How does a Music Director Search Committee ever arrive at consensus around one candidate? Roger Saydack has served as Chair of three Music Director Search Committees for the Eugene Symphony Orchestra. In this article, he shares his experiences with these three committees, and explains the principles that these committees adopted that enabled them to come to consensus.
Roger first explains the importance of a balanced committee, with the number of musicians equaling the number of Board and community members. Second, he describes the nature of consensus decision-making and emphasizes the importance of looking for the “right” candidate rather than the “best” candidate. And finally, he discusses the necessity of getting to know the candidates as artists, to evaluate whether the candidate’s artistic vision fits with the artistic vision of your orchestra. Roger concludes with the observation that a Music Director search, when viewed as a true opportunity for new experiences, can rejuvenate an orchestra.