Applications Invited for Music Director of Carmina and Illuminare

Carmina and Illuminare are searching for a new music director. Carmina was founded in 1998 by Dr. Vera Kochanowsky as a chamber choir dedicated to the performance of repertoire from the medieval, renaissance, and early baroque eras. In 2006, Dr. Kochanowsky established Illuminare as a separate women’s ensemble devoted to exploring early music composed or arranged for women’s voices.

Both groups draw on the pool of seasoned adult choral singers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Currently they are performing and rehearsing together, with rehearsals held in Annandale, Virginia. Membership is by audition, and singers are paid a nominal honorarium (about $150) per concert. The average roster of Carmina is about 20 singers, and for Illuminare 12 to 16, with mostly overlapping membership. Carmina is nimble enough to focus on traditional 4- and 5-part music from the era, but also large enough to tackle larger multi-choir works. While primarily performing a cappella, Carmina and Illuminare have partnered with several local period-instrument ensembles in the past, as well as with other vocal groups. They typically perform three concert programs per year between October and May, some of them more than once and many as part of existing concert series in the D.C. metro area. Carmina’s performances have been praised by both The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, and in 2016 the Choralis Foundation honored both Carmina and Illuminare with their Ovation Award for Best Chamber Chorus in the Greater Washington region.

As successor to Dr. Kochanowsky we seek someone with a strong interest in and knowledge of early vocal ensemble music, including relevant scholarship on historical performance practices as well as skill and experience in conducting. The music director’s responsibilities will include

The director is also expected to assist the Board in its development activities, engage in audience outreach and education, assist with publicizing concerts, and possess an openness to creative collaborations with a variety of artists and ensembles. Employment will be on an independent contractor basis, with earnings reported on IRS Form 1099. The anticipated compensation for this part-time position is $7,000 to $10,000 per year, depending on qualifications and experience, based on a typical year with three concerts and 30 rehearsals. If new or enhanced revenue sources can be secured, the director’s compensation could be increased. Carmina, Inc. is a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, incorporated in Virginia, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To apply, please submit a letter of application and CV or resume (in PDF format) detailing your relevant qualifications by e-mail to carmina·search©gmail·com; do not send recordings, letters of reference, or other supporting materials at this time. The search committee will begin reviewing applications on June 15, 2023. Selected applicants will then be contacted separately for additional materials as appropriate. Once those materials have been received, the committee will schedule a phone interview with selected applicants. Interviews for a smaller group of finalists will also include a 90-minute trial rehearsal, to be scheduled at the candidates’ convenience early in the fall. An interim director will lead the groups until a permanent director can be hired. We anticipate the permanent director beginning work in time to prepare for the 2024–2025 season.

Additional information about both groups, including a selection of recordings, is available at this website. Applicants are invited to contact Liz Peters, chair of the search committee, at singinharmony55©gmail·com with any questions.