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Job Vacancy: Assistant Orchestra and Platform Manager

Application closing date: Tuesday 2nd July 2019

Posted on 10 June 2019


Job Information

Job title: Assistant Orchestra and Platform Manager

Department & Team: Performance Programme (Classical)

Working Hours: 40 hours per week. Weekends and evening working will be required

Salary: £20,736 (SCP 18)

Position in Organisation

Reports to: Orchestra Manager

Works in conjunction with: Orchestra Manager, Concerts & Tours Manager, Librarian, Concerts Assistant, Head of Orchestral Operations

Budget accountability: Sign off amount – £0, Responsible for cost-effective booking of vans.

Introduction to Sage Gateshead

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. Founded with a mixed business model, the charity’s turnover of £15million combines, box office, commercial, fundraised income with public subsidy.

Sage Gateshead runs:

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

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 regionIn 2017/18

Sage Gateshead delivered:

  • 446 performance events
  • 11,081 Courses, Classes and Workshops
  • 101 conferences and events

Sage Gateshead is a unique place where artists come to perform, develop work, teach, where audiences from a wide range of backgrounds come to hear, make and participate in all genres of music and we are an active participant in communities in the North.

  • A place where we can ALL be ourselves #EqualityatSageGateshead

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 performances at Sage Gateshead, a programme of classical music by visiting orchestras, choirs and soloists completes a rounded classical music offer for audiences in the North East.Over the past five years, Royal Northern Sinfonia has been developing its work significantly increasing its touring in the North and internationally and extended the nature of its activity to reach new audiences through a range of off-platform initiatives.

Sage Values

Sage Gateshead’s success comes from the work of the teams who deliver the objectives of the organisation. Teams are made up of individuals who each bring a different set of skills, knowledge and experience which collectively contribute to achieving team and organisational success.

At Sage Gateshead our ‘People Strategy’ is focused on ensuring we employ people who share and believe in our culture and values. In addition, there is a focus on training, development, succession and career progression within the organisation. This will allow our best people to progress and allow Sage Gateshead to promote internally for future roles.

Sage Gateshead is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

Sage Gateshead have five core values these are:

  • Leading – there is excellence in all we do, in the music sector, in the local community and throughout our work
  • Diverse – in our music and our programme, our audience and our workforce.
  • Focused – on being professional, commercial and entrepreneurial to help deliver our mission
  • Creative – in outlook and championing creativity and learning, particularly for Children & Young People, developing new ideas and open to change, in our organisation, our artists, our music and our audience
  • Responsible – for our decisions and accountable for our actions

Overall purpose of the role

To assist the Orchestra Manager in the running of rehearsals and performances, while leading on the transportation and set-up of orchestral equipment for all Royal Northern Sinfonia activity.

Responsibilities and Duties

Lead on the platform management for all orchestral rehearsals, concerts and recordings.

The post-holder will be required to attend all orchestral sessions (both internal and external), and to undertake the following associated duties:

  • Draft stage plans for all forthcoming Royal Northern Sinfonia projects
  • Manage and set-up orchestral equipment and instruments
  • Manage the platform and any changes required
  • Purchase and set up orchestral refreshments

Assist the Orchestra Manager in the smooth running of orchestral operations

  • Booking of freelance players and maintenance of fixing lists
  • Work with the Orchestra Manager regarding Health and Safety including risk assessments and noise risk assessments. Specific responsibility for taking decibel meter readings and collating information.
  • Assisting in the recruitment of players and in the audition process.

Lead on the transportation of orchestral equipment to external venues as required.

  • Book suitable vehicles for the transportation of instruments to external venues
  • Ensure that all required orchestral equipment is loaded safely and securely onto the orchestral van for any external rehearsal, concert or recording.
  • Plan routes and drive the orchestral van from/to any external venues.

Other duties and information.

  • Regularly act as the Duty Orchestra Manager for full orchestra rehearsals, and for smaller scale chamber music projects
  • Undertake relevant training if necessary, for First-Aid, Health and Safety, Manual Handling and other bespoke technical equipment training.
  • To keep in close contact with other departments at Sage Gateshead, including Technical, Facilities and Building Service, to ensure smooth operations.
  • To accept appropriate individual responsibility for the observance, promotion and implementation of Health & Safety, Customer Care, Equality and Diversity, Dignity at Work and other policies with the Trust.
  • Undertake other duties appropriate to the post as requested by the Orchestra Manager in line with the needs of the organisation.

This is a full-time position with extremely variable working hours as dictated by the orchestral schedule.

Annual Leave will predominantly be taken when the orchestra is not working.

Knowledge, experience and skills required to do the job



  • Full, Clean Driving Licence held for at least 2 years


  • A-Level or Degree in music



  • Candidates must be willing to regularly drive larger vehicles and be prepared to undertake training for additional driving licences if required. [NB: nothing above an ordinary licence is required to apply for this role]
  • At least 1 year working in the performing arts sector.
  • Confidence in driving large vehicles and long distances.


  • Experience in driving large vehicles and long distances
  • Being able to hire larger vehicles, holding specific driving licences.
  • Work within the orchestral sector or directly with orchestral musicians

Skills or knowledge


  • Excellent practicality and spatial awareness.
  • Excellent and pro-active problem solving.
  • Excellent awareness of health and safety procedures.
  • Excellent attention to detail and communication skills.
  • Ability to react quickly to changing situations and organise conflicting priorities.
  • Ability to interact with a wide variety of people from high profile artists to team members to external venue staff.
  • Willingness to learn about the classical music industry and the orchestral sector.


  • Basic technical knowledge of lighting and/or amplification
  • Some knowledge of Health & Safety at work legislation



  • This role will involve a large amount of manual handling and some very long shifts.


  • Skill and confidence in handling orchestral equipment including Double Bass, Timpani and Percussion.

Other factors


  • This role will include national and international travel.
  • A passion for classical music and interest in working with performers.

Job Description for the post Assistant Orchestra and Platform Manager

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 £20,736 per annum (SCP 18).

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, travel ticket scheme and auto-enrol pension.

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

Completed applications should be returned no later than 9am on Tuesday 2nd July 2019.


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