Assistant Musical Director: Ben Qureshi
Ben was born and grew up in Windsor, where he first picked up the trombone aged 7. Music was a passion he held throughout school and into university. He is now in his second year studying music.
As well as performing and conducting shows, choirs and bands at school, Ben played principal trombone in Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he first played Dvorak’s New World Symphony and discovered the music of Gustav Mahler. Tours have taken him to Paris, Ostend, Ghent, Bonn and Tuscany. He has performed in prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Eton College, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Disneyland Paris, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and occasions such as Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
Southampton University Symphony Orchestra Assistant Musical Director Position 2022/23
Applications for our next SUSO AMD are now open!
Please view the following information which has all the details about the job description, with the link to the application form below. The deadline to apply is 23.59 on Friday 8th April 2022.
About the role
The SUSO Assistant Musical Director has a very important role to play in helping to set the agenda for the orchestra, helping the Musical Director with a variety of tasks during the rehearsal process, and helping with the auditions process of the orchestra.
For the successful candidate this is an excellent opportunity to gain a great deal of experience, both in conducting rehearsals and performances, and in the organisation of orchestral projects. The successful candidate will also have a good deal of input into repertoire selection, general musical decision making about SUSO, and plans to move SUSO forward into the future.
The position involves conducting the orchestra for part of each weekly rehearsal and receiving coaching from the Musical Director, then performing one piece in each of SUSO’s end-of-term concerts. This experience is designed to prepare the AMD for the Pre-term project in September the following year, at the end of their tenure, which they will conduct in its entirety.
In order to do well, learn a lot, and benefit SUSO, this position requires the AMD to be dedicated to their role and invest time in it. It is recommended that candidates do not apply for this if they have a large number of other time-consuming, extra-curricular responsibilities. For candidates who are able to commit to the position it is likely to be hugely rewarding.
The AMD is responsible to the orchestra’s President and Musical Director.
- This role is unpaid. Travel or other expenses will not be reimbursed except in exceptional circumstances and when agreed in advance by the committee.
- The successful applicant is expected to prioritise their attendance at SUSO activities above other extra-curricular activities.
- The role begins following acceptance after audition, in the Autumn Term of 2022, and runs until the conclusion of the Pre-term Course in September 2023.
- Required materials (e.g. scores) will be provided by SUSO.
- To be present for the duration of all SUSO rehearsals, performances, and other musical events (e.g. recordings), whose dates and times will be agreed in advance with the committee. This will include all relevant Wednesday evenings during term time and may also include extra weekend rehearsals, to be determined at the beginning of each term.
- To conduct part of the SUSO rehearsal (typically between 20-30 minutes) each week, under the guidance of the Musical Director.
- To conduct one piece in each of SUSO’s main end-of-term concerts, typically increasing in duration and difficulty.
- To lead sectional rehearsals if requested, during normal SUSO rehearsal sessions.
- To have an excellent working knowledge of all the SUSO repertoire before each term starts, not just the piece to be conducted by the AMD in the concert.
- To assist the Musical Director however requested during rehearsals, including making notes, helpful comments, and suggestions to both the MD and the players.
- To assist the Musical Director however requested in the planning of rehearsals, including but not limited to: rehearsal scheduling, preparation of parts and scores, distribution of notes or messages to players.
- To collaborate professionally and enthusiastically with the Musical Director, President, and other committee members with general planning of SUSO projects.
- To collaborate with the committee in the organisation of Pre-term in September 2023.
- To conduct rehearsals and performance for Pre-term in September 2023, which is typically the week before Freshers week.
- Potentially to organise and conduct a lunchtime concert of a small ensemble, made up of SUSO members, during the second term in advance of and as a publicity vehicle for SUSO’s main concert. This would be with the support of the committee and Musical Director.
- To be part of the Artistic Planning Committee, along with the President, Musical Director, Leader, Librarian, and Treasurer.
- To be present at the audition session for the new AMD at the end of the summer term of 2023.
- To be present on the audition panel for incoming new members at the beginning of the autumn term in 2022.
- To assist the Musical Director and the President in determining the seating for the orchestra.
- To attend any meeting, including committee meetings, if and when required.
- Enthusiasm to learn and improve as a conductor
- Dedication to helping get the best out of SUSO
- Good humoured and personable
- Good communicator, both verbal and in writing
- Punctual and disciplined
- Patience and understanding when directing other musicians
- Energy and ambition to help get the best out of other musicians
- Previous orchestral or other conducting experience
- Previous teaching or coaching experience, with individuals or small groups
- Wide-ranging knowledge and understanding of the standard symphony orchestra repertoire
- A high level of instrumental playing or singing ability
- Enthusiasm to be involved with SUSO’s social activities
- Prospective candidates are asked to fill in the following online application form here, detailing their past experience and suitability for the role, whereby entries will close at 11.59pm on Friday 8th April 2022.
- A shortlist will be prepared no later than Monday 11th April 2022 of a maximum of four candidates who will be invited to a short interview via an Online Meeting with the Musical Director, the 2021/22 President and the 2021/22 Vice President. Interviews will take place in the mornings of Tuesday 12th April or Wednesday 13th April 2022.
- Two candidates will be selected to lead a short rehearsal of SUSO members playing some straightforward repertoire, which will be made available from Wednesday 13th April 2022. All members of SUSO will be welcome to observe this rehearsal. This rehearsal will take place on Wednesday 27th April 2022.
- The successful candidate will be chosen by the Musical Director and President, with input from the members of SUSO. The successful candidate will be notified no more than a week after the rehearsal.
Please note that we operate an equal rights policy, and will not discriminate based upon gender, race, sexuality, religion, age, disability or any other relevant factors.
Music degree conducting module
- If the AMD is also hoping to use a SUSO performance as an assessment for their Conducting module as part of their degree course then this is perfectly possible.
- The AMD must make this clear from the start of their tenure. The repertoire used for the assessment must be agreed in advance but just also be judged to be appropriate and in line with SUSO’s objectives.
- If the AMD is being assessed with the orchestra then the committee and Musical Director will do everything possible to ensure this works well, but cannot guarantee to put programming for the assessment ahead of the best interests of the orchestra.
We look forward to receiving your application.
Please apply here.