FAQ Pre college
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a performing orchestral musician. Is it possible to keep playing my instrument and also have a job working for an orchestra behind the scenes?
Yes! There are performers who work in every aspect of the administrative work for an orchestra either on a full time or part-time basis. Read about two musicians who are working for orchestras: Scott Faulkner, Steve Collins ; and then check out the Career Profiles section for many more.
If I go to work for an orchestra, will I get to travel?
Travel may be part of your work if you are involved with the jobs within operations, tours, or orchestra personnel. Some examples: smaller budget orchestras may perform in different venues in their community; state orchestras often give concerts all around their state; and the largest budget size orchestras often travel to different locales in the United States as well as Europe and Asia.
Is it better to start working for a small budget orchestra with only a few (2-10) staff, or a large orchestra (15+ staff)?
Depends. Do you like to have a range of responsibilities, be involved with lots of different things? Are you a Big Fish/Small Pond type of person? Then a smaller organization is for you. You’ll have a range of responsibilities and can gain lots of different experience that may include operations and box office or marketing and development, to name a few. Or, do you like to be part of a focused team working together to achieve a goal? The Small Fish/Big Pond type of person. An example would be to have a job working in Development where you have specific responsibilities but are part of a larger group who are all working to reach the fundraising goal. Either way, you’ll learn lots!
I’m interested in working for an orchestra but don’t know where to start. What should be my first steps?
If you are in school, try and get a work-study position working with your orchestra or band in operations or concert production. Contact your local orchestra to ask about available internships or part-time jobs or volunteering opportunities. Also check out Internship listings on this site. If you want to learn more about a certain job, contact the person in your local orchestra who does this job and ask to meet with him or her to learn more. You can also fill ask for an Informational Interview through the League and we will help you find someone to speak with.
How can I find a list of the orchestras in my state?
The League has a list of over 950 member orchestras by state. Click here to go to this list.
I love music but may not major in music in college. Will this prevent me from working for an orchestra?
Not at all. Orchestras have lots of different type of jobs and each of these require different skills just like jobs in any other business. This means that orchestras need people with degrees and experience in business, finance, technology, web design, recording and new media, marketing, communications, public relations and writing to name a few. But for some jobs—like working on putting together the concerts for the season--a music degree and knowledge of orchestral repertoire is needed.
For ideas about jobs and career backgrounds of people in these jobs, look on the Career Profile pages.
I have lots of questions about working for orchestras. Can the League help me?