Conductor of The Ripieno Choir

The Ripieno Choir is seeking a new conductor from September 2018. We are a long-established, financially viable chamber choir of 30 experienced and responsive singers. Amateur, but with a professional approach to our music, we have a particular, though not exclusive, fondness for exploring newly discovered or little-known works from the Baroque and Renaissance periods. Recent examples include a programme of Renaissance masterpieces with works from the Eton Choirbook, Philips, Taverner and Victoria; a concert of Venetian music including the first complete performance in modern times of Giovanni Croce’s Missa Percussit Saul; and a programme of French Baroque music from Mondonville, Lully, Le Prince, Lalande, Rameau and Charpentier (see our previous concerts page for more on our repertoire).

David Hansell, who is now retiring after 22 years, has greatly developed the choir’s expertise and musical ambition. In consequence we have grown a loyal and enthusiastic audience whose support enables us to intertwine our a cappella concerts with performances of major works alongside renowned professional soloists and accompanied by period instrument ensembles. We are seeking a conductor who can build on this base and further develop the choir’s repertoire, musicianship and vocal technique.

Job specification
It is expected that the successful candidate will:

  • Conduct the choir in our 3-4 main concerts a year, plus additional ad hoc performances (such as weddings, or carol singing in Thames Ditton) as agreed with the committee
  • Propose attractive programmes to the committee for the choir to perform in these concerts, with planning starting at least a year in advance. Our 2018-19 season is programmed to include both an a cappella concert of Renaissance polyphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass
  • Lead every rehearsal, but when attendance is not possible, to arrange cover by a sufficiently qualified deputy
  • Hold new member auditions, maintaining the size and balance of the choir
  • Hold members’ reappraisals every 3 years to develop individuals’ vocal technique and musical skills
  • Identify and source (including searching for, and preparing, where appropriate) suitable sheet music for the choir, and orchestra / soloists, to use (with support from the choir librarian)
  • Contribute to our production cycle of publicity materials, including blogging material relevant to the choir’s activities, writing programme notes, and highlighting marketable aspects of concert programmes
  • Attend committee meetings – usually 3-4 a year – and be engaged with the life of the choir
  • Lead the choir on tours abroad every few years (such as our recent Barcelona tour), enabling members to experience singing in the fabulous venues and acoustics for which our core repertoire was crafted
  • Be committed to developing the musical skills and repertoire of the choir
  • Be committed to promoting members’ enjoyment of rehearsals and pleasure in performance
  • Be committed to the choir’s sustainability and financial success
  • Not expect the choir to enter competitions

The choir currently runs an Apprentice Conductor scheme to support aspirant musicians. Although this is not a requirement, the choir would be pleased if the applicant were able and willing to continue this tradition.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be an enthusiastic singer with experience of conducting a small choir to a high standard
  • Have sound knowledge of, and take pleasure in, the Renaissance and Baroque music repertoire, and a willingness to explore beyond it
  • Have experience of selecting and conducting professional orchestras and soloists
  • Be able to provide keyboard accompaniment during rehearsals where necessary to supplement the choir’s reasonable sight-singing competence

Rehearsals are held in Thames Ditton, Sundays 19.45-21.45. The first rehearsal for the appointee will be 2nd September 2018;

Our main concerts are usually timetabled for the evening of the middle Saturday of March, the last Saturday of June, and the middle Saturday of November, each with an afternoon rehearsal. We also like to sing a ‘12th Night’ concert on the first Sunday of the year. Concerts are usually held in All Saints Church, Weston Green;
Remuneration is on a per-rehearsal and per-concert basis, and overseas tour costs are covered.

Application process
If you are interested in this position, please email your CV and covering letter to by 11th February 2018
We plan to interview short-listed applicants over the weekends of 24-25th Feb and 3rd March 2018
Selected candidates will then be invited to audition at our Sunday rehearsal on the 18th March 2018

If you would like to discuss the post or learn more about The Ripieno Choir, please do not hesitate to call the Secretary (Nick Harris) on 020 8399 2714 (daytime and evening).