Director of the Settlement Music School Children's Choir
About our Organization:
Founded in 1908 Settlement Music School, a non-profit organization, is one of the largest community schools of the arts in the United States serving children and adults of all ages at five branches in Pennsylvania located in South, West and Northeast Philadelphia, Germantown, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and its virtual branch, Settlement Music Online. Settlement provides over $2.6 million dollars each year in financial aid and scholarships to fully 60% of its students. Settlement’s reach is broad, and it continues the principles of its Founders, that there be no barriers to participating in music and arts education.
About the Position:
Settlement Music School’s Children's Choir brings together voices of students ages 8–14 from around the Greater Philadelphia Region to join in an experience that embodies an inclusive and creative community. Focusing on repertoire that spans from folk to pop to classical and represents our city’s diverse communities, the students come together to create music that celebrates our city, our diversity, and our humanity. Admission to the Choir is open, and auditions are for vocal placement purposes only.
The Director will provide artistic leadership for both the Junior and Senior Singers which combine to make up the full Choir. Choirs at each branch rehearse weekly as individual ensembles. Each Choir rehearses first with all singers together, where the Senior Singers mentor, encourage, and collaborate with Junior Singers as an integral part of the learning process. Then each rehearsal continues with just the Senior Singers. Starting in late fall of the season, Senior Singers from each branch choir come together to rehearse one Saturday afternoon a month at the Germantown Branch. In January, the complete combined choir — Junior Singers and Senior Singers — begin a schedule of Saturday afternoon practices at the Germantown Branch. A collaborative pianist is provided for all rehearsals and performances.
Artistic responsibilities include:
- Plan and conduct weekly rehearsals at four branch choir locations for a 32-week season — September through May. Rehearsals take place from 5 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. on Mondays at our Willow Grove Branch, Tuesdays at our Wynnefield Branch, Wednesdays at our Germantown Branch, and Fridays at our Mary Louise Curtis Branch. Conduct one monthly Saturday rehearsal for the combined choirs that is typically from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at our Germantown Branch.
- Craft vision and oversee artistic production of one major self-produced concert in May. Plan and direct Branch Choir performances as schedule permits. Identify additional performance opportunities in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
- Select diverse repertoire for all Choirs in consultation with Dean, as needed.
- Implement rehearsal strategies that nurture vocal development for young singers.
- Conduct all performances throughout the year.
- Work with collaborative pianist in rehearsal and any other supplementary instrumentalists, as needed (depending on programming needs).
- Pedagogical support for singers with changing voices.
Administrative responsibilities include:
- Collaborate with branch staff to recruit and retain students.
- Maintain regular communication with branch and maintenance staff for rehearsal set up.
- Maintain all attendance records for each Choir. Call all students on a weekly basis who miss rehearsals without prior notification.
- Stay in close contact with parents and guardians who are very engaged in the Choir community.
- Participate in regular check-ins with Dean to monitor workflow and progress towards goals.
- Maintain concert jackets, vests, and shirts.
Preferred qualifications and skills:
- Master’s degree in music education or choral conducting or equivalent experience preferred.
- Minimum five years of direct experience and demonstrated success as a choral music educator.
- Experience working with students and teachers in elementary and middle school settings.
- Knowledge of choral instructional techniques, vocal pedagogy, and teaching a broad range of choral repertoire that is culturally relevant for a community children’s choir.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, especially public speaking and written skills.
- The right candidate will be a capable, independent worker with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment.
- Passion for working with children and ability to interact and engage our diverse constituency.
Settlement Music School is an Equal Opportunity Employer that encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position.
Part-time salary range is $24,000 - $26,000 with comprehensive benefits.
COVID-19 and Workplace Policy:
Settlement Music School requires that all on-site employees show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Medical and religious exemptions are reviewed on an individual basis.
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume by email only to: Karin Orenstein, Dean, at [email protected].