You will need to login before you can apply for a job.

Executive Director

The Music Academy in Rockford
Rockford, Illinois
salary range and benefits commensurate with experience
Closing date
Nov 10, 2021

View more

You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Executive Director

The Music Academy in Rockford 

Job Category: Administration 

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Application Deadline: Open until filled

About Our Organization

The Music Academy in Rockford has provided high-quality, accessible and affordable music education in our community since 1985 and was originally founded as part of Rockford College (now University.) Jane Addams is an alumna of Rockford University. She went on to found Hull House in Chicago and with it, one of the first community schools of music in the country. The Music Academy is a full member of The Suzuki Association of the Americas and the National Guild for Community Arts Education, a national organization serving grass-roots community arts organizations – many of whom grew out of the settlement school traditions Jane Addams established at Hull House in the 1880’s. Still today, The Music Academy follows Addam’s philosophy and works “to enrich the lives of individuals through participation in…music and to foster the cultural aspects of a music education.”  

The Music Academy became an independent non-profit community music school in June of 2011 after 24 years as a part of Rockford University. The organization has earned a reputation as a premier community music school dedicated to serving the greater Rockford area and employing widely respected professional musicians from the Rockford area and suburban Chicago. The Music Academy has a long-standing tradition of providing education and performance programming that is accessible to the broader community including thorough its programming on its downtown campus and in its Community Partner Programs. The current budget is ~$500K, servicing a distinguished faculty of 25 serving 1200 students. The Music Academy currently leases a dedicated building owned by an historic church in the Haight Village neighborhood of Rockford. 

Job Summary

The Position – Executive Director:

  • serves as the chief operating officer and reports to the School Board of Directors through its Chair; 
  • is a creative and thoughtful leader who inspires others with their passion and vision for lifelong engagement in music and the arts and provides effective leadership and management of the human and financial resources of The Music Academy;
  • is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the organization, including planning, operations, budgeting, financial management, friend and fundraising in collaboration with The Music Academy Foundation (a separate 501c3 existing to serve the mission and vision of the School); marketing, public relations, and community engagement consistent with The Music Academy’s mission and vision;
  • provides impetus and support to the work of the School Board of Directors and The Music Academy Foundation board in developing the organization's vision and strategic plan and ensures that the Board and its committees have the information they need to work effectively on behalf of the organization;
  • recruits, hires, motivates, evaluates, and provides leadership to a high caliber professional staff and faculty;
  • develops and maintains an environment that nurtures the ability of both the faculty and students who participate in Music Academy programs;
  • serves as chief spokesperson and represents The Music Academy throughout the community, encourages partnerships and collaborations that advance the mission of The Music Academy while providing the best possible educational, performance and musical experiences for all Music Academy constituents.


Job Description and Essential Tasks:

Vision and Leadership

  • represents The Music Academy as its chief ambassador and spokesperson; a leader who embodies the values and goals outlined in The Music Academy’s  mission statement
  • provides leadership and supervision to a staff and faculty who view the organization as a community, committed to the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of The Music Academy
  • explores opportunities to build upon and expand the artistic and educational programs presented in our community, seeking opportunities for growth of Music Academy programs and revenue

Administration and Finance

  • in conjunction with the Business Manager and School Board, prepares and manages an annual budget of $500K, manages financial resources throughout the fiscal year and provides timely reports to the Board regarding key financial activities, including tax returns and other legal documents
  • initiates and manages annual strategic planning in collaboration with the Board
  • recruits and hires teaching faculty and guest artists to fulfill the program vision of The Music Academy
  • supervises and motivates the part-time and full-time faculty and staff
  • represents The Music Academy regarding any regulatory matters with governmental agencies
  • oversees the recruitment and management of Music Academy volunteers

Outreach, Partnerships and Community Engagement           

  • manages existing (since 1992) and develops new Community Partner Programs that advance our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively pursues strategies and programs that make it possible for The Music Academy to welcome those who would not otherwise have access to music lessons and performing arts opportunities
  • supports and develops the multiple concert series and performance opportunities that the School operates to enhance the artistry of students and faculty and provide high-quality, accessible musical performances to the community

Fundraising and Development

  • provides leadership and supervision for all Fundraising and Development activities along with The Music Academy Team Members, Board Members and Key Donors
  • plans and implements strategies to maintain and deepen relationships with individual and institutional donors
  • builds relationships among the fund-raising community
  • is responsible for identifying grant opportunities and completing grant applications
  • manages the database of donors and supporters in conjunction with the board and staff
  • further develops and matures an established endowment for The Music Academy

Board Relations

  • coordinates and schedules both School and Foundation Board meetings and, with the Board Chairs, sets agendas
  • presents comprehensive reports of Music Academy activities at every board meeting, including financial reports in coordination with staff
  • communicates regularly with Board members between meetings as needed
  • in conjunction with the Board Chairs and Nominating Committees, identifies and recruits new board members, supervises Board development, good governance, leadership succession, and bylaws revision as needed
  • oversees The Music Academy Parent Board to facilitate their role supporting Music Academy activities


  • with staff and  board members, has responsibility for the design and implementation of marketing strategies to better present the school in the community
  • manages and coordinates, with staff and board members,  press releases and media relations
  • manages and coordinates, with staff, The Music Academy website as an effective marketing and development resource

Job Qualifications & Requirements

Candidate Profile: Key Competencies

The ideal candidate is a leader who has a deep commitment to music education and experience working with the community. The ideal candidate has at least five years of experience in executive or senior management of a not-for-profit music or arts organization and has a strong working knowledge of music education and its methods and philosophies, artists, and repertoire. 

A Master's Degree in music performance, music education, or arts administration is preferred. Familiarity with and/or ability to adapt to various technologies, social media platforms, or software packages is required.

The successful candidate:

  • has organizational and financial management skills and will have demonstrated the ability to develop, manage and balance annual operating budgets;
  • is an enthusiastic fundraiser who has had successful experience in both fundraising and managing earned revenue;
  • energetically embraces the core values and mission of The Music Academy;
  • is an articulate advocate for the value and importance of music education for the community;
  • is committed to expanding access to music and music education, will strive to increase the size and diversity of the student body, faculty, and audience, and is dedicated to equity in all of the organization’s programming;
  • has superb interpersonal skills, experience working with volunteer Boards of Directors, excellent supervisory abilities and a reputation fostering teamwork among staff, and excellent rapport with children, teens, adults and parents;
  • must have and inspire excellent listening skills; 
  • is a person of integrity, maturity, professionalism, optimism, and high energy and will provide leadership enabling The Music Academy to realize its vision for excellence, outreach, and community engagement.

Additional Details

Compensation: salary range and benefits commensurate with experience

Other Information

This is a full-time, exempt position based at The Music Academy in Rockford, Rockford, Illinois. Administrative hours are flexible and include weekdays and Saturday mornings. Evening and weekend hours are required. Must be physically able to manage the property related to a school of music (pianos, stands, chairs, etc.) and handle stairs.  

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resumé to Christopher Wrate, school board member of The Music Academy in Rockford and Search Committee chair at

You need to sign in or create an account to save a job.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert

Similar Jobs