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GCTYO is Hiring!

Position: Woodwinds Instructor

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras

Part-time Salary (9 months)

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras is seeking applicants for a Woodwinds Instructor position. Qualified individuals from backgrounds traditionally under-represented in classical music are strongly encouraged to apply.

Instructors and coaches work closely with the Music Director and Conductors of the orchestras in the program to support students both musically and technically during each of our concert cycles. The Woodwinds Instructor will lead a small intensive woodwinds group for younger and less experienced musicians and also act as Woodwinds Coach for Principal Orchestra, the highest level full orchestra at GCTYO.

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras is located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Rehearsals are most Saturday mornings during the school year (except vacation days). At least 3 concerts per year are performed in November, early March, and May. Read our Mission, DEI Statement, and more about GCTYO here: https://gctyo.org. Also on Facebook and Instagram.


– Conduct weekly Saturday morning sectional rehearsals from September through mid-May

– 2 hours of intensive woodwinds instruction with less experienced players

– 1 hour of coaching advanced woodwinds

– Attend, assist, and conduct at 3 concerts per year

– Communicate with conductors and Music Director and establish effective rehearsal plans

– Attend staff meetings and occasional professional development workshops

– Communicate with Executive Director


– Give one-on-one lessons to students as needed

– Participate in GCTYO’s ongoing work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging


– Bachelor’s degree in Music or Music Education is required

– Ability to establish the highest standards of music performance, while being supportive, understanding, and approachable

– A demonstrated appreciation for and understanding of the needs of both beginning and advanced woodwind musicians

– A demonstrated appreciation for and understanding of the needs of high performing students

– Demonstrated success in teaching woodwind techniques and methods

Hiring Process:

Please send the following materials no later than August 19, 2022 to:

Chris Hisey (he/him)


– Cover Letter addressing interest, experience with, and desire to work with youth orchestras

– Curriculum Vitae 

– A minimum of three professional references with contact information




Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras (GCTYO) is grounded in the conviction that music education is a vital part of the education and development of young people and of communities as a whole. Accordingly, our music programs develop and support young musicians with an understanding that they are also part of a much larger world that is both diverse and historically complex. With this larger global context in mind, GCTYO recognizes that delivery of a robust and meaningful music education must begin with an acknowledgement of the historical inequity, exclusion and disparity of access to resources that shape the landscape in which we live. Euro-centricity, hetero-normative gender expectations, colonial conquest, and anti-Black racism have shaped the history of classical and symphonic music and continue to determine access to and success in the field. Given the systemic racism,  anti-LGBTQ bias, gender bias, and white privilege that dominates the orchestral world, our organization commits to creating opportunities for the meaningful inclusion of historically under-represented voices, particularly those from Black and Brown communities. These efforts will include (but are not limited to) equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist pedagogical and performance practices, diversifying our musical repertoire to include musicians and composers of color, and hiring staff that is diverse and reflective of our student community and the global community in which we live. In an effort toward accountability for these goals, we pledge to regularly engage our student musicians, parents, and GCTYO community by conducting annual assessments and inviting comments and suggestions about our progress. Our hope is that students emerge from the GCTYO music program as strong musicians with a deep commitment to social justice and an understanding of how music can play a part in achieving unity and equity for all.

AAPI Statement of Support

Spring 2021

GCTYO stands with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community who have been targeted, harassed and endured violent discrimination during the coronavirus pandemic. We recognize the valuable contributions of the AAPI community to our orchestras and to society as a whole. Racism against AAPIs has a long history in our nation that has been unaddressed and GCTYO takes an actively anti-racist stance against this bias.

Statement of Unity

Summer 2020

Dear GCTYO Family,

It is times like these when we truly miss the community that an organization like GCTYO provides. A sense of togetherness and unity can be lost when we are forced to be at a distance.

We are committed to being allies of our black and brown families. We recognize that they are living with deep pain and fear, subjected to the threat of police violence and ongoing oppression in a racist society.

As a youth organization, we worry most about our children. They are trying to find a sense of belonging and their own niche in this crazy world. When news of racism and senseless loss occurs, it creates fear, confusion, and unsettledness.

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras prides itself on providing a safe and inclusive environment, where students can come and express themselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. Students of all colors sit together and create music and connections. And through that creation, we send a clear message of peace and humanity.

We want to reassure everyone in our community that despite the recent distance and the fact that we are ending our season for the summer, GCTYO is still here. We are here for your children, and we stand side by side with our black and brown families and with those who seek justice, equality, and harmony.


Chris Hisey, Music Director

Beth Ulman, Executive Director

Sara Seaburg, President, Board of Directors




Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras Teaching Artists Make an Impact on the Arts

FAIRFIELD, CT – April 28, 2022 – Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras Teaching Artists Alexander Davis and Polina Nazaykinskaya made an impact on the New York City music scene in April.

Mr. Davis made history as bassoonist with the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, the first all-Black classical symphony orchestra ever to perform on the main stage at Carnegie Hall. The orchestra performed the world premiere of “I Can” by Jon Batiste in addition to other pieces.

“As an artist who has centered my practice on creating community and space for black and brown musicians, this has been such a beautiful representation of what that can look like after years of hard work,” said Mr. Davis. “Gateways Music Festival is a group that centers on connecting and supporting professional classical musicians of African descent and enlightens and inspires communities through the power of performance. It’s incredible to work with this group and manifest this energy in my own music series, Sugar Hill Salon, and my position at GCTYO. Representation matters and is the sole reason I am where I am today. It’s a large part of why I chose to be a part of GCTYO, knowing my presence brings representation to our community. It’s important for us to be able to see that black and brown bodies belong in every single space.”

Mr. Davis is the conductor of GCTYO’s Woodwinds Orchestra for younger, less experienced musicians and the Principal Orchestra Woodwinds Coach.

Ms. Nazaykinskaya is a profilic composer whose works have been performed by the San Francisco Ballet and Minnesota Orchestra, among many others. Her symphonic poem, “Fenix,” premiered by The Albany Symphony and programmed for multiple performances during the 2021-22 season, will be performed next season by Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras in Manhattan in collaboration with Site-Specific Dances and Michael Spencer Phillips. Her newest ballet, “Encounters,” was performed in April by MorDance in Symphony Space in New York City. She is currently working on an opera, commissioned by Opera Mississippi to commemorate the company’s 75th anniversary, which will premiere in 2023.

Ms. Nazaykinskaya is the conductor of GCTYO’s Philharmonic Orchestra and the Principal Orchestra Violin Coach.

Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras (GCTYO) brings over 300 young musicians together to achieve the highest standard of music performance in a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment. Its holistic approach to education fosters growth, learning, confidence, and both social and emotional awareness, which prepares students for a full and balanced life. The study and performance of great music in an ensemble setting can be a transformative experience for young musicians, and the skills they learn as part of a GCTYO ensemble—teamwork, perseverance, and responsibility—carry over into all areas of their lives.

For more information, visit gctyo.org or contact the Executive Director.

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