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President & Executive Director

Role: President & Executive Director Location: Rochester NY

Mission: The mission of the David Hochstein Memorial Music School is to provide people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities with access to excellent music and dance education in a community that nurtures and encourages personal achievement.

About the Organization

The Hochstein School is a non-profit community arts education organization that annually serves more than 3,500 people of all ages with music, dance, and expressive arts (music, dance, and art therapy) lessons and programs. Founded in 1920 as a living memorial to the virtuoso violinist David Hochstein after his death in World War I, Hochstein School occupies the historic former Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Rochester, a 53,000 sq. ft complex that houses classrooms, dance studios, and multiple performance spaces, including the magnificent Hochstein Performance Hall.

Since its founding, the School has been committed to providing access to its excellent programs; tuition assistance awards averaging $280,000 annually permit all to participate, regardless of their means. Each year, thousands of audience members attend concerts and recitals in the School’s Performance Hall, the hall that witnessed historic events including the funeral service of Frederick Douglass and the memorial service of Susan B. Anthony.

Over 100 experienced and accomplished professional arts educators/performers serve on the Hochstein faculty, supported by a team of 22 administrative staff (12 full-time, 10 part-time) - all committed to ensuring that this extraordinary organization realizes its goal of transforming lives through the arts.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Hochstein transitioned quickly to virtual instruction, sustaining a substantial percentage of lessons and classes virtually. Throughout the past year, a combination of in-person and remote teaching permitted even more students to resume their participation. Despite the pandemic’s challenges, Hochstein has expanded services to underserved populations and developed additional programs that will extend the reach into the community in the future.

Through the efforts of a strong leadership team of board and staff, the School has emerged from the past year in a favorable financial position and is well positioned to move forward both within the walls of the building and beyond. An operating budget of $2.7M is in place for the 2021-22 fiscal year. A multi-year comprehensive campaign to support expansion of the School’s outreach to underserved populations in the city as well as to steward its remarkable historic facility is in its first phase.


About the Hochstein Community

Hochstein's greatest strength is in the spirit of its people and its sense of place. Hochstein is a supremely positive place; community happens everywhere in the building. It's the connection between teachers and students, between families, between players and singers and dancers - people coming together to learn, share, and celebrate the wonder of the arts and dance with the richly accomplished, experienced, and nurturing faculty and staff. Whatever a student's passion, whatever their background, age, ability, or means, all are welcomed.

A hallmark of the School is to provide both excellence and access to a wide variety of arts experiences - for students from 6 months to 90+.

  • Individual lessons are offered to students from all orchestral instruments, piano, voice, and guitar.
  • Music FUNdamentals classes offer joyful learning experiences in music and movement for young children.
  • The Dance Program has exceptional offerings in Ballet as well as opportunities to learn Modern, Tap, African, Latin-Caribbean, and Spanish-Flamenco styles.
  • The Ensemble Program, drawing from the rich history of the Hochstein String Quartet in the 1920s, has grown into the comprehensive program in existence today: five orchestras, three wind symphonies/bands, three choral ensembles, jazz combos, rock bands, and myriad chamber and instrument-specific ensembles. These ensembles have attracted students from a multi-county region across western New York.
  • Workshops for learning and making music with various folk instruments such as ukulele, banjo, bagpipes, and harmonica, as well as an array of summer camps are offered each year.
  • Myriad individual and group performance opportunities are available for students of all ages in the School's excellent performance facilities as well as in the community.
  • In addition, Hochstein's Expressive Arts program: Music, Art, and Dance Therapy provides individual and group offerings to address physical, emotional, cognitive, communication, and social needs for children, youth, adults, and seniors with disabilities. Through partnerships with over 25 agencies across the community, the Expressive Arts program serves over 1,400 people each year.
  • Hochstein's singers, musicians, and ensembles are strongly represented in local, regional, and state-wide festivals and competitions, such as Area- and Conference All-State.
  • The Hochstein School was the first non-degree-granting institution to be granted accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music and has maintained accredited status continuously ever since.
  • The musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra chose Hochstein as the recipient of their Outstanding Music Educator Award in 2020 in the category of Special Award, in honor of the School's centennial, recognizing Hochstein for its extensive contributions and long-term impact on the field of music education.

Helping each student achieve personal success is Hochstein's goal. Music and dance nurture, enrich, energize every human life - holding the key to creating a better world.


About the Rochester Community

The greater Rochester area, comprised of a 9-county region, has a population of over one million people. As a vibrant arts community, Rochester offers many opportunities to enjoy world-class dance, music, theater, visual arts, and more in multiple venues throughout the city almost every day of the year. Partnerships abound. For example, the ROCmusic Collaborative was launched in 2013 by Hochstein, the Eastman School of Music, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and other entities to provide an El Sistema-inspired after-school music program for underserved youth of the city at three City recreation centers.

Among the region's arts organizations, Hochstein has stood tall for over 100 years, offering lessons to all - regardless of age, skill level, ethnicity, or ability to pay. In this context, Hochstein has positioned itself to help face the challenge of poverty that is so prevalent within the city. At least 30% of the population have incomes below the poverty line, ranking the city third nationally, after Detroit and Cleveland. With the belief that the arts can transform lives and elevate the human spirit, Hochstein has begun to significantly increase its partnership with various community organizations, including the Rochester City School District. The opportunity to bring about meaningful change is at the doorstep. The future is bright for Hochstein and the city with a leadership team willing to be bold and creative.


Finding a New Leader/The Role

Dr. Margaret Quackenbush, President & Executive Director of the School since 1992, will retire in June 2022. She and her leadership team have skillfully positioned the School both financially and programmatically to move forward in previously unrealized directions as the Rochester community emerges from the pandemic. The Board of Directors is committed to finding a new President/Executive Director willing to explore innovative opportunities for current and future students, and in particular, those in our community who are underserved. The School’s new President will need to provide strategic thinking and creativity to ensure Hochstein’s continued development.

A candidate applying for the President/Executive Director position should be a visionary musician and educator with a strong background in teaching and performance. This candidate should also possess significant management and leadership experience in the arts and arts education. An advanced degree is required, preferably in music. The successful candidate will have the capacity to bring people together to work as a team, both within the School and in the greater community. Hochstein seeks a candidate who is both a big-picture thinker and an attention-to-detail organizer. Financial management skills are required to prepare and manage the School’s operating budget and other assets. A crucial aspect of the new leader’s role will be leading the School’s efforts to acquire the resources necessary to support its programs and operations, serving as the face of the School with donors, funders, and community partners. An experienced, professional administrative staff will provide significant support for carrying out the many responsibilities of the President/Executive Director.


Job Description:

The President & Executive Director is Hochstein's chief executive officer and reports to the School's Board of Directors.

The main responsibilities for the President & Executive Director are to:

  • Develop the vision, direction, and oversight for the School's educational programs and services, consistent with its mission, including the advancement of strategic partnerships to further the School's reach to underserved populations
  • Work closely with the Board of Directors, to
    • Develop strategic goals/objectives authorized by the Board to ensure the continued success of the School,
    • Provide support of all aspects of the Board's work, including its committees and task forces/work groups, and
    • Communicate regularly with the Board regarding all important factors relative to the condition of the School.
  • Establish and maintain a professional faculty who successfully deliver the highest caliber of program services and embody the School's mission and values
  • Establish and maintain a well-qualified, mission-driven administrative staff who effectively support the organization's needs with respect to finances, fundraising, communications, human resources, facilities, equipment, and all other aspects of day-to-day operations.
  • Oversee development efforts at all levels (individuals, foundations, corporations, and special events) and participate directly in identification and cultivation of major donors.
  • Oversee management of the School's finances, including preparation of the annual budget as well as prudent handling and monitoring of the School's resources within budget guidelines.
  • Oversee management of the School's comprehensive campaign, working closely with the Board, the campaign leadership/committee, and its consultants to guide the School to a successful campaign conclusion over several years.
  • Provide oversight of human resources according to Board-authorized personnel policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws and regulations.
  • Serve as a spokesperson and advocate for the School, representing its mission, programs, and services to stakeholders, including students, parents, donors/funders, collaborative organizational partners, alumni, and the public at large at the local, state, and national levels.


Compensation and Benefits:

Hochstein offers a competitive salary in the range of $110,000 - $140,000, depending on qualifications and experience; paid vacation, holidays, and personal/sick leave; health benefits; short-term and long-term disability coverage, life insurance policy, and voluntary 403(b) retirement plans.

The Hochstein School is proudly an Equal Opportunity Employer. Hochstein is committed to a transparent and open search process, hiring based on merit and with a strong commitment to employment equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Application and Inquiries:

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and three references no later than November 19, 2021 to:

Eric W. Logan
Chair, Search Committee
The Hochstein School


Downloadable copy of job posting available here.


October 2021