Leader Vacancy

Leader, Dorking Chamber Orchestra


The Dorking Chamber Orchestra (DCO) is seeking to appoint a new Leader of the Orchestra following the departure of Clare Kennington for reasons of her developing career.

We are looking for an orchestra Leader who will provide an excellent standard of playing and guidance to the string sections, and will also promote enjoyment and loyalty amongst all members of the orchestra.

The DCO is an amateur orchestra which has been established for 30 years. Its membership is made up of experienced amateur musicians and teaching professionals, with a professional Conductor and Leader, and managed by a team of orchestra members.

We give a minimum of 3 concerts per year in Dorking, Surrey and the surrounding area, and are financially supported by grants from the local authority and other sources, income from audiences and player subscriptions. We are regular participants in the Mole Valley Arts Alive Festival and collaborate occasionally with local choirs.

We normally rehearse 4 weeks before each concert , currently on Tuesday evenings in the Dorking area, which is well served by road and rail links. The current rehearsal venue is very close to Dorking Rail station and also has good car parking provision.

The orchestra has a good audience following and is acknowledged to produce concerts of very high standard. The repertoire is appropriate to our size and resources, and ranges from the 18th century through to appropriate music from the 19th century and later. We have a core membership of around 20 players, including a full woodwind and horns section, and access to more brass and other players when required. We engage talented soloists from a variety of sources including the Yehudi Menuhin School, and from within our own group of principal players.

Our most frequent conductor is Andrew Morley and we also occasionally work with other conductors, most recently Peter Allwood. More details of the current season can be found on our website.

The role

In collaboration with the Conductor provide guidance for strings on musical issues of performance, including bowing and phrasing.

Encourage members of the orchestra, especially string sections, to play at their best level. Support the recruitment and retention of string players to promote the best possible standards, and be responsible for strings seating allocations.

Contribute via the Chair and Management Team of the orchestra to the development of concert planning.

Work with the Librarian and string section leaders to ensure bowings are completed prior to the start of the rehearsal series for each concert.

Qualities and experience required

Appropriate qualifications and a good range of playing experience, including of leading a section or orchestra. Ability to perform solo parts within the orchestral context.

Ability to make technical decisions concerning bowings, fingerings etc. and to communicate these to the string sections of the orchestra.

Knowledge and experience of musical styles appropriate to a chamber orchestra.

Personal leadership skills to encourage members of the orchestra to play at their highest possible level, whilst at the same time promoting enjoyment of and loyalty to the orchestra.

Willingness to support promotion of the orchestra and to encourage audiences.


It is expected that the Leader will be available for a minimum of three concerts per orchestral season each of which will normally preceded by four or five weekly rehearsals, which may include a string rehearsal directed by the Leader.

Appropriate fees and/or expenses will be negotiated.

Next Steps

If interested please contact info@thedco.co.uk by the 31 Jan 2018