Background For 65 years, Chicago Children’s Choir (Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director) has worked to inspire, unite and change the lives of diverse youth through music. CCC began as a small choir in the Hyde Park Neighborhood in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement to foster racial understanding and has grown into a nonprofit with an international footprint that is Chicago’s premier arts education and youth performing arts organization. CCC serves 4,900 singers from all of Chicago’s 57 zip codes through a vast network of 144 choirs that bridge cultural and economic divides to nurture future ambassadors of empathy, equity and understanding.
In a traditional year, CCC partners with 92 schools to provide choral music education, administers 12 community-based afterschool choirs and is home to the internationally acclaimed Voice of Chicago. As a national and international touring ensemble, CCC has performed for dignitaries such as former President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and former Chinese President Hu Jintao and with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Andrea Bocelli, Beyonce, Celine Dion and Chance the Rapper. CCC also regularly partners with Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival.
Over the past year, CCC has thrived, creating high quality online programs and virtual content that brings hope and light to audiences across the globe.
CCC is a civic treasure and model for urban music education with 79% of families able to access our programming at no cost and 21% of singers participating at a partially subsidized cost, relative to their household income.
Opportunity Conductors for Chicago Children’s Choir serve a vital role as part of our music faculty. They have the unique opportunity to work with singers in School and Neighborhood Programs throughout the city of Chicago, inclusive of families from a wide variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Conductors also have the opportunity to collaborate with educators of over 15 part-time and full-time music faculty with world-class training and professional experience in music education, performance, ethnomusicology, commercial music, musical theater and dance. Our faculty also engages in ongoing professional development on a wide range of topics from Trauma Informed Care to World Music Pedagogy. There is much that our conductors not only give to their students, but also gain as educators and musicians in the CCC community.
Our conductors help facilitate student learning through organization-wide curricula such as Black History Month, Canto Latino and Paint the Town Red, in addition to assisting in the development, evaluation and documentation of such curricula. Faculty members also engage in smaller-scale performance learning projects with their individual School Programs and Neighborhood Choirs, including but not limited to school assemblies, community concerts and performances, choral festivals both within and outside of CCC and our annual Bridging America Tours. From time to time, conductors may also be called upon to assist with special collaborations with other musical organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Ravinia Festival and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Chicago Children’s Choir School and Neighborhood Choir Programs Chicago Children’s Choir offers choral programs in 92 Chicago elementary and middle schools. Arts education varies significantly throughout the city of Chicago; CCC is proud to partner with many schools to build, expand or begin the choral experience through our School Program. Most schools hire CCC to provide instruction for one or two choirs, one or two times per week. The Director of School and Community Partnerships works with the conductor to set individual schedules. Conductors work collaboratively to set and implement the curriculum across all School Programs.
The Neighborhood Choir program provides beginning, intermediate and advanced choral training to over 800 students with treble voices in 3rd grade and up through programs in 12 Chicago neighborhoods. Neighborhood Choirs meet two times per week with some programs having one weeknight rehearsal and one Saturday rehearsal while others have two weeknight rehearsals. Conductors work collaboratively to set Neighborhood Choir curriculum but also have a great deal of autonomy to create a choral experience that fits their unique teaching style and repertoire choices.
Musical and Educational:
Facilitate student learning in assigned choirs, incorporating the curriculum set forth by CCC faculty in addition to individually-selected repertoire.
Teach choral music through a lens of cultural responsiveness and authenticity, maintaining a dedication to equity and anti-racism.
Maintain rigorous learning and performance standards.
Facilitate auditions at each assigned School Program and Neighborhood Choir location.
Prepare choirs for, and participate in, performance events throughout the year.
Administer singer assessments twice yearly for School Programs and Neighborhood Choirs and use associated data to inform instructional practice.
Community Engagement, Communication and Relationship Building:
Communicate regularly with school and community partners to ensure the best possible experiences for all stakeholders.
Communicate effectively with families in order to foster deep and meaningful relationships with the CCC.
Recruit singers for participation in CCC programs.
Maintain ensemble numbers that allow for productive and successful learning experiences for all singers.
Educate families on opportunities for growth within the Choir and assist with promotion into more advanced CCC ensembles, when appropriate.
Organizational Support and Administrative:
Actively participate in meetings, professional development workshops and staff training as scheduled.
Communicate regularly with administrative staff to ensure equitable experiences amongst all programs.
Attend and assist with organization-wide events and events involving other School Programs and Neighborhood Choirs.
Strong choral music educator and conductor capable of teaching diverse music through culturally responsive methodologies
Dedication to anti-racism and equity.
Passion for working with diverse youth ages 8-18 and for fostering deep and authentic relationships with their families and communities.
Minimum of a bachelor's degree in music (master's degree and major in choral music education or choral conducting preferred).
Experience teaching music.
Experience working with children and youth from diverse backgrounds is preferred.
Commitment to collaboration in a team of fellow music educators, as part of a larger organizational staff and with families and community partners in a mission-driven environment.
Creativity, flexibility, self-motivation, energy and enthusiasm for this vitally important work.
“OTR” Life Experience: We know that many of your most character-building experiences – where resilience, grit and grace were required to persevere – do not show up neatly on a resume. So, we want to hear some of the “OTR” (“off the resume”) moments for you. In order to be on the CCC team, EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is not a nice-to have...it’s a must. So, show us your EQ.
A Not-So-Fun Fact:
We know research tells us that while men apply to jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria, women and people of color tend to only apply when they feel they’ve checked every single box. If you are unsure that you’ve checked every box above, but you think you have what it takes to enhance the CCC as we grow our team, we want to hear from you.
Compensation & Benefits Competitive salary with benefits for full-time employees including paid time off, medical, dental and life insurance and tax-deferred retirement plan.
How to Apply Interested and qualified candidates should send a resume and cover letter to email@example.com, with the job title in the subject line.
Chicago Children’s Choir is an equal opportunity employer that actively pursues candidates of diverse backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to providing diversity, equity, and inclusion training to all employees, and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, nationality or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy status, marital status, age, medical condition, disability, or veteran status in admission or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities.
About Chicago Children's Choir
Chicago Children’s Choir (Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director) is a non-profit organization that inspires and unites youth from diverse backgrounds to become global citizens through music. Founded in Hyde Park in direct response to the Civil Rights Movement in 1956, CCC has grown from one choir into a vast network of in-school and after-school programs serving nearly 5,000 students across the city of Chicago.
CCC has impacted the lives of more than 50,000 diverse youth throughout its 64-year history. Since its founding, CCC has focused on building programs that reflect the racial and economic diversity of Chicago. Eighty percent of youth served are from low-to-moderate income homes, with over 4,000 students annually participating completely free of charge. All singers in CCC programs receive some level of subsidy. High school seniors enrolled in CCC have a 100% graduation rate, becoming global ambassadors who carry on CCC’s core values in a wide array of professional fields.
Under the leadership of President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, Chicago Children’s Choir has achieved new heights and revolutionized the youth choral arts through innovative creative par...tnerships and new artistic endeavors. Recent projects include Lyric Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking and Tchaikovsky’s romantic thriller The Queen of Spades with select Chicago Children’s Choir singers cast as the children’s chorus; the world-premiere hip-hop musical Long Way Home, written and directed by the renowned Q Brothers Collective, which played to five sold-out houses in 2018; performance in a new staged production of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS under the direction of Marin Alsop in July 2018 and 2019 with two frequent creative partners: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ravinia Festival; and collaboration on Chance the Rapper’s debut studio album The Big Day (2019) as well as a collaboration on his GRAMMY Award-winning Coloring Book (2016) studio recording and tour performances. CCC has served as a model for youth choirs across the country including Boston Children’s Chorus, Denver Children’s Choir and Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
As a national and international touring ensemble, Chicago Children’s Choir has performed throughout the United States, in Cuba, South Africa, India, Argentina, Uruguay, Korea, Canada, Japan and Europe and for dignitaries such as former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, former Chinese President Hu Jintao, former South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso.
CCC has performed with or for acclaimed artists such as Sam Fischer, Nick Cave, Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Kathleen Battle, Luciano Pavarotti, Samuel Ramey, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Enrique Iglesias, Quincy Jones, Al Green, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Celine Dion, Eddie Vedder, Common, Donald Lawrence, Queen Latifah and Beyoncé. CCC has recorded on multiple labels including James Ginsburg’s Cedille Records (Songs from Spoon River, 2009) and has released six studio recordings under its own label– Harmony Anew (2018), We All Live Here (2016), Holiday Harmony(2010), Songs on the Road to Freedom (2008), Sita Ram (2006) and Open Up Your Heart (2004).