The Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra – celebrating its 71st season of music making in West Texas – seeks a bold and innovative Executive Director to help fulfil its mission: unleashing the power of music to entertain, educate, and inspire through live symphonic music and community engagement. The orchestra is a cornerstone of the arts community in the Big Country, drawing on musicians from throughout West and Central Texas under the leadership of maestro David Itkin. 

Like most of Texas, Abilene is experiencing substantial growth, with an eclectic mix of industries (notably petroleum and wind energy) and colleges (five universities) that call it home. Regular partnerships with Dyess Air Force Base, the regional medical center – Hendrick Hospital – and generous local foundations have helped make the APO a visible and vital presence in the community. The cultural landscape of the community includes a number of nationally-recognized museums – the Grace Museum, NCCIL (National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature), 12th Armored Division Museum, the Center for Contemporary Arts, and Frontier Texas – an award winning zoological park, a local NPR affiliate station broadcasting news and classical music (KACU), and a number of volunteer performing arts groups (Chorus Abilene, the Abilene Community Band, and the collegiate Civic Orchestra of Abilene) with whom the APO occasionally partners.

The APO annual budget, approaching $1M, supports a subscription series of 7 concerts at the Abilene Convention Center in the heart of downtown. Additional concerts include educational outreach performances with the Abilene Independent School District, Zoo Concerts, and cabaret-style shows at the Historic Paramount Theatre. Full time staff include the music director, executive director, operations manager, and box office manager, along with part time staff that include orchestra librarian, orchestra personnel manager, and an education coordinator, with interns drawn from the university community.

Thanks to the work of an active, engaged, and visionary Board, the APO enjoys a uniquely firm financial standing. In 2021, the orchestra launched the Music Director’s Endowment Campaign to help secure finances into the future. Far exceeding their initial goal, the Board announced the public phase of the campaign with a more aggressive $3M goal, having already raised 2/3 of the total. 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, working alongside the Music Director, and partnering with the staff and musicians, the next Executive Director will work to solidify and grow the impact, outreach, and excellence of the APO. Among key components of the initial work include: realizing the final phase of the endowment campaign, ensuring that the organizational structure and resources supports the orchestra’s growing needs, and strengthening the community engagement.

The ideal candidate applies strategic and creative thinking in crafting a vision, demonstrates excellent and collaborative organizational leadership, sets clear expectations and manages personnel with empathy, and exhibits an appetite for calculated risk. The next ED will be an outstanding communicator – listening deeply and writing and speaking effectively – with a passionate commitment to the arts and to classical music in particular. Forward facing, they must be ready to deliver on plans while also being attentive and responsive to changing goals and circumstances.

This position is full-time, exempt
Salary: $60,000 – $75,000
Benefits Information: health insurance, paid vacation, holiday and sick leave.

How To Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and three professional references to: and be sure to include “Executive Director” in the subject line.

Please include in your cover letter the following information:

  • Salary history and requirements
  • How you learned of the position
  • Description of how your qualifications and experience match Abilene Philharmonic’s needs.

For full consideration, please send materials by May 6, 2022. 

Anticipated Start date: July 15, 2022.

Only electronic submissions will be considered. All nominations and expressions of interest will be held in the strictest confidence. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget. The Abilene Philharmonic is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.