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 who 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, motion picture arts, creative writing, dance, and comparative arts in Interlochen’s three educational programs: Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen Arts Academy, 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. Its 100,000 alumni worldwide include a galaxy of arts luminaries.
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 education programs and student affairs guided by Provost Dr. Camille Colatosti.
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-level, 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 is maintained by a professional staff. Interlochen is also the home of the Greenleaf Instrument Collection with nearly 2,000 historical and period instruments.
The Frohlich Piano and Percussion Building includes a variety of practice rooms and teaching spaces. It 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 venue 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, comparative arts, motion picture arts, and dance. Music enrollments account for nearly half of these students. A music faculty of 175 people and more than 50 staff members provide instruction, leadership, and program support for more than 30 different ensembles and multiple chamber groups, as well as private lesson and classroom instruction; summer contemporary music programs in jazz, rock/pop, singer-songwriter, and music production & engineering; and an intensive series of specialty institutes. IAC students and faculty present more than 100 concerts and recitals each summer and are an important part of the Interlochen Arts Festival.
Interlochen Arts Academy (IAA): Serving students in grades 9 through 12 and post-graduates, IAA is 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, which is more than any other high school in the United States. Forty-five of these were selected as Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
Music major enrollment accounts for approximately half of the 550 students at IAA. A distinguished 34-member 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 in Classical Music include composition, instrumental performance, guitar, organ, piano, and voice. In Contemporary Music, students may major in popular music, singer-songwriter, jazz, and music production and 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 and provide a lifetime of enrichment, creativity, and professional growth for adults through workshops and classes. Again, music programs account for more than half of ICCA’s approximately 1,000 students.
Events and Programs: The Interlochen Arts Festival takes place annually each summer and boasts a number of legendary performers. The 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. Interlochen Public Radio is Interlochen’s listener-supported broadcast service. It 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.
Known for its high quality of life, Interlochen is an unincorporated community 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. Nearby Traverse City is home to world leaders in manufacturing, technology, and agriculture. It is the business and recreational capital of a five-county region totaling 200,000 metropolitan residents year-round, which grows seasonally to 300,000 people from May to October. Traverse City was named one of the top 100 small towns by Livability in 2015 and among the 10 best places to retire in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, Bon Appetit magazine named Traverse City as one of the top five foodie towns in the country. Nearby Lake Michigan is home to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which was voted by Good Morning America as the most beautiful place in America in 2011.
Natural beauty abounds in the Grand Traverse Region. 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, Michigan’s first officially recognized state park. Situated just 14 miles southwest of Traverse City, Interlochen is located in Green Lake Township on US 31.
Located in Traverse City, Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) 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 Dennos Museum Center (with its signature collection of Inuit art of the Canadian arctic), J.H. Rogers Observatory, and Lobdell’s: A Teaching Restaurant, which serves as a working laboratory for students at NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute. The Traverse City area also has a robust winery, brewery, and restaurant industry.
The region provides ample opportunities for year-round recreational activities at the many golf courses, ski resorts, inland lakes, and paved non-motorized Traverse Area Recreational Trail. In addition to the hundreds of annual concerts and programs at Interlochen, the region enjoys vibrant arts and culture institutions like the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Traverse City Film Festival, and the beautifully restored, historic City Opera House and The State Theatre. Interlochen is accessible by Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport.
The Director – Music Division (Director) will be a visionary leader who inspires, energizes, and guides 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 its interdisciplinary culture. With an entrepreneurial spirit that balances courageous risk-taking and insightful judgement, the Director will be knowledgeable about the direction of the music industry today and innovate in the development of new majors, courses, and interdisciplinary educational paths. The Director will lead the music division and provide pioneering leadership of all music programming, pedagogy, curriculum, and experiences for students at IAA, IAC, and ICCA. Reporting to the Vice Provost for Academic and Arts Education, the Director will 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.
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 lead the design of major programs, schedules, and experiences that support high caliber 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 students and faculty.
Balance competing and complementary program agendas and needs among gifted and passionate faculty.
Respond to parent inquiries, questions, and concerns.
Embrace other student and faculty 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 Director 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. Inspirational and altruistic by nature, the Director will embrace new opportunities that motivate others and propel the institution to the next level of international growth and recognition while honoring traditions. 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. The Director 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 ability to develop a compelling vision for the program, create a strategic direction, organize and motivate others to achieve these aspirational goals, and gain active participation among a variety of deeply committed internal and external stakeholders.
Decision Making and Personal Accountability – The ability to set and prioritize goals, analyze inherent risks, make consistently sound decisions, exceed expectations, 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 create opportunities that foster the 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, and pedagogies of music education and music performance at the national or international level, with dedication to the arts as a cornerstone of lifelong learning that is integral to the human experience. The selected candidate will also demonstrate exceptional written and spoken communication skills.
Compensation and Benefits
Interlochen offers a competitive salary and benefits package that includes a 403(b)-retirement employee contribution option, pension plan, discounted and/or free presentation tickets, daily meals in the onsite cafeteria, and access to its 23,000-square-foot recreation and wellness facility. Additionally, Interlochen provides full-time employees competitive paid-time-off; medical, dental, and vision insurance 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
Please submit a letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable educational, artistic, and/or administrative accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred) to:
Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
Arts Consulting Group 292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
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, veteran 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.
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