure equipment is adequate, liaise with venue over technical specifications, prepare choir etc.

Workshops

  • Lead outreach workshops across our target services (homeless services, mental health projects etc.), as led by the choir’s annual plan
  • Potential to lead corporate workshops with local businesses

Other

  • Any administrative tasks associated with the role
  • Feedback and liaise with Regional Choir Manager, and CWNN Central Team, for the ongoing development of the new approach to the choir
  • Attend and co-lead peer-learning workshops with CWNN’s other choir directors
  • Offer signposting to appropriate support services for members when necessary

Person Specification

Essential

  • Passion for the organisation and its choir members’ potential, and commitment to its vision, mission and values
  • Experience of leading a choir
  • Able to collaborate with choir members who have a variety of vulnerabilities
  • Being able to work under your own initiative and with minimal in person management presence (although organisational presence is available throughout the week)
  • Understanding of current safeguarding vulnerable adult legislation or a willingness to learn
  • Inspiring, encouraging and approachable personality alongside clear professional boundaries
  • Excellent musical skills with the ability both to arrange music and to improvise and think on the spot
  • IT literate (Microsoft Office including Word and Excel)

Desirable

  • Knowledge of homeless sector and services in the Coventry area
  • Keyboard skills
  • Music education to degree level

HOW TO APPLY

In the interest of a non-biased approach to recruitment, all applications will be anonymised before they reach the selection panel.  We are not, at this stage, asking for information about your work experience or education, we are only seeking the answers to questions that will demonstrate the skills required to deliver the role. 

Please follow these steps:

  • Copy and paste the questions below  onto a separate Word document.
  • Answer the questions, trying not to use more than 300 words per question. 
  • Don’t put your name or any identifying information on the document. 
  • Email the document as an attachment to info@choirwithnoname.org, by 9am on 20th  February.  Include your phone number in the email. 
  • If you are shortlisted you will be invited to an interview and audition on the 1st March.

If you have access needs that make any aspect of the application process difficult, please contact us at info@choirwithnoname.org and we will make reasonable adjustments.  You can also use this email address if you have any questions about the process. 

Thank you so much for your interest in working with us at the Choir with No Name, and good luck with your application!

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

  1. Why is the Choir with No Name where you want to be, and why now? If relevant, feel free to tell us how your experience makes you the perfect person to lead our Coventry choir.
  2. Our Coventry choir shares responsibility for the running of rehearsals and gigs across all members so that everyone can contribute.  Could you let us know what challenges this might bring, and what ideas you have to manage them and make the environment a wonderful positive one. Please also consider safeguarding and member welfare.
  3. Tell us about two contrasting songs you would want to arrange for the Coventry choir, describing your approach to the arrangement. You don’t have to write the full arrangement down but if you have a previous written example of an arrangement, you’ve written that you think would suit our Coventry choir, then feel free to include it.
  4. Imagine you are bringing one of these excellent arrangements to rehearsal and trying it out for the first time. One of the choir members tells you they hate that song and it reminds them of a very difficult time in their life. In addition, one of the parts you have written just isn’t working and the altos can’t pitch their harmony. What would you say and do?
  5. Sell us your overall vision for the Coventry choir. Think about the Choir with No Name and who would be in the choir. What environment would you like to create within rehearsals and what would you do to make it feel that way? How would you prepare the members for gigs and tell us how you would build relationships with the members outside of leading rehearsals.