About Our Organization
Merit School of Music is a community music school located 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 on to 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.
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 facilitating communication with parents, students, and teachers.
Reporting to the Band and Jazz Program Director, the Program Manager assists the Director in the planning and executing Merit's Band and Jazz programs. This includes facilitating communication with students and faculty, 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.
The Band and Jazz Program Manager reports to the Band and Jazz Program Director.
Responsibilities of the Program Manager include, but are not limited to:
• Communication Facilitation – 35%
o Fostering awareness of class schedule changes, performances, events, and dress rehearsals
o Connecting with families regarding Merit's attendance policy (lateness, absences, etc.)
• Materials Allocation – 25%
o Ensuring 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 Creating classes in ASAP (Merit's class database) and ensuring that classes fit in the schedule (avoiding duplicates and overlap)
o Entering the class roster into the database
o Taking and entering conservatory ensemble attendance on Saturdays
o Running class reports for the Development team to facilitate grant writing
• Planning and Executing Merit Events – 15%
o Ensuring concert materials are ready
▪ Examples include: stage seating chart, updating the concert's paper program, run of show, list of student performances (and checking attendance)
o Instrument Exploration & Open Houses: Confirming the correct instruments are available and set up
o Summer Camps: Double-checking materials, scheduling, and room availability
• Other duties as assigned – 10%
Job Qualifications & Requirements
• Organized: Nothing falls through the cracks. Successful candidates can speak in detail about process and why it is effective
• Strong written and verbal communication skills: Timely response to emails in a polite and professional manner
• Skilled at prioritizing: Can identify the differences and overlaps between tasks of competing urgency and importance
• Initiative: A self-starter who works independently in a fast-paced environment
• Flexible mindset: Comfortable working independently and collaboratively. Willing to learn new skills and think creatively to support various projects.
Nice to have, but not required
• Musical background highly desired. Band experience is strongly preferred
• Many of our families connect with Merit exclusively by speaking Mandarin or Spanish. These language skills are strongly preferred in this role to better support direct communication with our families.
Bachelor's degree or equivalent training and experience
At Merit School of Music, we consider 37.5 hours to be a full-time work week (8 hours per day with a 30-minute lunch break). A typical week for the Band and Jazz Program Manager is as follows:
Wednesday – Friday: 9-5
Sunday & Monday: Off
Merit staff is currently working a hybrid of remote and in-person hours. All hybrid and remote arrangements are determined between staff and supervisor. During the first three to six months of work, 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.
Merit School of Music requires all employees to provide proof of vaccination and booster shots against COVID-19. Please plan accordingly. Merit invested heavily in its HVAC system to improve ventilation throughout the building. Face masks are recommended to everyone who enters the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center.
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 January 2nd, benefits would begin on March 1st.
• 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 offered at the employee's expense
• One day of paid time off (PTO) earned for each month worked through August 31st, 2023. One and a half days earned per month subsequent to September 1st, 2023
• Eight paid holidays plus winter break (Christmas through January 2nd)
• Following one year of employment, you will be eligible to invest 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
How to Apply
To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted through December 4th, 2022. 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 Merit School of Music, please visit www.meritmusic.org.
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.