Director – Music Division

  • Deadline / Program Start: 2021-02-26
  • Organization: Interlochen Center for the Arts
  • Organization Type: Arts Services Organization
  • Career Type: Arts, Culture Non-Profit Administrator
  • Location: Interlochen, MI
  • Recurring: Array
  • URL: Link

Founded in 1928, Interlochen Center for the Arts (Interlochen) is located in beautiful northwest lower Michigan. Each year, thousands of artists and arts patrons come to Interlochen to experience world-class educational and cultural opportunities. Interlochen produces more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty, and world-renowned guest artists that attract more than 250,000 visitors and audience members to campus. Interlochen is distinctly multi-disciplinary, emphasizing the power of the arts to work together in creative synergy. Students study music, theatre, visual arts, film & new media, creative writing, dance, and interdisciplinary arts in Interlochen’s educational programs: Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen Online, and Interlochen College of Creative Arts. Inspired by the scenic beauty of its 1,200-acre wooded campus, Interlochen’s mission is to engage and inspire people worldwide through excellence in educational, artistic, and cultural programs, enhancing the quality of life through the universal language of the arts. Guided by its core values—inspiring, nurturing, transforming, enlightening, and enduring—Interlochen’s purpose is to ignite lifelong passion for the arts and its 100,000 alumni worldwide include a galaxy of arts luminaries.

The Interlochen Arts Festival takes place annually each summer and boasts a number of legendary performers. Interlochen’s campus also comes alive with student performances featuring promising young artists from across the nation and around the globe. The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival draws on Interlochen’s unique resources to present bold and innovative interpretations of the classics. Additionally, Interlochen Public Radio, a listener-supported broadcast service of Interlochen, is home to two distinct radio stations serving northwest lower Michigan with music, news, and culture from the region and the world—every day, 24 hours a day.

Interlochen has an overall operating budget that exceeds $50 million. It is governed by a 24-member board of trustees with Glynn T. Williams serving as Chair. The executive team is led by President Trey Devey, with Provost Camille Colatosti, PhD heading all educational programs.

Music at Interlochen
The music program at Interlochen is the founding discipline and has served as a national and international leader in preparing the next generation of performing musicians and music educators in an array of genres from classical to contemporary music. Music students account for approximately 50 percent of the enrollment at Interlochen and represent a significant performance, artistic, and educational focus for the institution across all of its initiatives in the arts, presentations, and broadcasting.

The campus has undergone major capital expansion in recent years, upgrading buildings, infrastructure, technology, and support systems. The Music Center is Interlochen’s newly opened, three-leveled, 62,000 square-foot facility intended fundamentally to change the way Interlochen students learn, rehearse, and perform.

The $24 million Music Center features rehearsal halls, practice rooms, faculty studios, recording studios, and classrooms in the heart of Interlochen’s main campus. The Frederick and Elizabeth Ludwig Fennell Music Library is a state-of-the-art facility that houses one of the country’s great instrumental libraries with more than 150,000 pieces of music in the collection, some priceless and irreplaceable. A $6 million inventory of thousands of musical instruments is available to students and maintained by a professional staff. Interlochen is also the home of the Greenleaf Instrument Collection, a collection of nearly 2,000 historical and period instruments.

The Frohlich Piano and Percussion Building includes a variety of practice rooms and teaching spaces and has played a central role in the lives of music students and faculty since 1998. Dedicated in 1975 and renovated in 2019, Corson Auditorium is a 1,000-seat auditorium that hosts Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy music, dance, and theatre performances, as well as dozens of acclaimed guest artists every year. Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall is home to a restored 50-rank Reuter pipe organ. This 230-seat venue is perfect for more intimate student performances and events.

Interlochen Arts Camp (IAC)
Each summer, Interlochen welcomes 3,000 students, grades 3 through 12, from all over the world to study music, theatre, visual arts, creative writing, interdisciplinary arts, film & new media, and dance. Music enrollments account for nearly half of these students. A 175-person music faculty and more than 50 staff members provide instruction, leadership, and program support for more than 30 different ensembles, multiple chamber groups, private lessons, and classroom instruction; summer contemporary music programs, including jazz, rock/pop, singer-songwriter, and music production & engineering; and an intensive series of specialty institutes. IAC students and faculty provide more than 100 concerts and recitals each summer and are an important part of the Interlochen Arts Festival.

Interlochen Online (IO)
Interlochen Online brings the world-class educational experiences of IAC and Interlochen Arts Academy to aspiring artists around the globe. Taught by acclaimed faculty, Interlochen Online’s immersive virtual programs provide exceptional instruction in a variety of artistic disciplines, including contemporary and classical music, for students in grades 2 through 12.

Interlochen Arts Academy (IAA)
Serving students in grades 9 through 12, with a post-graduate program, IAA is a complete high school and an arts education and performance environment unlike any other in America. IAA graduates go on to the finest post-secondary educational institutions and programs across the country and throughout the world. Since 1980, 46 IAA graduates have been selected as Presidential Scholars, more than any other high school in the United States. Forty-five of these were selected as Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Enrollments in music account for approximately half of the 550 students at IAA. A distinguished 34-person music faculty and a six-person staff support this unique program, which includes a full symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, vocal choir and chamber group, various instrumental chamber ensembles, big band jazz ensemble and jazz combos, popular music ensembles, opera workshop, composition, theory, piano, guitar, organ, and private lesson instruction. Current student majors include classical performance, composition, jazz, singer songwriter, popular music performance, and music production & engineering.

Interlochen College of Creative Arts (ICCA)
Encouraging lifelong arts learning, ICCA provides an exciting array of programs in music, visual arts, creative writing, media, and professional development for adults ages 18 years or older. Programs are held on campus or online and provide a lifetime of enrichment, creativity, and professional growth for adults through workshops and classes. Music programs account for more than half of ICCA’s approximately 1,000 students.

Pandemic Response
Interlochen’s response to the pandemic was quick and innovative and reveals the characteristics required of the new Director – Music Division. In March 2020, like most educational institutions, IAA sent all students home and quickly pivoted all classes and performances to a virtual environment. The Interlochen Festival—the end of the school year celebration of performances—was moved to the virtual space as were the Honors Convocation and Graduation. While other summer programs delayed redesigning their educational programs, IAC—faced with the decision to cancel or pivot to virtual space—chose the latter. In doing so, programs were held for more than 1,400 students of all ages, grades 2 through 12, and in all seven arts disciplines. This innovation led to the creation of Interlochen Online. In fall 2020, Interlochen held in-person classes for the entire semester, implementing a series of new COVID-related safety practices, including creating a contained campus; mandating masking, social distancing, and regular COVID testing; changing the school calendar to start early and eliminate breaks; utilizing the outside as much as possible; and revising all performances to meet safety standards.

Interlochen is located in the Grand Traverse Region in Northwest Lower Michigan. With its proximity to Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay, as well as many inland lakes and rolling hills, the area is a major tourist destination and known for its high quality of life. Nearby Traverse City’s diverse economy is home to world leaders in manufacturing, technology, and agriculture, all rooted in one of the most naturally beautiful communities in America. Traverse City is the business and recreational capital of a five-county region totaling 200,000 metropolitan residents year-round, which grows seasonally to 300,000 from May to October. The region attracts more than one million tourists annually. Traverse City was named on Livability’s list of the Top 100 Small Towns in 2015 and among the 10 Best Places to Retire in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Bon Appetit magazine named Traverse City one of the Top Five Foodie towns in the country. Nearby Lake Michigan is home to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which was voted as the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America in 2011.

The Grand Traverse Region and its residents are passionate about protecting and caring for the region’s natural, scenic, farm, and forest lands. Conservancy efforts in the area have successfully protected more than 40,000 acres of land and 124 miles of shoreline along the region’s exceptional rivers, lakes, and streams. Interlochen is adjacent to the 187-acre Interlochen State Park, the State of Michigan’s first officially recognized state park. Situated just 14 miles southwest of Traverse City, the Interlochen community is located in Green Lake Township on US 31.

Located in Traverse City, Northwestern Michigan College serves more than 50,000 learners annually throughout the region and beyond. It was Michigan’s first community college to receive accreditation for its own bachelor’s degrees in maritime and marine technology. The college is also home to the Rogers Observatory; Dennos Museum, which features a signature collection of Inuit art of the Canadian arctic; and Lobdell’s, a teaching restaurant that serves as a working laboratory for students at Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute. The Traverse City area also has a robust winery, brewery, and restaurant industry.

Living in the region provides ample opportunities for year-round recreational activities at the area’s many golf courses, ski resorts, inland lakes, and on the paved non-motorized Traverse Area Recreational Trail, part of U.S. Bicycle Route 35. In addition to the hundreds of annual concerts and programs at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the region, named by the 2020 Arts Vibrant Index Report, as one of the top ten medium-sized arts-vibrant communities, enjoys extensive arts and culture institutions like the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Traverse City Film Festival, and the beautifully restored historic City Opera House and State Street Theatre. Interlochen is accessible by Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport.

Position Summary
The Director – Music Division (Director) will be a visionary leader who will inspire, energize, and guide Interlochen’s music programs into the future. This individual will build upon the transformational vitality and creativity of Interlochen students and faculty and eagerly embrace and capitalize on Interlochen’s interdisciplinary and innovative culture and technological capabilities. With an entrepreneurial spirit that balances courageous risk taking with insightful judgement, the Director will be knowledgeable about the direction of the music industry today and about the new opportunities occasioned by the pandemic over the last year. The Director will have the ability to innovate in the development of new majors, courses, and interdisciplinary educational paths. Overseeing the division, the Director will provide pioneering leadership of all music programming, pedagogy, curriculum, and experiences for students at IAA, IAC, Interlochen Online, and ICCA. The Director will report to the Vice Provost for Academic and Arts Education and serve as a member of Interlochen’s Administrative Council, a leadership body responsible for Interlochen’s artistic and educational direction, programming, and organizational strategy.

Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Leadership
▪ Inspire, energize, and lead Interlochen’s intergenerational music programs into the future.

▪ Align music division strategy with overall organizational development goals.

▪ Advance new ideas and visions in a highly competitive international environment.

▪ Embrace the potential of online learning.

▪ Stay abreast of the evolving and dynamic nature of the music industry.

▪ Capitalize on interdisciplinary programs as a reflection of the real world beyond Interlochen.

▪ Lead curriculum and program review, evaluation, development, and implementation.

▪ Embrace other strategic vision and leadership opportunities, as needed.

Student-Faculty Value and Program Enhancement
▪ Partner with other division directors and institutional leaders to enhance the interdisciplinary student and faculty experience.

▪ Identify and invest in student value and faculty engagement.

▪ Assess current and desired student needs and profiles with an eye towards improving the overall student experience.

▪ Facilitate and support the design of major programs, schedules, and experiences that support student interest, enrollment, and achievement.

▪ Create innovative programs, curriculum, and projects on and off campus.

▪ Collaborate with the Office of Admission and Financial Aid to recruit and evaluate prospective students.

▪ Motivate, energize, and inspire faculty and students.
▪ Balance competing and complementary program agendas and needs among gifted and passionate faculty, holding all accountable for student and program success.

▪ Respond to parent inquiries, questions, and concerns.

▪ Embrace other student-faculty value and program enhancement opportunities.

Stakeholder Cultivation and Engagement
▪ Build strong networks and partnerships with the national and international music education and performance communities.

▪ Create a strong local, national, and international presence for Interlochen.

▪ Represent Interlochen at the highest level at conferences, in the media, and beyond.

▪ Advocate for music program students and faculty with senior administration, alumni, and donors.

▪ Cultivate donor prospects in coordination with the Office of Advancement and the President’s Office.

▪ Connect regularly with music alumni.

▪ Engage artists and alumni of international reputation.

▪ Embrace other stakeholder cultivation and engagement opportunities.

Division Capacity Building and Resourcing
▪ Oversee the recruitment, hiring, orientation, retention, and evaluation of music faculty and staff.

▪ Understand and design change management processes and procedures with vision and operational acumen.

▪ Develop and manage the annual division budget.

▪ Embrace other division capacity building and resourcing opportunities.

Traits and Characteristics
The new Director – Music Division must be an innovative and flexible leader who can pivot when needed and will help the organization grow and develop during both good and bad times. This individual will be an authentic listener and consensus builder who demonstrates an innate ability to earn the admiration and respect of seasoned educators, proactive students, participative parents, engaged alumni, avid donors, acclaimed artists, and forward-thinking administrators. This individual will be Inspirational and altruistic by nature. While honoring traditions, the Director will embrace new opportunities that motivate others and propel the institution to the next level of international growth and recognition. An open, confident, and flexible professional who is adept at developing and setting priorities, the Director will embody the premise that ownership of ideas is less important than the result of the collaborative effort that brings those ideas to fruition. This individual will bring a well-rounded set of capabilities to the role as a natural leader, unwavering advocate, enthusiastic ambassador, adaptive strategist, and astute problem solver.

Other key competencies include:

• Leadership and Interpersonal Skills – The aptitude to develop a compelling vision for the division, create a strategic direction, organize and motivate other people to achieve these aspirational goals, and gain active participation among a variety of deeply committed internal and external stakeholders.
• Decision Making and Accountability – The ability to set and prioritize goals, analyze inherent risks, make consistently sound decisions, exceed expectations, hold direct reports accountable and assume responsibility for leadership actions.

▪ Understanding Others and Diplomacy – The capacity to interact positively, consider numerous perspectives, listen carefully to what faculty, students, parents and other stakeholders say, facilitate robust dialog, and respond in an authentic manner.

 Continuous Learning – The initiative to embrace new ideas, concepts, and pedagogical advances in music and arts education that foster personal and professional growth of students, faculty, alumni, and the global community that Interlochen serves.

Qualified applicants should have a master’s degree or equivalent professional experience in music, education, or nonprofit management. A minimum of seven years of demonstrated administrative leadership in the arts, education, or creative industries is required. The successful candidate must have a zeal for music and a commitment to a broad interdisciplinary arts education. Leading candidates will also have significant knowledge of the trends, practices, technologies, and pedagogies of music education and music performance at the national or international level and a dedication to the arts as a cornerstone of lifelong learning integral to the human experience. The selected candidate will demonstrate exceptional written and spoken communication skills.

Compensation and Benefits
Interlochen offers a competitive salary and benefits package that includes 403(b) retirement employee contribution option, pension plan, discounted and/or free presentation tickets, daily meals in the onsite cafeteria, and access to Interlochen’s 23,000-square-foot recreation and wellness facility. Additionally, Interlochen provides full-time employees competitive paid-time-off; medical, dental, and vision plans; life insurance; wellness program; and tuition reimbursement. The Interlochen culture thrives on employee recognition and development, which includes yearly employee awards—Golden Shovel, Oil Can Award, Distinguished President’s Service Award, Barbara Sandy’s Spirit Award, and Employee of the Year. It holds employee appreciation events, training program options to further education or personal growth, sabbaticals for faculty members, and opportunities to attend conferences.

Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
Arts Consulting Group
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Email [email protected]

Interlochen is committed to equal employment opportunity in the recruiting, hiring, and promoting of personnel in all positions, complies with federal and state laws, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, height, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, veterans status, disability or genetic information unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the job, or any other characteristic protected by law applicable to Interlochen.