Project Director

Chicago Music Pathways Initiative - Chicago, Illinois

Job Category: Admin (other)

Type: Paid

Term: Full Time

Post Date: October 26, 2018

About Our Organization

CMPI is aimed at building a more robust Chicago-area training pathway for talented student musicians from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, from 6th grade through 12th grade. The project focuses on instrumental students of classical music who have demonstrated both aptitude and interest in pursuing intensive study and a career specifically in orchestral music.

The long-term goal of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) is to help address the persistent lack of diversity in American orchestras – a condition which threatens the vitality and viability of classical, orchestral music.

The initiative will involve close collaboration and resource sharing among a diverse network of well-established not-for-profit Chicago youth and music-education focused organizations. Together, participating organizations will work to identify talented, motivated students early in their training. Musicians selected for CMPI will be carefully assessed and provided with comprehensive supports – musical and extra-musical (e.g., financial, instructional, academic, etc.) to remove many of the barriers to access that can discourage or derail the training of talented young musicians from underrepresented backgrounds before they are able to realize their full musical potential.

Job Summary

Position: Project Director, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative
Responsible to: Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative Steering Team
Reports to: Dean & Vice President for Educational Affairs, Merit School of Music
Supervises: Student Navigators and Family Engagement & Mentorship Manager

The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative Project Director is responsible for project development, implementation and oversight. They will work collaboratively with the CMPI Steering Team, which consists of leadership from the following organizations:

  • Merit School of Music
  • Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
  • Chicago High School for the Arts
  • Chicago Sinfonietta
  • DePaul University School of Music
  • The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • The Ravinia Festival


Oversee all critical elements of project planning, coordination and execution, including, but not limited to:

  • Facilitating regular planning, practice-sharing and connectivity among CMPI partners
  • Nurturing lasting, systemic connections among participating organizations that may benefit all students in programs
  • Holding participating institutions accountable for identifying, recruiting, recommending, and advancing students across organizations/pathway, consistent with outcomes and commitments made to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Advocate across organizational leadership for improved systems and practices to build collaboration, communication, trust, and a student-focused mindset and practice
  • Informing and facilitating areas of needed curriculum development and revision as it relates to the training and development of CMPI musicians
  • Guiding and coordinating professional development for all participating institutions, including trainings in trauma-informed practice, diversity and inclusion, social emotional competency building, etc.
  • Organizing college and career exposure opportunities as well as access to curricula for all underrepresented students in programs
  • Leading data collection, analysis and reporting commensurate with project outcomes and funder expectations


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of five years’ experience working in the field of music education, administration or performance sector
  • Demonstrated dedication and success leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and a deep understanding of related challenges
  • Demonstrated experience and success in leading multi-organization collaborative efforts, and a strong ability to communicate effectively across organizations
  • Previous experience creating and leading/supervising a team
  • Highly motivated, dynamic, organized, and strategic individual, capable of working effectively with all project constituents (staff, faculty, parents, students)
  • Demonstrated and infectious passion for this project and classical music
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Ability to speak Spanish preferred, but not required

Additional Information

This position is grant funded and therefore subject to grant renewal.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience – full benefits include health, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, and PTO offered to the successful candidate.
The CMPI Steering Committee and affiliated organizations are committed to enhancing the diversity of Chicago’s classical music 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 global society. The CMPI 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.

CMPI leadership encourages individuals from underrepresented populations to apply.

How to Apply

Interested Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and minimum salary requirements to Auriel Jones ( no later than Friday, November 16. No phone calls or faxes will be accepted.

For more information, please visit the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative website.