The San Francisco Symphony

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Staff Usher

at The San Francisco Symphony

Posted: 10/11/2019
Job Reference #: 257
Categories: Other/General
Keywords: weekend

Job Description



The San Francisco Symphony sets the highest possible standard for excellence in musical performance. But our patrons’ experience of excellence at Davies Symphony Hall begins well before the first note is played.

Whether it’s before the performance, during intermission, or after the concert, our patrons interact with ushers in a variety of ways. You all play a very special role as ambassadors to the public, and your own “performance” contributes to the enormous pleasure and satisfaction that is the San Francisco Symphony experience.

The Staff Usher position is a part-time position.  The work hours are flexible, but include morning, evening, and weekend hours.  This position is not eligible for San Francisco Symphony sponsored benefits.  However, this position may be eligible for certain benefits through select ordinances of the City of San Francisco.


The Usher responsibilities are divided into three parts: Pre-Patron Arrival, Patron Arrival and Post Concert. The responsibilities listed below are an outline of common duties performed on a given night. There may be other minor responsibilities as outlined by the House Manager.   

Pre-Patron Arrival

  • Check in with House Manager to discuss the evening program.
  • Distribute program booklets to boxes throughout the house.
  • Input ticket scanners with the current performance code and distribute, then retrieve scanners at opening and close of performance, and provide House Manager with nightly attendance figure.
  • Give orientation to volunteer ushers, check-in and assign seating areas to volunteer ushers, and ensure proper dress code of volunteers.
  • Inspect seating area for broken or missing chairs, report any broken chairs, lights, faucets, doors, etc. to House Manager, and ensure handicapped seats have been removed by the Stage Electrician.
  • Check emergency flashlights are in working condition.

Patron Arrival, Seating and Concert

  • Timely opening and closing of doors and upon opening.
  • Greet and address patrons’ questions and concerns. Scan tickets and direct patrons to ticketed area.
  • Ensure food and drink is not taken into restricted areas.
  • Resolve ticket issues i.e. duplicate tickets, unreadable tickets, etc. and seating issues i.e. poor sightlines, fear of heights, etc.
  • Resolve disputes between patrons i.e. talking, disruptiveness.
  • Respond to notices of camera flashes, videotaping, cell phones, etc.
  • Respond quickly to unexpected handicapped needs in the seating area and assist patrons with a wheelchair if transportation is needed.  Also, assist patrons with walkers, storing and returning when needed.
  • Organize late-comers and implement late-seating in a timely fashion.

Post Concert

  • Coat-room duties include receiving and returning coats, bag, bikes etc.
  • Coat-room ushers distribute and return assisted listening devices.
  • At close of performance scan seating area for lost and found items.
  • Clear seating area of patrons with special attention to patrons in restrooms.
  • Set-up, break-down, and facilitate artists’ CD and book signings.
  • Check in with House Manager before clocking out at the end of the evening. 


  • Work at offsite locations, i.e. Palace of the Legion of Honor, Stern Grove, etc.
  • Attend Emergency Response Plan meetings, implement Emergency Response Plan when necessary and place radio call to First Aid staff when needed.
  • Attend Red Cross sponsored CPR, AED and Life Saving courses.
  • Attend committee meetings, i.e. Ushers’ Liaison Committee.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.


  • Required to become a member of the Theatrical Employees Union – Local B-18.
  • Experience as an usher in a performing arts venue.
  •  Must be able to provide usher coverage for an assigned area for an extended period of time, which may include standing.
  • Able to work weeknights and evenings.
  • Customer service and patron or guest service experience.
  • Ability to work with and supervise volunteers.
  • Excellent verbal communication.
  • Conflict resolution experience in customer service and retail.
  • Flexible attitude and patient/tactful in resolving conflict.
  • Professional/polish in appearance and polite demeanor.
  • Ability to use scanner and two way radio/walkie talkie.
  • Follow appropriate dress code including children’s concert uniform (provided), business attire for day time performances, and formal attire for evening performances.


To apply, please visit our website at  Under the About Us tab, go to the Careers and Auditions page and click on “Jobs at the SF Symphony.”  Search for this job and click on “Apply for this Position” to submit your resume, cover letter, and application.


The San Francisco Symphony, under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, is one of the country’s leading orchestras. Some 220 concerts each year reach an audience of more than 600,000, while national and international broadcasts, heard on more than 215 radio stations, reach millions more. The Symphony has its own recording label, SFS Media, and its recordings have won some of the world’s highest honors. Its multimedia initiative, Keeping Score, has reached over six million people with television and radio broadcasts, DVDs, and an interactive website. The Orchestra tours extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, and its outstanding artistic reputation enables it to attract the world’s finest guest artists and conductors to Davies Symphony Hall. More than 70,000 young people are served each year by the Symphony’s numerous education programs, including its internationally renowned Youth Orchestra and Adventures in Music (AIM), which reaches every 1st through 5th grader in San Francisco’s public schools. The organization is led by President Sakurako Fisher and Chief Operating Officer/Interim Executive Director Derek Dean.

The San Francisco Symphony’s mission is to set the highest possible standard for excellence in musical performance at home and around the world; enrich, serve, and shape cultural life throughout the spectrum of Bay Area communities; and maintain financial stability and gain public recognition as a means of ensuring its ability to fulfill its mission.

The San Francisco Symphony is an Equal Opportunity Employer.