2MBS Fine Music Sydney functions through the involvement of over 200 dedicated volunteers who generously contribute their time and talents across all aspects of the radio station.
An interest in music is a good start to being a volunteer for Fine Music Sydney. While we are largely a classical music station, we broadcast jazz, world music, folk music and contemporary or alternative music.
Can you provide some help behind the scenes? Or are you a ‘voice’ waiting to present fine music? New volunteers are always welcome with training and on-the-job support provided. If you have skills or a strong interest in any area, please let us know as vacancies do occur on a regular basis.
Click below for more information or to express your interest.
Apart from a few staff members, 2MBS Fine Music Sydney functions through the involvement of dedicated volunteers who generously contribute their time and talents across all aspects of the radio station. An interest in music is a good start to being a volunteer for Fine Music. While we are largely a classical music station, we also have many volunteers who are devotees of jazz, world music, folk music and contemporary or alternative music. New volunteers are always welcome, particularly in the areas listed below. Training and on-the-job support are provided.
The following areas need significant numbers and are nearly always looking for volunteers.
- Presenting Classical Music
Other areas require smaller numbers of volunteers and there may not always be a vacancy. However, if you have skills or a strong interest in these areas, please let us know as vacancies do occur on a reasonably regular basis. These include:
~Music Library (classical and jazz)
~Social media support
~Program guide editing
~Writing for Fine Music Magazine and our website
~Content programming (music selection)
~Presenting classical music
~Presenting specialist music
~Transion & broadcasting engineers
Behind the scenes volunteers
The receptionist is considered to be one of the most important roles as it is the first point of contact for the public. It is also a role that gives you a good introduction to the station as many things pass across the Reception Desk. The receptionist needs a good phone manner and enjoys dealing with people.
Duties include –
- attending to inquiries relating to volunteering, program content and program information
- dealing with subscriber enquires and taking subscription payments over the phone
- taking messages for staff and volunteers
Some computer skills are necessary – especially email usage. The reception desk is manned 7 days a week and receptionists normally perform one four-hour shift per week. Two on-the-job training sessions are provided before you do your first solo shift.
Librarians check that all audio files in a program scheduled for broadcast are ready. This may mean checking a number of electronic systems and making corrections as required or chasing up missing files. Presenters are alerted to significant anomalies. If physical CDs are required then they will be ready for pickup from the library by presenters for the scheduled broadcast time.
Librarians also acquire, catalogue and maintain the station’s library of CDs and books about music. A reasonable knowledge of the classical repertoire and of its artists is required. Librarians need a careful and methodical approach to problem solving. Experience in library or computer work is an advantage. Each librarian works once a week or fortnight for about a 3 hour shift. Training will be provided in library procedures
Our staff team manages most of the office administration required to run the station, but we do have roles for a small number of volunteers to assist with these tasks. Volunteers in this area require clerical experience – familiarity with processing payments and data entry skills are an advantage. Experience with computers is essential and knowledge of office and database software is an advantage. Volunteers in this area also require an ability to give attention to detail and to work unsupervised. It is expected that volunteers will spend on average 3 hours per week at this task. Because of its specialised nature, subscriptions work requires a high standard of detailed clerical work and long-term commitment.
Some volunteers may also have significant management or corporate experience which could be useful from time to time to assist with management of the station. If you have some professional experience in these areas, we would welcome you as part of our volunteer team.
Social media support
As a broadcaster, we use many channels to share the love of fine music and to promote the music, the musicians, our sponsors and the Station: FM radio; digital radio; live streaming; Listen Anytime; Fine Music Magazine; Fine Music News; e-letters; and social media.
The role of social media is complex, and needs to engage with our audience, a significant portion of which is under 40yrs. Promoting programs, special events, musical events and sponsors is important, as is sharing content published in our other media. Skill with publishing on various social media platforms is important.
Promoting the station
Program Guide Entering & Editing
Program Guide Enterers type the itemised program for the month into a format suitable for publication in Fine Music magazine. Some knowledge of classical music repertoire is an advantage, and some computer experience is essential. Programs can be entered at any time of the day or night and can be done at the convenience of the volunteer. It is expected that volunteers will spend on average 3 hours per week at this task. Training will be provided by an experienced Program Guide Sub-Editor.
Program Guide Sub-Editors edit the material entered by the Program Guide Enterers. Each program entered is edited three times to ensure no mistakes make it into print. Sub-Editors check the programs entered for accuracy, sense and style. Sub-Editors are also expected to assist with the Program Guide Entry when there is a backlog of work. Most volunteers move into Sub-Editing after spending some time as a Program Guide Enterer. Sub-Editors need an eye for detail, should be able to follow a style guide and should be available 3-4 hours per week on a weekday. A knowledge of foreign languages, particularly French, Italian, German or Spanish is helpful but not essential.
Writing for the magazine and website
Writers produce articles for Fine Music Magazine or the website about music-related topics as commissioned by the Editor or Marketing and PR Manager. Writers will have some qualifications or experience in writing for semi-specialist publications. A reasonable knowledge of music and some familiarity with the associated Sydney music scene without the need for extensive research is an advantage. Fine Music is produced on a monthly basis. You would work in close consultation with the Editor, who allocates subjects and makes editorial decisions. It is expected that if this is your area of interest you will bring the relevant skills so no specific training is provided.
Proof Readers check for accuracy, sense and style, the material intended for publication in Fine Music magazine before and after typesetting by the printer. Proof Readers need an eye for detail, should be able to follow a style guide and be available 3-4 hours per week during the day. Experience in proofreading is helpful but not essential.
Programmers prepare classical music programs for the presenters to put to air. Programs for jazz, world and folk music are prepared only by the presenters. See the section on Presenting Specialist Music Areas for more information on these.
A reasonable familiarity with the classical repertoire is necessary to be a programmer. Programming can be done largely at home where you are able to access the library catalogue and the ripped CDs and CD booklets of the Fine Music Sydney collection, through the station’s website. You can also go into the station to use the Fine Music Sydney library directly. Training is provided on how to put a program together. The Programmer Training Coordinator will discuss your first programs with you, explain the use of the library and get you started on future programs.
The intention is that your first programs will go to air. You may submit as many programs as your ideas, time and resources can support. If you intend to program a series, it is recommended discussing this with the Programming Committee so that the program may be placed to advantage. It is not advisable to start programming with a series idea.
Presenting Classical Music
The main aim of the Presenter is to provide good company for the listener. Presenters interested in jazz, world and folk music should also refer to the section on Presenting Specialist Music Areas for more information on these. The information following is relevant to all presenters.
Presenters are allocated to present a program prepared by one of our programmers. Presenters research the music, composers and artist and write a script for the program. Presenters do their own production, so are on their own in the studio, operating the broadcast panel equipment. Presenters need a well- modulated, friendly voice with clear diction. An interest in and some knowledge of music are essential as well as the ability to pronounce names in foreign languages. Presenters need to be able to think and react quickly under pressure. Fine Music Sydney broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and shifts vary from approximately one to four hours.
A comprehensive training program is provided in all aspects of presentation, broadcast equipment and panel operation. Before starting training, potential presenters undergo a voice check and audition to assess their ability to handle equipment, music knowledge and voice suitability. The training will vary in duration, depending on qualifications and experience.
Most presenters are also volunteer programmers as the two roles are very closely related.
Presenting Specialist Music Areas
While Fine Music Sydney is predominantly a classical music station it also has programs featuring jazz, world, folk and contemporary music. If you fit the characteristics below, please contact us.
The 2MBS Fine Music Sydney Music Library does not have a large collection of music in specialty areas, so one of the first requirements for specialist presenters is that they need to have a significant personal collection available to them as their programs will largely be drawn from their own music. Specialist presenters always prepare their own programs. In addition, specialist presenters need to have an extensive knowledge of their music scene.
All Presenters go through the audition and training program described above in Presenting Classical Music.
Recording Engineers record performers in our recording studio either for live-to-air broadcast, or for later broadcast. They also record external concerts and events to record them for later broadcast on 2MBS Fine Music Sydney. Experience in using recording equipment is essential. Hours will vary according to need. Recording external concerts or events will usually require attendance in the evenings or on weekends when most of these events are scheduled. No specific training is provided, but you will be accompanied by an experienced volunteer Recording Engineer at your first few events so you can understand the Fine Music Sydney standards.
Transmitter and Broadcasting Operations
Transmitter Technicians ensure that the transmitter and studio equipment are performing satisfactorily. Our Technical Committee is responsible for recommending upgrades to our technical environment. If you have some professional experience in these technical areas we would welcome you as part of our volunteer team, either as a member of our committee (which meets monthly) or as a volunteer to assist with major upgrade projects.
We have a small team of volunteers with IT experience who assist with the maintenance and upgrade of the office IT environment.
Our website creates linkages between all of our broadcasting content, including providing track information on the current broadcast, links for live streaming, a platform for our Listen Anytime service, a webspace for each of our programs, a home for the monthly Fine Music Magazine, an archive of our weekly Fine Music News, support for our sponsors, and our frequent webposts on news-worthy events and music highlights.
The website is built on a WordPress template, and integrates our Listen Anytime platform from Omny Studios. Routine tasks include updating metadata in our programs, republishing content from our other media, support for sponsors, promotion of special events, and updating regular program schedules. Familiarity with WordPress or similar platform, and some html and java programming would be helpful.