arts + audio projects, planning + engagement

Music - Heather McDougall

Music programs and projects of Heather McDougall.
Orchestral, festival and community music related production and project management - including Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.



ARTISTIC: Planning, coordination, execution and oversight of -

  • Curation of daily radio playlists for WRTI (60 hours/week), including special programming for holidays, anniversaries and key cultural happenings

  • Playlist and short features curation for RTÉ lyric fm classical radio programs, including a live request-based program, and pre-recorded CD-based programs

  • Artistic planning, in coordination with and supporting artistic directors, of professional orchestra concerts and pre-concert talks for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

  • Negotiating with artists / artist managers, re: repertoire, logistics, technical requirements, riders, marketing and PR plans and educational and community engagement

  • In-studio recording sessions for film, commercial & in-house labels, TV & radio projects

  • Commissioning of new Irish works for the RTÉ Orchestras, overseeing contracting, delivery of score and parts, premier performance and reporting

  • Artist engagement, across various disciplines and genres, incl. dancers, writers, actors, composers and musicians ranging from the emerging to established and encompassing popular (Imelda May, Marvin Hamlisch & Michel Legrand), traditional (Martin Hayes, Eddi Reader & The Chieftains), jazz & West End (Claire Martin & Kim Criswell) mainstream classical (Hakan Hardenberger, Natalie Clein and Lang Lang) and contemporary classical (Nadia Sirota, Fidelio Trio and Harrison Birtwhistle)

  • Drafting and proofing season brochures, concert programs / program books, promotional materials, signage and presentations

OPERATIONS: Planning, coordination, execution and oversight of -

  • Scheduling load-in/load-out, rehearsals, sitzprobes, soundchecks & performances

  • Artists’ festival handbook (comprehensive guide covering rehearsals, performances, maps, ground transport, meals, emergency contacts and local areas of interest)

  • Running orders for concerts and live broadcasts

  • Assessments of new venues, including recces and health and safety reviews

  • Rental and loans of stage equipment, instruments and gear for multi-media events

  • Stage management for orchestral concerts

  • National and international touring for soloists, conductors and small to large ensembles (ground & air transport, accommodation, catering, visas, per diems, handlers & TMCs)

  • Lighting, sound, projection, staging and television and radio production professionals in preparation for broadcasts, live streaming and multi-media events

  • Working with established & non-traditional venues, facilitating adaptation of and to spaces such as churches, hospitals and gymnasiums

  • Operating within union agreements, venue and artist contracts as well as local practice

EDUCATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Planning, coordination, execution and oversight of -

  • Community music education program for Sherwood Conservatory’s 2 satellite hubs at the South Shore Cultural Center and Beverly Arts Center, serving all ages in demographically diverse Chicago neighborhoods, incl. student recruiting; student-teacher pairing; interviewing and vetting prospective faculty; classroom resources management, Suzuki program development and relationship building with leadership of partner organizations

  • Community engagement training program for 25 pre-professional musicians of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony), including organizing interviews and on-boarding participants, training sessions and in-classroom performances, working with an educational consultant and ten community partners, ranging from churches, youth organizations and cultural centers to public and private schools throughout Chicago


Director of Classical Music, WRTI (Philadelphia), a Top 10 market public media organization, serving more than a quarter of a million listeners each week in the Tri-state area (April 2019-present)

Planning Coordinator, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra & RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Dublin), Ireland’s two national orchestras and part of the national public service media organization (2010-11; 2013-14)

PA to the CEO & Artistic Director, West Cork Chamber Music Festival (Bantry, Co. Cork), one of Europe’s premier, boutique chamber music festivals, situated on the southwest coast of Ireland (2011-13)

Collaborations & Partnerships Manager, Sherwood Conservatory, one of Chicago’s leading community music schools (2002-03)

Community Engagement Coordinator, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1999-2002)