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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Band and Jazz Program Manager


Merit School of Music seeks a full-time Band and Jazz Program Manager to support the school’s continued operation of all band and jazz instruction. The Band and Jazz Program Manager helps families, faculty, and staff across all programs daily. Program Managers are the first contact points for coordinating instruments and supplies and leading communication with parents, students, and teachers.

Reporting to the Band and Jazz Program Director, the Program Manager assists the Director in planning and executing Merit’s Band and Jazz programs. This includes leading communication with students and faculty regarding Merit programs, events, and expectations, ensuring the accurate allocation of program materials, monitoring class activity, scheduling, and attendance, and helping achieve successful events throughout the year. Passion for inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and Merit’s mission to provide access to high-quality music education is a must.

Organization Overview

Merit School of Music is a community music school in Chicago’s West Loop. Our primary goals are to help young people transform their lives and experience personal growth through music by providing access to sustained participation. For more than 40 years, we have been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and have acted as a springboard for achieving full musical and personal potential. Our 125 passionate and experienced teaching artists provide access to high-quality music education, engaging over 3,000 students annually at our downtown location and in area schools and community centers.

Our students, who reflect Chicago’s socioeconomic and ethnic diversity, can learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with virtually 100 percent of our graduates going to a conservatory or college.

Merit School of Music is committed to building a world where historically underrepresented groups can access quality music education. Simultaneously, Merit is continually working towards becoming an organization that reflects the city’s demographics and the students we serve. Merit is dedicated to being an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and anti-racist organization and continually examining our efforts in this area.

Reporting Relationship

The Band and Jazz Program Manager reports to the Band and Jazz Program Director.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Program Manager include, but are not limited to:

• Faculty and Family Communication – 30%

o Communicate program details (classes, lessons, events, concerts) to Merit band & jazz families and facilitate communication with faculty

o Ensure student adherence to Merit’s class and lesson attendance policies

• Instrument & Supply Distribution and Coordination – 30%

o In coordination with Merit’s librarian, ensure that students and faculty have the proper materials that they need for programming, including sheet music, instruments, and other supplies

• Class and Activity Scheduling – 15%

o Class creation, scheduling, and room reservations

o Summer camp support

o Manage class rosters and attendance in the student database

o Assist with scheduling of private lessons and classes

• Event Planning and Support – 15%

o Concerts and Performances

o Stage diagrams, program creation, and run of show

o Student Recruitment Events

• Other duties as assigned – 10%

Skills and Qualifications

The ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

Must-have Characteristics

• Proactive self-starter who works independently in a fast-paced environment.

• Organized and detail-oriented: Nothing falls through the cracks. Successful candidates can discuss their process and why it is effective.

• Strong written and verbal communication skills: Timely response to emails politely and professionally.

• Skilled at prioritizing: Identify the differences and overlaps between tasks of competing urgency and importance.

• Flexible mindset: Comfortable working independently and collaboratively. Willing to learn new skills and think creatively to support various projects.

Preferred, but not required

• Musical background highly desired. Band experience is strongly preferred

• Many of our families connect with Merit exclusively by speaking Spanish or Mandarin. These language skills are strongly preferred in this role to better support direct communication with our families.

Educational Requirements

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent training and experience


At Merit School of Music, we consider 37.5 hours a full-time work week (8 hours per day with a 30-minute lunch break). A typical week during the academic year (September-May) for the Band and Jazz Program Manager is as follows:

Tuesday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm

Wednesday – Friday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday: 7:30 am-3:30 pm

Sunday & Monday: Off

In the summer months (June-August), the work schedule will change to Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm, and Friday, 9:00 am-1:00 pm.

Merit staff is currently working a hybrid of remote and in-person hours. The staff and supervisor determine all hybrid and remote arrangements. During the first three to six months of employment, working in the office four full days per /week (likely Tuesday – Thursday + Saturday) will be required for onboarding and training. While this position is not eligible for paid overtime, comp days are available in consultation with your supervisor.

Compensation & Benefits

Merit offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including the following items:

• Salary of $45,000 based on experience.

• The first 90 days of employment are considered a probationary period. Employees are eligible to participate in Merit’s employee benefits package 30 days from the date of hire following the first of the month. For example, if starting on August 2, benefits would begin on October 1.

• BCBS medical insurance (HMO and PPO options), Delta Dental (HMO and PPO) with 80% of employee premiums and 50% of dependent premiums paid by Merit

• EyeMed vision care and voluntary life insurance coverage are offered at the employee’s expense

• One day of paid time off (PTO) earned for each month worked during your first year. One and a half days earned per month in your second year.

• Paid sick leave according to the Chicago Paid Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance.

• Eight paid holidays plus winter break (Christmas through January 2)

• Following one year of employment, you will be eligible to participate in Merit’s 401(k) plan, including a 3% employer contribution

Further information on our benefits package and employee policies is available upon request.

How to Apply

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Please apply before July 15, 2024. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF.

ALAANA/BIPOC people, trans and gender nonconforming people, and women are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Merit School of Music, please visit

Merit School of Music is committed to enhancing the diversity of our musical community, recognizing that by providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for our students, we are preparing them for personal and professional success in an increasingly multicultural and global society. The Merit community recognizes that it is responsible for creating and sustaining a learning and working environment where difference is valued and equity and inclusion are practiced.

Contact Info:
Andrew Levine
Job Type: Permanent
Compensation: 45,000
Location: Chicago, IL