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Conductor of the St. Olaf Band

St. Olaf College
Northfield, Minnesota
Posted Date
Jul 7, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Music, Performing Arts
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Department of Music at St. Olaf College invites applications for a full-time, tenure track position as Conductor of the St. Olaf Band at the Assistant or Associate Professor level to begin August 2023. We seek a dynamic, accomplished conductor/teacher to lead our thriving ensemble. Additional duties include instruction in instrumental conducting and in an additional area of the successful candidate’s specialization. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to supporting a diverse undergraduate music program.

The position’s primary responsibility involves leading the St. Olaf Band, teaching a course in instrumental conducting and teaching a course in an additional area of the candidate’s expertise. This course might include music composition, courses in the musicianship sequence or in music education. 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.


  • Doctorate in instrumental conducting or a closely-related field; ABDs or Masters with equivalent professional experience will be considered
  • Record of excellence as a concert band/wind ensemble conductor and band leader, preferably at the collegiate level
  • Proven experience in directing, or potential to successfully direct, an undergraduate band program
  • Evidence of, or demonstrated potential to engage in, successful teaching, mentoring, and training of undergraduate music students in a liberal arts context
  • 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 concert bands, seven choirs, two symphony orchestras, two jazz big bands, an improvisation ensemble, and a gamelan. The St. Olaf Band is a 131-year-old ensemble that has appeared in the last few years at multiple national conferences as well as at Carnegie Hall, and was awarded the American Prize in 2021. Each year, the ensemble tours nationally, with an international tour scheduled every fourth year, all expenses funded by the college. It has commissioned and premiered works by composers Joseph Schwantner, Libby Larson, David Maslanka, James Lee III, Joseph Phillips, Jodie Blackshaw, Jennifer Jolly, and Steven Paulus, among others. 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. 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. Still others fully participate in ensembles and courses as non-majors. 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, conductors 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. Short statement (1 page) on your approach to undergraduate teaching, drawing on examples from past teaching experiences
6. The URL(s) for 45-60 minutes of video recordings, including representative band performances and rehearsal sessions; the latter should include video from the band members' visual perspective (camera facing the conductor, with microphone placement that makes it possible to hear the conductor’s comments clearly)
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 September 15, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. Finalist interviews are expected in November. Questions about the position, department, or College may be directed to Martin Hodel, 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:

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