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Director of Contemporary Music, Assistant/Associate Professor

07 Feb 2021 6:13 PM | Communications Director MEIEA (Administrator)

Faculty: Full Time

Winchester, VA



Shenandoah Conservatory, one of the country’s leading centers for collaborative and innovative work across the performing arts, is seeking nominations and applications for an exceptional and entrepreneurial contemporary musician to join its faculty and oversee the creation, launch and growth of a new Contemporary Music degree. This full-time and career-contract track position, with rank dependent upon qualifications, begins August 2021.


Building on a broad awareness of the popular music industry, a bold creativity, and a passion for innovation, the chosen candidate will help to advance the Conservatory’s reputation as an inclusive and premier place of study where artists from diverse backgrounds actively engage around innovative and collaborative work.

Specifically, the desired candidate will:

  • Take the lead in working with colleagues across programs to shape a high-quality and innovative Contemporary Music degree program (Fall of ‘21), launching same in Fall of 2022;
  • Successfully advance the profile of the Contemporary Music degree program, helping to recruit highly talented students into the entering class, including through use of social media and/or other 21st century tools; 
  • Teach commercial music, songwriting, music entrepreneurship, jazz or other courses within conservatory degrees where appropriate; 
  • Be advisor to Contemporary Music students (after program launch);
  • Help plan masterclasses throughout the academic year;
  • Actively contribute to curriculum discussions and a faculty community that is oriented towards excellence, collaboration, and innovation, including forward-oriented approaches to career preparation of music performance students;
  • Actively collaborate with faculty across the Conservatory;
  • Actively contribute to the Conservatory’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity and Equity; and
  • Maintain a high-profile career in area of expertise while being intensely engaged in Conservatory and University life, including contributing to school-wide conversations and committees, and participating in division meetings, auditions, and recruitment activities.

Required Skills


The chosen candidate will be skilled across music styles, broadly aware of music industry trends, skilled at navigating the challenging 21st century music marketplace, excited to work within a community dedicated to inclusion and diversity, and passionate about mentoring students. Importantly, they will bring with them curiosity and creativity, and the ability to dream big dreams and turn them into reality.

Preferred qualifications include the following:

  • An excellent musician with extensive performing experience across music styles or an industry professional with extensive experience in the business side of commercial music;
  • An excellent teacher and mentor, preferably with experience teaching within a conservatory or university setting;
  • Ability and interest to effectively attract and recruit students;
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurship, including the ability to employ media (whether social media, YouTube, and/or streaming services) to effectively build listeners/followers;
  • Demonstrated orientation towards collaborative work; 
  • Possession of a terminal degree or equivalent professional experience; 
  • Eligibility to work in the United States; and
  • An ability to contribute to the Conservatory’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity.

How to Apply: 

Application submissions should include a letter of intent (in which candidates also identify how they might advance the Conservatory’s commitment to diversity and inclusion), a curriculum vitae and contact information for three professional references. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a qualified candidate is selected.

Shenandoah University is committed to enriching its educational experience and culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff. All candidates are strongly encouraged to include a statement in their cover letters addressing ways in which they may be able to contribute to that commitment.

Shenandoah University values the unique and diverse perspectives of individuals and communities locally and globally and seeks to foster mutual understanding in an inviting community where individuals are welcome and respected. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran’s status or on any other basis protected under applicable law.

About Shenandoah Conservatory:

Shenandoah Conservatory was founded in 1875 and has an extraordinary legacy of shaping music and the performing arts in Virginia and beyond. Located at the head of the historic Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA, 70 miles west of Washington, DC, the Conservatory is now home to over 640 award-winning students from across the nation and globe enrolled in baccalaureate, masters and doctoral curricula in the areas of music, theater, and dance, and includes a distinguished faculty of over 125, half of whom are full-time.

Beyond being a comprehensive performing arts school, Shenandoah Conservatory is home to exceptional artists and scholars who are unusually oriented towards collaboration and innovative approaches to the career preparation of students. The Conservatory’s ShenCoLAB (formerly titled Student Performance Week) is but one example of the Conservatory’s nation-leading embrace of innovation and collaboration: a (first-in-the country) week-long stoppage of all classes and rehearsals across all programs with the school turned over to students for student-led (and faculty mentored) collaborative projects. The Conservatory’s proximity to Washington, DC and Dulles Airport, ensures easy access to and regular interaction with professionals from around the country and world.  


About Shenandoah University: 

Shenandoah University is a diverse institution of approximately 3,800 students enrolled in baccalaureate, masters and doctoral curricula in business, arts and sciences, health professions and performing arts. Shenandoah University is an independent, coeducational institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Please visit www.su.edu for more information. 

SU website link: https://jobs.silkroad.com/ShenandoahUniversity/EmploymentPortal/jobs/1100

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