Senior Director of Communications and Marketing

Reports to: Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Status: Exempt

About Curtis: 

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective, with an enrollment of about 165. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach, which has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in Philadelphia in 1924. Grounded in this rich heritage, Curtis is looking to the future in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to serve its time-honored mission.

Position Description:

The Senior Director of Communications and Marketing is a skilled collaborator, creative thinker, and energetic contributor who plans and implements a comprehensive communications and marketing program to grow brand awareness, position Curtis as a leader in the industry, deepen patron engagement, and continue to successfully compete for the world’s top musical talent. He/she manages and strategically guides creation of key communications vehicles (including, but not limited to, print publications, promotional collateral, e-messaging, and promotional video content) and proliferation of key messages to various Curtis constituents to strengthen and heighten the Curtis brand locally, nationally, and internationally for all performance activities, fundraising initiatives and campaigns, and institutional objectives. The ideal candidate will coordinate and integrate the many Curtis communications channels and voices, creating a unified experience for the audience.

The Senior Director of Communications and Marketing partners with other members of the Advancement team to increase new audiences to Curtis, grow ticket sales, generate positive publicity, and deepen engagement with donors and ticket buyers. He/she will also partner with colleagues to increase applications to Curtis and Curtis’s Summerfest program. This role is a key liaison with Curtis’s creative design agency and is responsible for ensuring a consistent and effective brand identity for the school. As an integral part of the management team, she/he reports to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and works closely with the office of the President.

 Key Partnerships: Marketing and Communications Committee, External publicist(s), Associate Director of Individual Giving, Summerfest Manager, Curtis Admissions team, Curtis on Tour team.

 Direct Reports:  Senior Editor, Graphics and Visual Assets Designer, Communications and Marketing Manager, Digital Content Producer, Associate Director of Performances and Events.


Primary Responsibilities:


  • Lead external content strategy and editorial direction 

`Determine content priorities and messaging for social media, website, video, Overtones, program books, and other online and print communications

  • Develop institutional key messages
  • Crisis and contingency communications and management
    • Help identify challenges, emerging issues, and trends, advise leadership (Senior VPs, The President, trustees) on proactive communications strategies that position Curtis favorably
    • Maintain institutional crisis communications plans
  • Hire and supervise external publicists and consultants as needed
  • Manage rollout for major announcements (i.e. new programs, multi-million dollar gifts, etc.)
  • Serve as staff liaison to the Marketing and Communications Committee; participates actively in related reports/presentations to the Board of Trustees
  • Focus on initiatives of key importance within the Strategic Direction
      • Curtis on Tour (Global Music Community)
        • Oversee promotion of Curtis on Tour, including marketing, publicity, programs, photography, and audience building and information collection
        • Input on presenter agreements
      • Digital Space Optimization
          • How online content can be effectively developed and positioned
      • Community Impact (Programs, Teaching Model, Experiential Learning)
        • Bringing attention to Curtis’s initiatives in this area
      • Diversity
        • Bringing attention to Curtis’s initiatives in this area


  • Develop and implement annual marketing plans and the corresponding budgets in the following areas:
    • Performance Marketing, including ticketed performances and the Student Recital Series. Work closely with the Associate Director of Performances and Events to plan and implement annual ticket buying/subscription campaign, in print and online, identify target audiences, set prices, develop packages, develop and optimize the ticket purchase path.
    • Admissions – in partnership with the Admissions team
    • Summerfest – in collaboration with Summerfest Manager
  • Responsible for ticket sales revenue and meeting a yearly revenue goal.
  • Support the work of the development team by advising on donor-focus marketing campaigns and generating leads from ticket buyers and free recital attendees.


Visual Brand identity

  • Manage the relationship with the school’s primary external design firm, direct creative output
  • Ensure a consistent visual identity in all print and online imagery


E-mail Communications

  • Expand Curtis’s abilities to make the most out of the marketing opportunities via its current CRM system (Emma/Raiser’s Edge) and future systems (HubSpot/NXT).
  • Work with Communications Manager to develop documentation and road maps for processes, A/B tests, and promotions that succeed through email.
  • Work with Associate Director of Digital Engagement to gather actionable data and implement changes. Monitor effectiveness of promotional campaigns and advertising strategies through attendance figures, statistics relating to e-newsletter campaigns, analytics, and other metrics.  


Data tracking

  • Promote and foster a data-driven approach to decision making, using existing data and recommending and establishing additional metrics to assess the impact of major marketing and communications initiatives.



  • Manage Marketing budget, PR budget, Curtis on Tour budget, Campaign Marketing budget, oversee all other marketing/communications department budgets.


Required Core Values:

The ideal candidate will exhibit the following core values:

  • a positive, “can-do” attitude
  • devotion and dedication to Curtis and its community
  • passion for his/her work, and contribution to the field and greater good
  • commitment and accountability for his/her work, and his/her ability to affect change
  • desire and willingness to collaborate, think creatively, and make data-driven decisions
  • respect, courtesy, and patience for all members of the Curtis community
  • an eagerness to make Curtis a more diverse and inclusive institution



  • BA/BS and 7-10 years of experience.
  • Understanding of integrated marketing; fluency with the ways various offline/online and brand/direct response channels work together.
  • Strong brand messaging and creative experience; understands how to develop brand messaging strategy and execute through creative in print and online.
  • Experience using customer segmentation to drive successful campaigns, including success with email marketing, lead nurturing, and/or marketing automation.
  • Highly analytical and able to derive meaning from data, comfortable with ongoing experimentation and adjustment in response to results
  • Excellent writer and communicator (in both written, visual, and verbal form).
  • Flexible; able to juggle multiple projects and work with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Skilled at collaboration and cross-departmental work
  • Familiarity with classical music preferred


 Working Conditions/Physical Demands: 

  • Night and weekend work required (as needed)
  • Basic office environment


To Apply: 

For best consideration, interested and qualified applicants should electronically submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, a writing sample, and salary requirements to: Curtis offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. Hire is contingent upon the successful passing of criminal (ADP) background screenings. The position is open until filled. No phone calls, please. EOE. URL: