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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 10:12

John N. Schwartz Professor in Choral Leadership and Conducting

Augsburg University seeks a nationally/internationally recognized leader in choral music and conducting as the first John N. Schwartz Professor in Choral Leadership and Conducting. The university, recently renamed from the former Augsburg College, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate majors to nearly 3,600 students of diverse backgrounds. Its main campus is located near downtown Minneapolis, with ready access to the enormous range of cultural and artistic events and institutions for which the Twin Cities are known.

The University is committed to supporting a 21st century choral program that combines music reflective of a pluralistic society, an ethnically diverse student membership, superior choral performance standards and studies, and the civic engagement and leadership values of Augsburg University.

The University seeks a creative and visionary individual who will advance music’s curricular alignment with university-wide priorities of social justice, urban education, diversity, and inclusion. Developing a choral model that honors Augsburg’s legacy of engaging music majors and students from across campus, the Schwartz Professor search committee seeks an established or emerging national/international leader able to forge innovation in choral music, evidence of which may include conference performances and clinics, publications, speaking engagements, professional symposia and seminars at Augsburg, guest conducting, and similar opportunities. The successful candidate will proactively engage with the wider music community in collaborations and partnerships, and will participate enthusiastically in the department’s goals of recruiting and nurturing diverse student participation in choir and the music department generally. In accord with the recently released College Music Society report, Transforming Music Study from Its Foundations, the department seeks a person who is professionally and personally committed to the core values of creativity, diversity, and integration.

Augsburg’s music department is primarily undergraduate, with majors and concentrations in music therapy, music education, performance, and music business. It offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science degrees. There are currently about 145 undergraduate majors. The department also offers a master’s degree in music therapy and a music and human development graduate component in the University’s master’s degree in education, bringing total program majors to about 195 students. Many of Augsburg’s students were active high school music participants and/or are seeking participation in music as university students. The inaugural Schwartz Professor will demonstrate a commitment to engaging not only music majors but students representing a diverse array of majors and interests.


In addition to the general leadership/conducting responsibilities outlined above, more specific responsibilities include:

  • Leadership and development of the Augsburg University choir as a national model of choral excellence representative of a pluralistic society, diverse musics, civic engagement, and social justice
  • Oversight of the entire Augsburg choral program, currently consisting of a tenor/bass chorus and soprano/alto choir as well as Masterworks Chorale, a university-community choir; the Schwartz Professor will lead visionary development for a holistic program with clear curricular relationships among the choirs and the directors of the various choirs (the Schwartz Professor is responsible for conducting the Augsburg University Choir)
  • A variable teaching requirement of 1-2 courses per semester, including the Augsburg University Choir and other possibilities such as choral conducting and choral methods
  • Recruitment of on-campus and prospective first-year and transfer students as choir members and music majors
  • Initiative in proposing and fulfilling collaborative activities with other departments and with the Twin Cities’ active choral and broader music organizations
  • Creative pursuit of commissions, repertoire associated with responsible citizenship in contemporary society, diverse instrumental collaborations, and curricular innovation
  • Leadership and participation in events associated with the University’s larger heritage as a religious institution in the Lutheran tradition, such as the annual Advent Vespers and other commemorative occasions, as well as events representing other traditions
  • Creative and collaborative initiatives that involve community singing as inherent across a wide array of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds at Augsburg University


Augsburg University is currently in the midst of its most ambitious funding campaign in its history. This campaign is dedicated to faculty and student support, including scholarships and distinctive learning opportunities. The University and alumni, particularly those who have participated in Augsburg’s choral program over many years, are energetically supportive of the position and program as described above, as is the broader Twin Cities community. The Schwartz Professorship will include a highly competitive salary commensurate with credentials and experience. Rank and tenure are open and negotiable. An operational fund specific to the choral program will enable commissions, travel/touring, hiring of instrumentalists, and other support consistent with the expectations for program development. The Schwartz Professorship reports to the Department Head for Music Programs, the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Provost of the University.

Augsburg University and the Department of Music

The Department of Music is located on the Augsburg University campus near downtown Minneapolis, centrally convenient by public transit to the artistic and cultural centers of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Adjacent to the University of Minnesota, Augsburg is located just a few blocks from the Cedar Cultural Center, a major venue for artistically outstanding performers of richly diverse ethnic traditions. World-class organizations such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Guthrie Theatre, the Ordway, and the Cowles Center for Dance are complemented by a wealth of professional touring companies and outstanding local and regional music, theater, and dance. The MacPhail Center for Music, a community music school serving 16,000 students, is located a short distance from campus. The Twin Cities metropolitan area and surrounding region provide an extensive array of opportunities for professional engagement and personal fulfillment. The area is consistently rated among the highest-quality living regions in the United States.

Among the distinctive features of Augsburg University are its deep dedication to civic and community engagement, robust undergraduate research programs, and a strong belief in the integration of liberal arts and professional studies across all programs. The University’s commitment to the local neighborhood and the world is enhanced through the work of four signature centers: the Bernhard Christensen Center for Vocation, the Center for Global Education and Experience, the Martin O. Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and the Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work. Augsburg’s commitment to diversity is reflected in the student body: the 2017 incoming first-year class comprised 53 percent students of color, and the previous four first-year classes have included nearly 40 percent populations of color. With approximately 1,000 students living on campus, Augsburg engages students in a wide range of co-curricular activities, including NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics. At both undergraduate and graduate levels, students actively engage in international travel and intercultural experiences that broaden their view of the world and deepen their engagement in it.

With a student/faculty ratio of 13:1, the University focuses on close personal interaction with faculty and experiential education opportunities on campus and in the community. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings.

Augsburg's main campus is located in the vibrant Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, one of the most diverse areas in the Twin Cities. The University of Minnesota West Bank campus and one of the city’s largest medical complexes are adjacent to Augsburg; the Mississippi River and the Seven Corners Theatre district are just a few blocks away. In addition to its Minneapolis campus, Augsburg has a location in Rochester, MN, the fastest growing city in Minnesota and headquarters of the Mayo Health System. In addition to these locations, Augsburg owns and operates international sites in Mexico, Guatemala, and Namibia.

Augsburg University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, familial status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status or public assistance status. Successful candidates will have demonstrated abilities working in an academic community committed to intentional diversity. Candidates are thus encouraged to highlight skills and experiences that demonstrate intercultural competence. Women and persons of color are particularly invited to apply.

Nominations and Applications

Please send nominations, including a brief endorsement of the candidate’s credentials and the nominee’s contact information, to the attention of David E. Myers, Department Head for Music Programs, at [email protected]

To apply for this position, go to and upload a cover letter, CV, and official transcripts. As part of the online application process, you will be required to provide the names of three professional references. If your application advances in this search, you will be notified prior to Augsburg’s contacting your references. Application review will begin December 1, 2017; the position will remain open until filled. Further information is available at Candidates are requested not to send supplementary materials until/unless invited to do so.


The successful candidate will have a demonstrated and recognized record of success and achievement in artistic accomplishment, leadership in program development, collaboration with community and academic institutions, and ability to articulate and accomplish evolving models of choral music, conducting, instruction, and repertoire for the 21st century. A terminal degree and/or equivalent professional experience are preferred.

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