Job Listings

Director of Jazz Ensembles 2023-24

St. Olaf College
Job Location:
Northfield, Minnesota

The St. Olaf College Music Department invites applications for a full-time, tenure track position as Director of Jazz Ensembles at the Assistant Professor level to begin August 2023. We seek a dynamic, accomplished teacher-musician to lead our thriving jazz program, which includes two big bands, an active combo program, and an improvisation ensemble. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to supporting a thriving and diverse undergraduate music program.

The position's primary responsibilities involve leading the department's two jazz ensembles and improvisation ensemble, as well as teaching courses. These courses may include such existing music department courses as History of Jazz and Jazz Improvisation, as well as new courses aligned with the successful applicant's expertise. Other teaching possibilities include courses in the musicianship sequence, studio jazz performance instruction and coaching jazz combos. Opportunities to teach interdisciplinary courses outside of the music department may arise, and the successful candidate would welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues in other Fine Arts departments in developing innovative cross-disciplinary initiatives. Other duties involve ongoing professional activity and development, service on department and college committees, and active student recruitment.


  • Masters in jazz studies, jazz performance, or a closely related field is required; doctorate or ABD is preferred. Candidates with masters degrees will demonstrate equivalent professional experience
  • Record of excellence as a jazz ensemble director/band leader
  • Proven experience in directing, or potential to successfully direct, an undergraduate jazz program
  • Evidence of, or demonstrated potential to engage in, successful teaching, mentoring, and training of undergraduate music students in a liberal arts context
  • Active professional career as a jazz performer and/or composer/arranger preferred
  • Strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, and to the missions of the department and college

About the Department:

The St. Olaf Music Department is internationally recognized for its excellent ensembles, including two big bands, seven choirs, two orchestras, two concert bands, an improvisation ensemble, and a gamelan. St. Olaf's Jazz Band I was voted the “Best College or University Big Band” by DownBeat magazine in 2011 and toured to Cuba in 2016. In just the past year, St. Olaf's jazz ensembles have performed charts by Thad Jones, Mary Lou Williams, Danilo Pérez, and Sakiku Masuka, and presented the world premiere of a commission from Erica Seguine.

Our students aren't just amazing musicians: they're also smart, motivated, and humble. They attend St. Olaf because they want to engage in musicianship at the highest levels while simultaneously challenging themselves to learn broadly and deeply in a liberal arts context. Many music majors pursue BA degrees in music, often adding double majors; others pursue BM degrees in music performance, music education, composition, church music, and elective studies. At the same time, our ensembles feature many talented musicians who chose to major in something other than music. The excellence and ambition of our students is nurtured by the culture of professionalism and care instilled by our faculty, who maintain active careers as performers and scholars, and who are deeply devoted to teaching. Consistent with a longstanding tradition of service, our department is committed to recruiting a diverse student body and engaging with diverse communities at the local and national levels. For more information about the department, visit


At St. Olaf, we are committed to equity and inclusion. We strive to be a campus of welcome where students, faculty, and staff thrive by bringing their full humanity—gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic class, disability, religion, spirituality, and age—to the Hill each day. Our goal is to generate conversations and processes that over time create greater clarity, transparency, trust, cooperation, consensus, respect, and measurable outcomes. Practices that support this goal include listening, cultivating a growth mindset, respecting those with different views, being informed by data, and understanding that the work is ongoing, collaborative, organic, and ever evolving. We encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan to learn more about our commitment and to identify how you might contribute to these efforts.

How to Apply:

A complete application includes:
1. Cover letter
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Diversity statement (200-500 word limit): Describe how you would contribute to the development of a diverse and inclusive learning community at our college through your teaching, research, and/or service. Include examples of your contributions when possible.
4. Graduate transcript (official or unofficial)
5. The URL(s) for 20-30 minutes of video recordings, including:

  • representative jazz band performances and rehearsal sessions; the latter should include video from the band members' visual perspective with the candidate mic'd and the camera facing the band leader
  • representative video or live performance recording in which you demonstrate success as an improviser

6. Short statement (1 page) of your approach to undergraduate teaching, drawing on examples from past teaching experiences
7. The contact information for three professional references who can speak to your abilities in teaching and scholarship (St. Olaf solicits letters directly after an initial round of screening.)

Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. Applications received by that date will receive fullest consideration. Finalist interviews are expected in February 2023. Questions about the position, department, or College may be directed to Louis Epstein, Search Committee Chair, at

Who We Are:

Founded in 1874, St. Olaf College is a residential, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 3,000 students and 800 faculty and staff employees. The college is located on a picturesque 300-acre campus in Northfield, Minnesota, a vibrant, restored, historic river town of 20,000 located 45 minutes south of culturally rich and diverse Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The college offers an academically rigorous, nationally ranked liberal arts education that fosters the development of the whole person in mind, body, and spirit and emphasizes learning in an inclusive and globally engaged community. We encourage applications from candidates committed to multicultural understanding and the enrichment of our diverse community.

The college offers a comprehensive benefits package including a 9% company retirement match, company monthly contributions to a retirement healthcare account, company contributions to eligible employee's health savings account, significant tuition discount (up to 80% off) at ACM and ELCA colleges and universities for employee's children, and generous paid time off. For a full review of benefit offerings, see the summary of the benefits program here:

To provide a safe and secure educational environment, St. Olaf College verifies the accuracy of all credentials presented by applicants and conducts a criminal background check on every new hire.

St. Olaf College requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (medical and religious exemptions may apply). To be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you need to have received the COVID-19 vaccination dose(s), plus a COVID-19 booster shot before your start date, or within two weeks of eligibility for a booster.

A link to our DEI page:

A virtual campus tour:

An overview of Northfield:

An overview of the Twin Cities:

For Staff Application Assistance:

For Faculty Application Assistance:

Title IX Contact Information:
Kari Hohn, Director of Title IX and Equal Opportunity
1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Tomson Hall 144
Northfield, MN 55057

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