Website Ravinia Festival Association / Reach Teach Play Program / Sistema Ravinia
Ravinia is both North America’s longest-running music festival and its most artistically diverse. Over 100 different events by a mix of classical, rock, pop, jazz, R&B, indie, and country performers make up a typical summer season on our two open-air and two indoor stages. Each year the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is featured in six weeks of concerts, many with Chief Conductor Marin Alsop. During the same summer months, the Ravinia Steans Music Institute provides young professional classical and jazz musicians with career-advancing training and concert settings.
Offstage and year-round, Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play education programs engage 75,000 children and adults—in schools with little to no music curriculum, in our Chicagoland communities, and at our 36-acre park—in our mission to make music equitably accessible to all.
The Program Manager is responsible for the overall program planning and operations for Sistema Ravinia’s program sites located in Waukegan and at Ravinia. They are responsible for creating and implementing programmatic design and content and building a culture for thriving relationships with students, parents, teachers and partners. The ideal candidate demonstrates extraordinary organizational skills, a make-it-work mentality and is a clear and approachable communicator. They have high organizational, artistic, and community development standards. They are flexible to the demands of a developing program and believe that all children can succeed. The Program Manager oversees a team of 20 instructors, one full-time Assistant Site Manager, and two part-time Site Coordinators. They are a key member of the Sistema Ravinia leadership team that collaboratively creates and implements innovative programmatic design, content, schedules, and repertoire. They report to the Reach Teach Play Senior Associate Director. This is a full-time, year-round position with benefits.
A signature Reach Teach Play program, Sistema Ravinia emphasizes both community building and musical excellence. Exceptional orchestral training for 3rd-12th grade students fosters social development and creates pathways for continued success.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Deepen an inclusive program culture and lead from a set of shared vision and values
- Manage year-round program planning and implementation
- Oversee day-to-day program operations and logistics
- Cultivate relationships with school administration and partners
- Cultivate relationships with participating families
- Oversee and mentor program staff
- Ensure opportunities for staff development and evaluation
- Ensure clear communication of program goals, expectations, schedules and needs to stakeholders
- Cultivate an environment of excellence, fun, joy and friendship in an atmosphere of positivity and aspiration
- Oversee overall program evaluation and health
Program Planning and Operations
- Ensure processes for efficient and effective operations
- Develop yearly program calendars
- Create a weekly schedule
- Approve instrument purchase and repair needs and oversee inventory of music and supplies
- Oversee successful events, concerts, meetings, registrations, receptions and trips
- Implement program goals within an ascribed budget
Curriculum, Instructors and Students
- Collaborate with conductors, instructors and students to create innovative curriculum content
- Manage student recruitment, enrollment and retention
- Maintain student and family data and records
- Recruit and onboard instructors that represent diversity and excellence
- Oversee instruction at each school
- Manage yearly student assessment project to evaluate program effectiveness
- Manage professional development workshops and experiences for instructors
- Collaborate with colleagues and partners to provide Professional
- Development opportunities for instructors
- Collaborate with colleagues, partners and organizations to provide opportunities for students
- Creative and authentic implementation of El Sistema ideals
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
- Highly organized with great attention to detail and has the ability to initiate, prioritize and manage multiple tasks
- Access to reliable transportation to travel between program sites and events
- Ability to speak, read and write in Spanish preferred
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree with three to four years related work experience preferred
- Strong background in music education and arts administration
- Experience managing social-change youth programs or El Sistema inspired programs
- Experience leading and managing instructors and administrator
- Knowledge of the El Sistema music education model
- Passion for youth music education
- Working daily at school locations in Waukegan, at Ravinia and at the Cove School
- Availability to work weekends and evenings for Honors Ensemble rehearsals, 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
About Sistema Ravinia Lake County Nucleo
Sistema Ravinia is an intensive orchestral music education program that emphasizes both community building and musical excellence. Exceptional orchestral training for 3rd-12th grade students fosters social development and creates pathways for continued success. Participating students meet daily throughout the year at their nucleo (program site) and are taught in sectionals and 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 instructors and administrators that make them feel loved and valued as an asset to their nucleo community.
Sistema Ravinia launched in 2012 and Circle Rock was the first school to join the initiative. With the success of the Circle Rock location, Sistema Ravinia expanded to Lake County in 2015, serving students from 3 elementary schools in Waukegan and the Cove School in Northbrook. Today, the Sistema Ravinia Lake County serves students from 3 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, 2 high schools and the Cove School for students with complex learning disabilities.
The Elementary School program welcomes students at three schools – Glen Flora, Lyon Magnet, and North. Students from Lyon Magnet focus on woodwind instruments, while students from North learn string instruments and Glen Flora, brass and percussion instruments. The Secondary School program takes place at Ravinia and John Lewis Middle School (Waukegan), the middle school students are bused from five schools to John Lewis Middle School and Ravinia two days per week to work in studios, sectionals, strings or band ensembles, and orchestra. In fall 2021, three of our first students cohort, founded the Honors Ensemble formed by high schoolers and some selected middle schoolers who meet at Ravinia once per week.
Ravinia is an Equal Opportunity Employer
As an equal opportunity employer, Ravinia strongly believes that diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives is essential to our success and we strive to create and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment for all our employees. Ravinia does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status under federal, state, or local law. We encourage individuals of all identities and abilities to apply.