Artistic Director Search

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir launched its search for a new Artistic Director at a meeting on September 28, 2018. The search is headed up by TMC Board Director Dick Freeborough who has previous experience in recruiting for senior positions and has championed the development of succession planning at many boards, most importantly in 2014 as he led the search for a new President of the University of Guelph. He chairs the 11-member TMC Artistic Director Search Committee.

The Artistic Director search is expected to be a two-year process, and to be international in scope. A key feature of the search process will be to seek input from all of the TMC community as well as from external music experts. Committee Chair Dick Freeborough notes: “I learned at the University of Guelph how important and valuable it is to include broad representation on the committee and to seek input from all who want to provide it. There are no shortcuts in this process – we must take the time to make sure we get the best Artistic Director for our Choir and for our local, national and international role in choral music.”

Short-listed applicants will be invited to guest conduct at a TMC concert.

Regular updates to the search process will be posted on this page. If you have any questions, or would like to provide feedback during any part of the search process, we would love to hear from you. Send your comments to

Posted November 12, 2018



The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir invites applications and referrals for the position of Artistic Director.

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) has been a champion of choral music in Canada since 1894.  As Canada’s leading symphonic choir, and a pioneering force in the development of our country’s rich choral landscape, we have been fortunate enough to witness and participate in many important events in Canada’s musical heritage.  Remarkably, the TMC has worked under the leadership of just seven artistic directors over 124 years.

Over 110 experienced volunteer choristers form the backbone of the TMC’s choral community with twenty professional choral singers providing musical leadership within the Choir.

The TMC is featured in every season of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as its partnered large-scale symphonic choir.  Typically there are ten to twelve such concerts per year, including a run of six performances of Handel’s Messiah during the holiday season.  The TMC Artistic Director serves as choirmaster, preparing the Choir for final rehearsals and performances conducted by the TSO conductor. Of equal importance, the TMC also presents an annual series of subscription and outreach concerts, all under the leadership of the TMC Artistic Director.

In addition to a full schedule of approximately twenty major performances a year, the TMC invests in choral music education, outreach and advocacy, including a choral apprentice program, Singsation Saturday workshops for the amateur choral community,  a choral composition competition, and opportunities for emerging conductors.

David Fallis is currently the TMC’s Interim Conductor and Artistic Advisor.  There is a professional management team in place led by Executive Director Cynthia Hawkins and a deeply committed volunteer board of directors.  The annual budget is approximately $700,000.

The Position of Artistic Director:

The first and most important quality sought in the new Artistic Director is artistic excellence and superb musicianship at an international level.

Reporting to the Board of Directors and working closely with the Executive Director, the Artistic Director must have the skills, abilities, and character to be a catalyst who can lead the TMC to a new level of musical excellence and activity.

The Artistic Director is charged with creating an artistic strategy consistent with the vision, mandate, and values of the TMC; as well as programming repertoire, overseeing educational and community outreach activities, and serving as a public face for the organization.

The Artistic Director will be able to inspire and elicit performances of high quality and emotional impact. He/she will be expected to perform publicity/marketing functions, participate in fund-raising events and major gift donor meetings, manage rehearsals and scheduling, and build strong partnerships with other organizations.

The Artistic Director must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Board of Directors, Choir staff, Choir members, the media, artist managers, other arts groups, sponsors, educational institutions, volunteers, audiences and other stakeholders.


The ideal candidate will be an international calibre choral director with an excellent track record in leading large choral ensembles, preferably with experience in working with a major symphony orchestra.

In the past the Artistic Director of the TMC has been resident year-round in the Toronto area.  The organization would be willing and open to discussing alternatives for its artistic leadership.

Other Information and Application Process:

Compensation commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates are invited to submit  a letter of interest in confidence, as well as a resume, salary expectations, list of references, up to three audio recordings, and up to three  videos of professional quality (one of which, if possible, has been recorded live in concert)  by Friday, January 25, 2019 to:

Margaret Genovese
Senior Partner
77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103
Toronto, ON, Canada  M5B 2J7

We recommend you upload your video samples to a private YouTube page and send us the links. Alternatively, you can mail us a DVD of your samples if they are compatible with Windows Media Player or QuickTime.

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates for employment are considered without regard to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or non-job related disability. Preference, however, will be given to qualified Canadian candidates.  

The search is headed up by TMC Board Director Dick Freeborough who has previous experience in recruiting for senior positions and has championed the development of succession planning at many boards, most importantly in 2014 as he led the search for a new President of the University of Guelph.

Cynthia Hawkins, Executive Director of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, will work closely with Dick in managing the search. Cynthia brings an encyclopedic knowledge of the Choir from her thirteen years as TMC Executive Director, and her life-long involvement with choirs in Toronto and Montreal.

The eleven Search Committee members were chosen for their range of experiences and backgrounds, including an emphasis on experienced musicians and those who understand professional music-making. The Committee includes TMC board and chorister representatives as well as external experts. TMC Interim Conductor and Artistic Advisor, David Fallis, will serve as an advisor to the Committee.

TMC representatives
Dick Freeborough, TMC Board, Committee Chair
Lloyd Chiotti, TMC Board
Tim Taylor, TMC Board
Jennifer McGraw, TMC Board and chorister
Susan Worthington, TMC chorister
Frances Price, TMC patron and donor
Cynthia Hawkins, TMC Executive Director

External music experts
Rick Phillips, Classical Music writer, reviewer, music tour guide, and concert host
Marta McCarthy, Associate Professor, University of Guelph
Don McLean, Dean of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
Sir Andrew Davis, TSO Interim Artistic Director (TSO liaison)

Read more about our Search Committee members.