A Musical Director also known as a Conductor leads a cast, orchestra, choir and other musical groups during a performance. They select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed and study musical scores to prepare for rehearsals.
A college degree in music or musical theatre is recommended for this career. Courses in composition, orchestration and conducting would be beneficial as well and training in musicianship, voice and acting. A Musical Director must be able to sight read music, write music and they are expected to play the piano.
To be a Musical Director you must have a creative flare and be able to work with a variety of different people in different departments. You also must be able to sing (well enough to teach singers), play the piano, and understand other musical instrument as well as being able to read music.
Musical Directors can work both permanently and in freelance positions. To work with recording artists on touring concerts or with an opera or orchestra company, you must have years of experience as this is a senior-level management role. You can develop your craft through the use of apprenticeships, however many start with community theatre, eventually moving onto regional theatre and professional work.
Read our blog 'How to become a freelancer in theatre' here.
The average salary for a Musical Director is around £46,000 per year.
Published: 23 October 2019