Executive Director, Pine Mountain Music Festival

Location: Hancock, MI
  • June 24, 2014

Hancock, MI

Executive Director

 The Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF), located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, seeks an Executive Director.

The Position:

Reporting to the Board of Trustees through the President, and working closely with Artistic Director, the Executive Director ensures the smooth running of the Festival’s operations, including financial oversight, fund-raising, audience development, and management of staff and volunteers. In addition, with the Artistic Director, the Executive Director provides vision and creativity to strategic planning, artistic operations, and changing economic conditions, developing policies and procedures in partnership with the Board to enable the effective and efficient management of the Festival.

The Executive Director serves as the chief development officer for the Festival, working closely with the Resource Development Committee of the Board.

The Festival currently has an annual budget in the range of $235,000 to $320,000 and an endowment of approximately $176,000.

Because PMMF is a producer, not a presenter, and because events are toured to multiple cities and multiple venues, the administration of the Festival is complex and demands much attention to detail.  A small and highly dedicated staff is aided by a large corps of volunteers. The Festival is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. Direct reports to the Executive Director include the Operations/Marketing Manager and other administrative personnel.

The Festival:

Hailed as “a miracle of ambition, idiosyncrasy and geography” by the Detroit Free Press, the PMMF is a classical music festival of exceptional caliber, produced in a beautiful but rural region of the country, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and neighboring Wisconsin.   Its success despite a small population base has won it much acclaim and the Festival is blessed with many individual donors, volunteers, and community partners.

Pine Mountain Music Festival was founded in 1991 in Iron Mountain by Laura Jean Deming, a cellist with Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Festival’s mission is “producing superb classical music in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

The inaugural season emphasized chamber music. Opera was added in 1992 and the Festival quickly took on substance and expanded geographically.  By 1994 the Festival had an office in Houghton and an executive director, Kathy Tompkins, and was performing in the Dickinson County, Houghton/Keweenaw, and Marquette areas.  Over the years that geographic coverage has continued, supplemented by performances in smaller towns in the central and western Upper Peninsula.

Laura Jean Deming served as the Festival’s artistic director until retiring in 2001.  She was succeeded by Christopher Mattaliano, now general director of Portland Opera. The current artistic director is Joshua Major, former Director of the Opera Program at the University of Michigan, and current Chair of Opera Studies for the New England Conservatory of Music.  Mr. Major has served as PMMF Artistic Director since 2003.

Kathy Tompkins retired in 2005 as executive director.   Beginning in December 2012, executive leadership was exercised by a Management Group, comprised of the PMMF Board Executive Committee members, which is currently fulfilling the Executive Director function.

Although the Festival has always been primarily a classical music festival, known primarily for producing Opera, one or more popular events such as folk music, classical guitar, or a Broadway revue have been added to the season programming.   Unique for a small rural festival, PMMF has successfully commissioned new works including two fully-staged operas and a chamber opera.

In recent years 30 to 40 performances are produced in 10 to 12 Upper Peninsula communities each season, mid-June to mid-July.  In 2014 the season will run in late July to early August.  Venues range across the western Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, focusing on the cities of Houghton, Ontonagon, Iron Mountain, Marquette, and Lake O’Lakes.

PMMF views education as a core aspect of the Festival.  The Festival has operated the Resident Opera Artist program, whereby 4-12 young professional singers are selected by nationwide audition, who receive expert coaching and varied performance opportunities; OPERAtion Imagination, an off-season educational outreach program featuring the presentation of opera scenes to local area schoolchildren; and UPstarts!, a concert series featuring young professional singers and musicians who grew up in the Upper Peninsula, some of whom are now pursuing degrees at national educational institutions.  PMMF Trustees and staff like to think that the Festival is grooming the opera singers, the musicians, and the audiences of the future. Alumni of the ROA program who have gone on to illustrious careers include baritone Keith Miller.

The Festival’s financial support comes from a healthy mix of sources: in recent years, Friends donations has been the largest category, followed by ticket sales, earned income, corporate gifts, foundation grants, fund-raising events, and government grants.  PMMF is one of only a handful of summer festivals in the United States producing a season of opera, chamber music, and sometimes symphony concerts, and may be the only one that tours all such events.

Skills and Experience:

The ideal candidate will have previous experience in festival, opera, or classical music administration and a degree in arts and/or business management or equivalent experience in cultural management.

The new Executive Director will have excellent analytical, financial and organizational skills, with demonstrated leadership in fund-raising.  Other necessary characteristics would include political savvy and diplomacy, good oral and written communication skills, a track record in community participation and partnership, experience in marketing, media relations, and human resource management, and knowledge of ancillary businesses such as touring, ticketing, and the like.

The Executive Director represents the Festival to the public, the media and the performing arts industry at large through leadership and participation in community activities.  The Festival has a pivotal role in the cultural, educational and economic enrichment of the region. The Executive  Director must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with elected officials, the media, artists, board members, artist managers, other arts groups, artists, sponsors, educational institutions, volunteers, and the audience.

How to Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements and a list of references by Friday, August 29, 2014 to:

Margaret Genovese

Senior Partner

Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates

77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103

Toronto, ON

Canada M5B 2J7

E-mail: gvasearch@gmail.com

For additional information, see www.pmmf.org