Music Director | Composer | Teaching Artist
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About Storycatchers Theatre.
Founded in 1984, Storycatchers uses its trauma-informed care model to guide youth in the justice system to write their own stories and turn those into musical theatre. Through this process, they develop social and emotional skills to successfully recognize and make productive choices as they transition beyond their experiences within the justice system.
Who should apply. And what we offer.
We’re looking for a Music Director/Composer who is great at the piano/keyboard and is familiar (or is willing to learn) in the musical theatre and hip-hop styles. They create music with ease and creativity – a mature, patient explorer who likes trying different genres and working (and learning) with youth as they turn their stories into musical theatre. This person is a teacher, mentor, and a musical collaborator who riffs with the team but is also able to work alone to create music that brings out powerful emotion in simple and accessible ways.
What our Musical Directors / Composers do.
The Music Director/Composer works inside juvenile justice facilities in a program staffed with two other leaders – an Artistic Manager and Program Manager. Together with teaching artists and 8-12 teenage, predominately African American youth, the MD/Composer will lead music sessions, help youth formulate musical ideas, and compose original music for a script inspired by the youths’ written stories.
Program sessions take place ~40 weeks/year, 2-3 times per week, and culminate in a weekend of fully-realized public performances, all accompanied on the piano by the Music Director.
Some things you might do in a typical program cycle.
- Work with youth to create beats or melodies from their lyrics.
- Adlib a riff, melody or beat to accompany a theatre game or workshop.
- Lead musical collaboration sessions with youth to nurture their own writing and composition skills.
- Score songs written for a performance.
- Work from home composing or mastering new pieces of music for an audio recording.
- Accompany youth on the piano in a performance.
What you’ll need to be a great candidate.
- Professional-level skill on the piano/keyboard.
- Significant experience in performance (preferably musical theatre) and familiarity with hip hop and/or urban music.
- Experience working with youth with a history of trauma preferred.
- Significant composing experience. Examples will be requested.
- Experience scoring music is preferred.
- Experience in teaching music to young people unfamiliar in performance art.
- Ability to consistently meet tight deadlines.
- Ability to pass a criminal background check.
- A valid driver’s license.
This employee must work successfully with all persons in the organization without regard to ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, physical challenge, sexual preference or gender.
Location and Required Hours:
Programs take place inside the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center - 1100 S. Hamilton, Chicago, IL.
The schedule is 10-15 hours/week: 2-3 weekday afternoons until 5 PM with early evening performances 4-5 times per year.
Part-time salary: $25-30/hour
For part time employees, we pay for all off-site prep time. That means composition time, curriculum planning and staff meetings, artist trainings – anything you are required to do for each program session, performance or professional development.