Association of British Orchestras

Musicians Advisory Council


Deadline for all applications (core, freelance, and student): Friday 4 November, 5pm.

The ABO board has agreed to implement a Musicians’ Advisory Council, whose purpose is:

  • To advise the CEO and board of the ABO on strategic issues relating to the well-being and sustainability of the orchestral sector
  • To ensure the voice of orchestral musicians is heard at board and executive level, and their views taken account of in advance of key decisions of relevance to the orchestral life of the UK
  • To support the ABO in engaging with and communicating with orchestral musicians at both professional and youth level
  • To encourage the UK’s orchestral musicians to have a deeper engagement with the ABO

The Musicians’ Advisory Council may make recommendations to the board and executive but is not in itself a decision-making body.

Please find more information below, including details of how to apply.


  • The Musicians’ Advisory Council will be chaired by a member of the ABO board
  • The cycle of meetings will be agreed by the Council’s chair with its membership, with an expectation that there will be quarterly meetings plus additional meetings as required
  • The agenda for meetings will be set by the chair of the Council
  • A deputy chair and secretary will be appointed to support the chair as required
  • Minutes of meetings will be tabled at ABO board meetings with time guaranteed for discussion and debate as required
  • The Musicians’ Advisory Council will advise on topics and speakers for sessions at the ABO conference

The members of the Musicians’ Council of the ABO will be a maximum of 22, representing as far as is reasonably possible:

  • The range of ABO member organisations by size, constitution, type of ensemble etc
  • The geographical spread of ABO member organisations
  • Membership is available to musicians who work with full and associate member organisations as salaried, freelance workers, and as students

Membership of the council will be for three years, at the end of which members may apply for a second term. Shorter terms may be served by agreement with the chair of the Council.

Member organisations are strongly encouraged to support musician members of the council with release from playing work where required in order to attend MAC meetings and the ABO conference.

Membership of Musicians' Advisory Council (MAC)

1. ABO to invite all members to nominate one employed musician for MAC membership. (maximum 15 places). These nominees shall constitute pool 1.

2. ABO to invite all members to nominate one freelance musician for MAC membership (maximum 3 places). These nominees shall constitute pool 2.

3. ABO to invite all music conservatoires and youth orchestra members to nominate one student musician for MAC membership (maximum 3 places). These nominees shall constitute pool 3.

4. The Chair of the MAC shall be a member of the ABO Board.

5. Membership selection shall be established via tombola from the 3 distinct pools. Due to the limited-term nature of music studies at a conservatoire, a minimum term of 1 year will be possible for all nominees in pool 3. Longer membership periods (with a maximum of 3 years) are encouraged where possible.

6. Members shall have the option to serve for an additional term but shall serve for no more than six (6) consecutive years.

7. A member may resign from the MAC by providing a minimum of 4 weeks' notice in writing to both the Chair and Secretary of the MAC.

8. In the event that a member resigns from the MAC their replacement will be selected from the tombola of applicants at the most recent election. The new member may initially serve for the remainder of their predecessor's term and shall have the option to renew for one 3 year term thereafter.

9. Meetings shall be scheduled no less than one month before ABO Board meetings in order to facilitate the preparation and informal agreement of the minutes prior to their presentation to the ABO Board. Minutes shall be formally signed-off at the start of the next MAC meeting.

10. Meetings shall convene either over Zoom or in-person, with a minimum of one in-person meeting each year, to be held at the ABO annual conference.

11. The quorum for meetings shall be at least 50% plus one member of the current MAC. Should attendance drop below the quorum, the meeting shall be adjourned immediately.

12. A member of the ABO management team shall be the MAC Secretary and facilitate the taking and distribution of minutes for all meetings and the coordination of official MAC correspondence.

To apply, please fill in the below Nomination Form.

Related information

ABO Musicians Advisory Council Nomination Form