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Music ,
submitted by
Peter Gillette

Director of the University of Chicago Jazz Ensemble


Reports to: Director of Performance Programs

Background: The successful candidate will work within a large, well-established co-curricular Music Performance Program (PP) at the University of Chicago, which involves over 700 talented young musicians – most of whom are not music majors – in eighteen different performance ensembles and programs. The overall goals of the PP include: to provide a wide variety of enriching musical opportunities to UChicago students; to develop each student’s individual proficiency and musical understanding to the highest degree possible; to foster a strong sense of musical community and a spirit of camaraderie within the PP; and to nurture each student’s lifelong commitment to the musical arts, whether as participant, listener and/or supporter. Each member of the PP faculty is expected to ascribe to a teaching philosophy that emphasizes high expectations, positive reinforcement, constructive interaction, and productive dialogue between the instructor(s) and students.

Duties: Plan and conduct in-person weekly rehearsals and lead quarterly performances for two mixed jazz ensembles of approximately 8-12 student musicians each. The two ensembles, which reflect intermediate and advanced levels of accomplishment and experience, focus primarily on standard jazz repertoire and traditional jazz performance practice, but should incorporate training in jazz improvisation and opportunities for original composition as well. Instrumentation of the jazz ensembles varies from year to year, depending on the pool of student musicians available. Director will be expected to work creatively with the available instrumentation.

The ensembles customarily rehearse on Wednesday evenings for seven or eight weeks during each of three academic quarters, and present three (joint) concerts per year in the Logan Center for the Arts. Additional informal performances on campus and in the community can be incorporated, as appropriate. Collaborations with other Department of Music performance ensembles are strongly encouraged, and local guest artists can occasionally be featured on the Jazz Ensemble’s regular quarterly concerts, as the budget allows.

The Jazz Ensemble Director will be responsible for auditioning and placing interested student musicians in the ensemble(s) at the beginning of the academic year; for planning appropriate repertoire, identifying sources for printed music, and planning a strategic curriculum to promote the musical growth of the ensemble and its members; for monitoring rehearsal attendance and communicating with student musicians; for submitting all program information to the Performance Program staff in accordance with announced deadlines; for leading the groups in their quarterly performances; and for submitting registration lists and grades according to the specified deadlines. The Jazz Ensemble Director will also be responsible for operating the ensemble within a modest annual operating budget. Supplemental funds can sometimes be made available for special projects. Select specialty instruments (such as tenor and baritone saxophones, a bass trumpet, drum set, synthesizer, and guitar amps) are available to the ensemble; additional instruments can sometimes be procured, as needed.

The Jazz Ensemble Director works closely with the Director of Performance Programs and other members of the Department’s performance faculty and staff in planning repertoire, soloists, and special projects for the Jazz Ensemble, as well as in enhancing the overall quality and profile of the Performance Program on campus.


Bachelor’s degree required, master’s preferred; demonstrated professional training in jazz ensemble leadership/conducting required; commitment to working with students to improve their technical abilities, improvisational and ensemble skills, and overall musicianship required. Accomplished jazz musician with previous teaching experience at the high school, college, or university level strongly preferred. Familiarity and experience with jazz ensemble literature required. Excellent verbal and written communication skills required. Regular presence on campus throughout three academic quarters required.

Part-time lecturer appointment, requiring approximately 1 day per week on campus during the regular academic year, October through May; no benefits included.

Application Instructions

Candidates are required to submit the following materials:

  • Letter of application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of Repertoire Conducted in Performance
  • PDF with links to two performance clips (2 minimum, preferably one solo & one ensemble): video preferred
  • List of References (3 minimum)

All application materials must be uploaded electronically through the following link:

Review of applications will begin June 23, 2022 and continue until the position is filled or the posting is closed. On-campus interview(s) and audition(s) expected to be scheduled in July, 2022.

Position is contingent on final budgetary approval.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-3988 or email with their request.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL