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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Emerita Colon

Band Program Director

Merit School of Music

Chicago, Illinois

Full-time Position Announcement:

Band Program Director


The Band Program Director at Merit School of Music oversees all the planning and activities for the school’s 800 band students across four core programs – Merit Music in Communities, Private Lessons, Instrumental and Vocal Music, and the Tuition-free Conservatory. This position supervises the Band Program Manager, Band Program Department Chairs, and off-site band liaison and works closely with Merit’s team of program staff members, reporting to the Dean and Vice President for Educational Affairs. The Band Program Director is charged with ensuring quality band programming at all levels of the school in accordance with Merit’s mission and vision and in alignment with core teaching values of providing a deep, inspirational and motivational learning experience to a diverse student body. The Band Program Director is responsible for the program design, implementation, recruitment, hiring and development for Merit’s band programs. The position requires evening and Saturday hours on a semi-regular basis throughout the academic year.

Organizational Overview

Since its founding in 1979, Merit School of Music has successfully motivated and developed more than 50,000 young people through high-quality music instruction. The School’s comprehensive curriculum, extensive financial aid, sense of community, and the standard of excellence set forth by the faculty and students are major components of its success.

Merit offers a multi-leveled, structured curriculum in a college preparatory environment. Programs take place at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in Chicago’s West Loop and at nearly 30 locations in neighborhoods across Chicago. Instruction is offered to approximately 3,500 students of all ages, from infants to adults, and from beginners through high school by nearly 150 accomplished faculty members.

Merit has an annual operating budget of $6 million, of which more than half is supported by contributed revenue.


Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to a high-quality music education.

Reporting Relationship

The Band Program Director reports to the Dean and Vice President for Educational Affairs.

Job Responsibilities

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

  • Oversee the planning, implementation and quality of Merit’s band programs (currently 11 off-site programs, 6 on-site ensembles, and private lesson instruction) during the academic year and camps/classes during the summer session
  • Oversee Merit’s Band Program Manager, Band Program Liaison, and Band Department Chairs.
  • In collaboration with Merit’s Dean and VP for Educational Affairs and other staff leadership, contribute to the programmatic vision of the school
  • Oversee hiring and professional development of Merit’s band faculty, including band directors, woodwind, brass and percussion faculty
  • Contribute to Merit’s annual budget planning and budget management processes
  • Serve as an external ambassador for Merit School of Music and its programs
  • Serve as the lead staff member for events and performances that feature band students and ensembles
  • Contribute to the shape and success of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (learn more here.)
  • Other projects as assigned

Personal Skills/Attributes/Qualifications

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in music education or performance required
  • Substantive experience working in non-profit arts management also preferred
  • Significant teaching experience and high level of musicianship preferred
  • Experience overseeing and developing part-time or full-time administrative staff
  • The ability to work collaboratively and build lasting positive relationships with faculty, staff, executive leadership and partners
  • Creative, forward-thinking and passionate about Merit’s mission, vision and core values
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish highly desirable

Educational Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, Performance or Arts Management required


  • Flexible 5-day work week
  • At least two Saturdays per month required September through May
  • Some evenings required (especially Tuesday)


$45,000 - $50,000 annually, with full health, dental and retirement benefits included

Interested candidates should send résumé to:

No phone calls or faxes will be accepted.

For more information about 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 has a responsibility for creating and sustaining a learning environment where difference is valued, and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Merit School of Music encourages individuals from underrepresented populations to apply.

Merit School of Music does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, physical or mental disability or any other protected status in admission or access to, or employment in its programs and activities.

Contact Info:
Emerita Colon
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL