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Music ,
submitted by
Peter Gillette

(Part-Time) Director of the University of Chicago Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble


The University of Chicago Department of Music seeks a part-time Director of the University of Chicago Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble to start in academic year 2022-23.

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. Established in 2019, the Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble (ACFE) generally consists of eight to twelve members – including undergraduates, graduate students, and community members – with varying degrees of musical fluency and varying levels of experience in the repertoire.


Plan and lead in-person weekly rehearsals and quarterly performances for Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble. The director is expected to instruct, guide, and motivate the ensemble members in the various technical, artistic, and cultural parameters of the Afro-Cuban musical tradition(s), teaching primarily through an aural approach but also incorporating musical notation and cultural background as appropriate.

The ensemble customarily rehearses on Monday evenings for seven or eight weeks during each of three academic quarters, and presents three (short) concerts per year in Fulton Recital Hall or other campus venues. Additional informal performances on campus and in the community can be incorporated, as desired. Collaborations with other Department of Music performance ensembles are encouraged, insofar as feasible.

The ACFE Director will be responsible for holding an Open House rehearsal at the beginning of the academic year to recruit student musicians, and carrying out some outreach into the community to enhance ensemble membership. The Director is responsible for planning appropriate repertoire for the ensemble to rehearse and perform; for developing a strategic curriculum to promote the musical growth of the ensemble and its members over the course of the academic year; for monitoring rehearsal attendance and communicating with student musicians; for submitting all program information to the Performance Program staff in accordance with announced deadlines; and for leading the group in its quarterly performances. Appropriate Afro-Cuban percussion instruments (including bata drums, congas, cowbells, and various hand percussion instruments) are available to the ensemble for rehearsals and performances; additional instruments can potentially be acquired in the future to accommodate the growth of the ensemble.

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


Requirements: bachelor’s degree required, master’s preferred; demonstrated familiarity, experience, and professional training in Afro-Cuban and/or other Caribbean or Latin American musical traditions required; experience in ensemble leadership strongly preferred; commitment to working with students to improve their technical abilities and their improvisational, aural, and ensemble skills required. Accomplished musician with previous teaching experience at the high school, college, or university level strongly preferred. 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 discussing interest in the position
  • Curriculum Vitae, listing performance experience and ensemble leadership positions
  • Sample performance clips (2 minimum, preferably one solo & one ensemble): video format preferred
  • List of References (3 minimum)

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

Review of applications will begin July 25 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 and August, 2022.

Position contingent on final budgetary approval.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: University of Chicago (Hyde Park)