Program Manager, Sistema Ravinia (A Social-Change-Through-Music Orchestra Program)

Company Description

Ravinia, North America's oldest music festival, nestled in the Chicago suburbs, presents over 140 different events throughout the summer. These concerts run the gamut from Yo-Yo Ma to John Legend to the annual summer residency of the nation's finest orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Through its REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs, Ravinia brings music to over 85,000 people in Chicago area schools and communities. Our portfolio of programs is designed to foster diverse audience involvement and provide access to the highest quality music education and live music experiences to those with the fewest resources. 


A signature program of REACH*TEACH*PLAY, Sistema Ravinia offers intensive afterschool music education to students in under-resourced schools in Chicago and Lake County.  Sistema Ravinia fosters youth empowerment and social development through exceptional ensemble training.   Participating students meet daily throughout the year at their nucleo (program site) and are taught in sectionals and in full orchestra. Shaped by the philosophy of the noted El Sistema model, Ravinia has embraced the notion of transforming groups of children into communities of musicians who in turn transform their communities.  Students receive mentorship from teachers and administrators that make them feel loved and valued as an asset to their nucleo community.   The Program Manager leads students, instructors, families and partners towards this mission of social change.


Description of Position

The Program Manager oversees program planning and operations for the Sistema Ravinia Lake County nucleo located in Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall and at 8 school sites in Waukegan.  The Program Manager has high artistic and community development standards, is flexible to the demands of a developing social program and is able to merge the needs of students, families and instructors to implement a successful program.  The Program Manager is responsible for building a rigorous and student driven curriculum that is focused on musical excellence and holistically serves each child.  Reporting to the REACH*TEACH*PLAY Associate Director, the Program Manager is part of the leadership team – Program Manager, Site Managers, Conductors –  for Sistema Ravinia that collaboratively create and implement innovative programmatic design, content, schedules and repertoire.  The Program Manager is the main contact for program partners and oversees the development of students and instruction.  This is a full-time, year round position.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Build visionary music training program that provides access and excellence for students in under resourced Lake County schools based on El Sistema Guiding Principles
  • Manage year-round program planning and ensure processes for efficient and effective operations
  • Cultivate relationships with school and district administration and serve as primary liaison
  • Oversee Site Coordinator, clearly communicating tasks and responsibilities
  • Ensure clear communication of program goals, expectations, schedules and needs to stakeholders
  • Manage programs within an ascribed budget


Program Planning and Operations

  • Develop yearly program calendar in collaboration with the Associate Director
  • Oversee student recruitment, enrollment and retention at each location
  • Manage busing logistics and needs
  • Manage instrument purchase and repair needs and oversee inventory management
  • Oversee day-to-day program operations and logistics at each site


Curriculum, Instructors and Students

  • Collaborate with conductors, instructors and students to create innovative curriculum content that is differentiated for each satellite nucleo and unified in scope
  • Recruit and onboard instructors that represent diversity and excellence
  • Oversee instruction at Ravinia and off-site locations
  • Manage yearly student assessment project to evaluate program effectiveness
  • Develop continuum for advancing students from elementary to middle school and beyond
  • Collaborate with colleagues and partners to provide Professional Development opportunities for instructors
  • Cultivate a nucelo environment of fun, joy and friendship in an atmosphere of positivity and aspiration
Skills & Qualifications: 

Knowledge and Skills Required

  • Superior interpersonal skills with the ability to facilitate positive interaction and collaboration with educators, parents and students from diverse backgrounds
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to initiate and manage multiple tasks

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required with three to four years related work experience preferred
  • Strong background in music education and arts administration
  • Awareness of and enthusiasm for the El Sistema music education model
  • Experience managing El Sistema inspired programs or other social-change youth programs

Work Environment

  • Working daily in Waukegan at school locations and at Ravinia
  • Availability to work some weekends and evenings for concerts and special events
  • Interaction with young students, parents and administrators where the safety of the students is paramount
  • Collaborative work environment where decision making regarding artistic and pedagogic  direction comes from Sistema Ravinia administrators, conductors, instructors, and students


Ravinia is an equal opportunity employer.


To Apply: 

Click here to apply.  Cover Letter and Resume required as part of the application.


No phone calls.