Position Overview

SC Philharmonic Youth Orchestra accepting applications for Artistic Director and Youth Philharmonic Conductor.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, November 10, 2023

The South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (SCPYO) seeks an experienced arts and education professional to provide artistic leadership and to oversee the educational and artistic development of all students through rehearsals, performances and collaboration with artistic staff. The Music Director (MD) sets and maintains a standard of excellence among the artistic staff through interaction and evaluation. The MD is an ambassador to the greater community including professional musicians, public and private school music teachers and potential students. The MD collaborates with the Education and Community Engagement Director in developing and executing a recruitment program, maintaining close liaisons with school and private music instructors, and carrying out public relations activities on behalf of the Youth Orchestra program. The MD is a musician of the highest quality, possesses a commanding ability to communicate through music, and is committed to inspiring young people to pursue excellence through music. The MD carries out all required duties in a manner consistent with the policies, procedures, goals and objectives established by the Board of Directors. 


Bachelor’s degree in music required. Experience teaching and conducting at the Secondary or Collegiate level preferred.

Salary: $9,000-$12,000

Please submit to Susan Cafferty, Director of Education and Community Engagement:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • 3 Professional References
  • Link(s) to conducting video(s) including rehearsal footage, if available.

Please send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements by November 10th, 2023 to info@SCPhilharmonic.com.

The South Carolina Philharmonic is deeply committed to building and maintaining a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) through partnerships with our musicians, staff, audience members and volunteer leadership, and provides equal opportunity in employment.

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About the SC Philharmonic

The South Carolina Philharmonic is committed to performing live symphonic music and providing dynamic educational opportunities in the Midlands. We carry forward a legacy of passion for the music and embrace our responsibility to be a vibrant part of the cultural fabric of our diverse community.

An independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the South Carolina Philharmonic performs and promotes high-quality, professional symphonic music in South Carolina’s capital city, Columbia, serving the community’s needs for cultural development and education, entertainment and tourism since 1964. The 2022-23 season marks the 15th season of the Philharmonic’s fifth Music Director, Morihiko Nakahara, whose arrival in 2008-09 ushered in a new era of artistic excellence for the Midlands’ preeminent performing arts group and one of the leading orchestras in the Southeast. The Philharmonic performs its signature six-concert Masterworks Series at the Koger Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of South Carolina, along with pops concerts and a wide range of community programs, including concerts and lectures in the community, sensory sensitivity and accessibility concerts, educational programs in schools and out, “Healing Harmonies” concerts at hospitals and eldercare facilities, a vibrant Chamber Crawl series in local restaurants and pubs, and a collaborative “Music for a Cause” program in association with other area charities. Founded in 1964, the S.C. Philharmonic Youth Orchestras (SCPYO) offer exceptional orchestral playing experience for young people throughout the Midlands. Each year more than 200 students participate in four orchestras comprising the region’s top student musicians, age 8 through high school, selected on the basis of competitive audition. The South Carolina Philharmonic will celebrate its 60th season in 2024-25.

The 2023-2024 season will mark Morihiko Nakahara’s 16th season as Music Director of the South Carolina Philharmonic. He is also Resident Conductor of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and serves as Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Added to his wide ranging activities with these orchestras, Nakahara also guest conducts with other orchestras throughout the country.

Known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium, innovative and audience-friendly programming skills, and thoughtful interpretations of both standard and contemporary repertoire, recent guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic, symphonies of Oregon, Jacksonville, Charleston, Chattanooga, Stockton, Lansing, Peoria, and Green Bay, as well as with the Chicago Pro Musica.

Equally at home in a wide variety of musical styles and concert formats, Nakahara has collaborated with Chris Botti, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Edgar Meyer, Brandi Carlile, Pink Martini, Sergio Mendes, and Roby Lakatos to name a few. A tireless champion for the music of our times, Nakahara recently led world premieres of works by Joan Tower, Dan Visconti, and John Fitz Rogers, and has led numerous U.S. premieres of works by Japanese composers. A passionate believer in audience development and music education for all, Nakahara is a popular clinician, guest conductor, and lecturer at various educational institutions. As a personable ambassador for classical music, he is regularly featured on local media outlets and speaks about wide-ranging topics including arts advocacy, leadership and management, and economic development at local businesses and service organizations.

A native of Kagoshima, Japan, Nakahara holds degrees from Andrews University and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He previously served as Associate Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Holland Symphony Orchestra (Michigan), and served on the faculty at Eastern Washington University and Andrews University.