You are here: Home News & Blogs Vacancies Royal Northern Sinfonia Learning Manager

Royal Northern Sinfonia Learning Manager

Posted on 11 April 2017

Application closing date: 9.00am Friday 28th April 2017

Royal Northern Sinfonia Learning Manager

Introduction to Sage Gateshead & Royal Northern Sinfonia

Founded in 2004, Sage Gateshead has an international reputation as a new centre for music combining performance, education and participation working across a wide range of musical genres and reaching a broad audience. It is also one of the region’s leading conference centres. Founded with a mixed business model, the charity’s turnover of £15million combines, box office, commercial, fundraised income with public subsidy.

Sage Gateshead runs:

  • A Performance Programme of events and festivals across musical genres (folk, classical, rock, indie, jazz, electronic) for 360 days of the year (1700 seater and 600 seater venues)
  • Royal Northern Sinfonia, the UK’s only full time contract chamber orchestra
  • One of the largest Music Learning & Participation Programmes in the UK
  • One of the biggest conference and events businesses in the North
  • A folk development agency, Folkworks
  • An iconic visitor attraction, designed by Foster + Partners on the banks of the Tyne with a large public space, three auditoriums and 25 learning spaces

In 2015/16 Sage Gateshead delivered:

  • 623 performance events
  • 16,045 courses, classes and workshops
  • 84 conferences
  • 22 premieres and commissions
  • 105 broadcasts

In 2014 Sage Gateshead completed its first decade. During this period the charity had:

  • 6 million visitors
  • 1.5 million participants
  • 1000 conferences
  • 4000 concerts
  • £283 million of economic benefit to the region

Royal Northern Sinfonia is the chamber orchestra for the north of England. 60 years old in 2018 and with its Royal title for five years, the orchestra consists of 37 full time players, with titled conductors Music Director Lars Vogt, Principal Guest Conductor Julian Rachlin and Conductor Laureate Thomas Zehetmair. The orchestra gives ca. 95 concerts per year for a range of audiences, at its home and rehearsal base in Sage Gateshead and further afield. RNS tours locally, regionally and internationally and records and broadcasts regularly. To complement RNS’s programme in the Sage Gateshead building, a programming of classical music by visiting orchestras, choirs and soloists is programmed in order to offer a rounded classical music programme for audiences in the North East.

As it approaches its 60th anniversary Royal Northern Sinfonia has been developing its work significantly. With a new Director, Thorben Dittes, RNS has increased its touring in the north and internationally and extended the nature of its activity to reach new audiences. The next stage in this development is to appoint a Learning Manager to shape existing activity, develop new strands of activity and to strengthen and develop links across Sage Gateshead’s activity with classical music.

About the role

This is a new role based within the RNS/Classical team and working in close collaboration with creative learning colleagues in other teams. You will be responsible for producing content for audiences of all ages to be delivered in Sage Gateshead’s building, in community settings, around the region and online. You will also liaise with colleagues to maximise opportunities for RNS players and visiting classical artists for Children & Young People involved in our Centre for Advanced Training, our Saturday School, in local schools, in Youth Participation & In Harmony Newcastle Gateshead, through Music Education Hubs and universities, as well as opportunities for public engagement around insight, open workshops and adult participation.

You will be passionate about classical music and about creating opportunities for people to learn and engage with it. You will be comfortable work in both digital and live formats. You will work closely across the whole organisation, especially with programming, marketing, technical and front of house teams and therefore will be a team player.

This is a very practical role which requires strong project management skills, a great deal of brokerage, great communication skills and a passion for working with people and developing audiences. As a new role in a time of real development for RNS, there is also scope to shape and develop new areas of activity and make a mark on RNS’s programme and its relation with audiences.

Job Information

Job Title: Royal Northern Sinfonia Learning Manager
Department & Team: Royal Northern Sinfonia & Classical team
Location: Sage Gateshead
Working Hours: 36 hours per week. The role will include evening & weekend work.
Salary: c. £25,000 per annum
Duration of the role: Permanent

Position in Organisation

Reports to: Director, Royal Northern Sinfonia & Classical Programme
Responsible for: Task managing administrative assistant roles and musicians
Works in conjunction with: RNS/Classical Team, Royal Northern Sinfonia musicians, Young People’s Programme team, Public Programme Producer
Budget accountability: Authorisation limit of £3,000. Responsible for Large Scale Singing budget of ca £150,000. As part of the classical team, will be responsible for the management of project budgets of up to £1.1m

Overall purpose of the job

To produce high quality creative learning activity around our classical programme, particularly focusing on RNS, and to work in collaboration with the wider creative learning team to maximise opportunities for people to engage in classical music in Sage Gateshead and a wide range of external settings.

Main Duties and responsibilities

Produce a regular programme of creative learning activity, both live events and digital content:

  • Producing classical performance events targeting young audiences, currently Classics4Kids and BabySinfonia, and relaxed performances. To be part of the team who devise new performance events.
  • Producing events with adults and CYP involving large scale choral and/or orchestral participation, including, but not limited to Inspiration Choir performances
  • Managing insight events, study days, community performances and pop-up activity around the RNS and classical programmes
  • Creating films and other digital content which support creative learning and performance activity
  • Undertaking the administration necessary for this activity, to ensure the highest standards of delivery and excellent organisation wide co-ordination.

Develop new creative learning content in line with RNS’s development plans:

  • Working with the RNS Director, Classical Producer and Director of Creative Learning to identify new opportunities and new projects as appropriate.
  • Managing and sustaining a range of external relationships with partners and organisations involved in music education on behalf of the classical team
  • Focussing especially on developing or adapting formats suitable for regional venues, as well as always aiming to be musically inclusive, including for children and young people who live in challenging circumstances or in disadvantaged and disconnected communities
  • Demonstrating an excellent understanding of Sage Gateshead’s overall strategic objectives and specifically its audience development objectives and to deliver these through programme activity
  • Positioning research and evaluation as vital parts of project management in order to continually evolve our practice and to collect material about our outcomes and impact

Liaise across programming and creative learning areas to maximise opportunities for the involvement with classical music:

  • Working collaboratively with Sage Gateshead’s Study Music Programmes – especially the CAT, Young Sinfonia and Quay Voices – ensuring optimum connection with Royal Northern Sinfonia and visiting classical artists, drawing on the unique range of artists based in or visiting Sage Gateshead
  • Acting as a point of contact with the In Harmony Manager to ensure appropriate involvement of RNS in the programme based in West Newcastle
  • Working collaboratively with Head of Music Education to support Sage Gateshead’s involvement with classical music in schools, with universities, in collaboration with Music Education Hubs
  • Working with the Community Engagement Lead to support activity in specific parts of NewcastleGateshead connecting with local communities.

Undertake general responsibilities:

  • To accept appropriate individual responsibility for the observance, promotion and implementation of Child Protection, Health & Safety, Customer Care, Equality and Diversity, Dignity at Work and other policies with the Trust.
  • Undertake other duties appropriate to the post and in line with the needs of the organisation.

Knowledge, experience and skills required to do the job

Essential (required)

  • Degree educated

Creative Learning

  • Experience of planning and producing classical learning content.
  • Track record of working with classical musicians to deliver creative learning content.
  • Experience of making digital content.
  • Ability to engage with, assess and mediate a wide range of programme material and devise content to suit different audiences appropriately
  • Experience of working in a high performance environment, where quality standards and delivery levels are high and teams consistently meet deadlines
  • Demonstrable understanding and commitment to the principles of diversity

Audience development

  • A passion for widening audiences and ability to deal with content for both knowledgeable and first time audiences and all points in between
  • An understanding of audience development and an ability to engage with audience development goals at both a strategic and operational level.

Management & planning

  • Strong project management skills.
  • Ability to manage workload, to self administrate and to work to deadlines
  • Proven track record in communicating with a wide range of people
  • Understanding of Health & Safety, risk assessment and safeguarding best practice

Partnership and collaboration

  • Experience of building and managing relationships with partner/stakeholder organisations through influencing and persuading
  • Willingness to collaborate and identify potential opportunities through working with others. Ability to communicate at all levels, particularly with key stakeholders, partners and internal customers
  • Good organisational and project management skills with the ability to influence and achieve buy in at all levels. Ability to manage competing priorities and pressures, deadlines and demands


  • Experience of managing budgets
  • A strong understanding of financial evaluation and experience as budget holder with extensive budget management experience

Skills or knowledge

  • A knowledge of classical music and specifically of chamber orchestra repertoire
  • A sound knowledge of arts education practice
  • Expert in Microsoft tools including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, database management
  • Knowledge of and experience implementing digital functionality and strong capability and understanding of social media and marketing analytics

Desirable (required)

  • Music Degree

Creative Learning

  • Experience of working with an orchestra.

Management & planning

  • Experience in working within an orchestral schedule to maximise use of player time

Skills or knowledge

  • Experience of Opas and Artifax, or comparable systems

Terms and Conditions

We believe Sage Gateshead is a great place to work – an innovative and friendly environment, where no two days are ever the same.

The holiday entitlement for this post is 33 days pa pro rata (including statutory holidays).

The salary for this post is c. £25,000 per annum pro rata

We also offer subsidised parking for staff members, as well as a discount in our café, and access to a voluntary health cash plan, bike to work scheme, childcare vouchers and travel ticket scheme.

How to Apply

Applications must be made on a North Music Trust online application form.

We regret that CV’s cannot be accepted. If you have any queries about your application please contact 0191 443 4624

Download the job description

Completed applications should be returned no later than 9.00am on Friday 28th April 2017

Please note if you have not been contacted by 8th May 2017 your application has not been successful