Orchestral and String Music Faculty, Full-time

Calvin University
Grand Rapids Campus

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Faculty Jobs
Arts & Humanities, Fine & Performing Arts
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Calvin University invites applications for a full-time regular faculty member to join the Department of Visual and Performing Arts to conduct the Calvin Orchestra, to teach courses in music in one or more areas of expertise, and to provide leadership and support to part-time colleagues who teach string music at Calvin, beginning in August 2024. The opening is at the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor.


The university seeks applicants with vibrant Christian faith who are dedicated to integration of that faith with their field of study.

Ideal candidates will hold a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting, string performance, music education or in a related field. Candidates with a master’s degree and five years of relevant experience will also be considered.

We are searching for candidates who are motivated and skilled to serve in these three inter-related roles:

  • A versatile orchestra conductor, with capacity to lead the Calvin Orchestra with artistic excellence, and to teach courses in one or more related fields (conducting, applied strings, music education, music theory, music history, music in worship, world music, or ethnomusicology). Experience and training in music education is particularly preferred, as we are actively pursuing the redevelopment of a program in music education.

  • A Christian teacher committed to a diverse and inclusive orchestra/strings program, who delights in helping those of every skill level to grow in musical skills and virtues, as well as helping students learn to teach, lead, perform, and conduct; someone who loves engaging a wide range of music genres, types, styles, and cultures from a Christian perspective, and is a winsome advocate for the essential role of the arts in faithful Christian life and witness.

  • A connecting team-builder and program leader who is deeply motivated to recruit students to Calvin and recruit Calvin students into music courses, instrumental ensembles, and programs, to work collaboratively to strengthen a culture of partnership within the department and with colleagues in other departments and disciplines as part of a liberal arts university. The ideal candidate will have the opportunity to develop strategic approaches to orchestra tours and/or travel courses, to forge partnerships with high school and youth orchestras in West Michigan and beyond, to support strong orchestra traditions at Calvin (e.g., annual Messiah performances and concerto competition concerts), and to encourage and strengthen collaboration with the Calvin Community Symphony.

The university will prioritize candidates with broad interdisciplinary interests, demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, ability to integrate questions of meaning, significance, and ethics into all course content, and deep commitment to engaging students beyond the classroom.


Faculty members typically teach 24 semester hours per academic year. Faculty are expected to grow in Reformed Christian commitment, to pursue an active scholarly agenda, to teach effectively, and to serve the university, department, students, and the wider community. Candidates will be asked to affirm their commitment to the educational mission of Calvin University as a Christian liberal arts university in the Reformed tradition, affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church. (See Educating for Shalom and Faculty Expectations.) Calvin University provides numerous faculty development opportunities to foster growth in these commitments.


Calvin University stands at the forefront of Christian scholarship across disciplines. The University hosts a number of Centers and Institutes and provides other funding opportunities to support faculty teaching and research, including sabbaticals, grants, course releases, summer research stipends, travel funds, and student research opportunities.


The music faculty at Calvin are a part of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, located in the beautiful Covenant Fine Arts Center, renovated and expanded in 2010 to include more teaching studios and practice rooms, both an Auditorium and Recital Hall, and a dedicated music technology lab with capacity to support teaching, composition, and digital music production. Music faculty equip undergraduate students to be versatile musicians who can bring their gifts to a wide variety of contexts and vocations. The department supports a liberal arts music major and minor, serves 400+ students and community members who participate in ensembles and private lessons annually, and sponsors over 60 music events each year, including summer music camps and ensemble tours.

With our two faculty searches in 2023-2024, our vision is to shape a nimble and resourceful liberal arts music faculty that is motivated to directly engage at least 20% of all Calvin University students with a signature musical learning opportunity, to provide personalized attention to each student pursuing a major or minor in music, and to develop strategic opportunities for musical service, both locally and globally, in harmony with Calvin University’s strategic vision. Our faculty searches seek to shape a department with full-time faculty who are versatile musicians motivated to teach different kinds of courses. We are prioritizing plans to ensure that we have full-time faculty with expertise in four areas: composition/keyboard/piano, bands/winds, orchestra/strings, and choral/vocal music, and that we continue to strengthen a robust pool of part-time faculty, many of whom are leaders in arts organizations throughout West Michigan. Calvin is committed to providing a versatile liberal arts major and minor in music, to proactively redevelop programs to train music educators, and to prepare versatile students in every program on campus for musical activity in churches, schools, and communities.


Calvin University is a top-ranked national university that equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. Approximately 3,000 Calvin students study the liberal arts and select from a broad range of majors and professional programs. The university is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a thriving metropolitan region of approximately one million people situated equidistant from Chicago and Detroit. Furthermore, the West Michigan region is ranked by Forbes as the #1 place to raise a family. For more information, please visit http://www.calvin.edu/go/facultyopenings.

Calvin is building a tradition of diversity and accessibility and welcomes applications from persons whose personal characteristics will further that commitment. Calvin does not discriminate in the employment of individuals on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, sex, or age. Calvin University is an educational agency of the Christian Reformed Church and, in compliance with Title VII and other applicable law, reserves the right to give preference in employment based upon religion.


Complete the online application process and attach the following:

  • Letter of application that addresses each of the requirements and responsibilities of the position, including interest in teaching and scholarship at a Reformed Christian University,
  • Full curriculum vitae,
  • A recent video recording that includes 20 minutes of leading a rehearsal and 20 minutes of leadership in performance, featuring excerpts of music in contrasting styles, submitted through a private YouTube link (or links),
  • A 250-500 word reflection, that includes a description and affirmation of your Christian faith, a description of how you envision that faith will influence your work as a music faculty member at Calvin University, and a confirmation of your support of the stated mission of Calvin University as a Reformed institution,
  • Three letters of recommendation from those with competence to assess your ability to meet the stated criteria for the position.

Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.


1. Commitment to the educational mission of Calvin as a Christian liberal arts university affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church.

2. A commitment to the Christian faith and to the integration of faith, learning, and student development.


Demonstrated awareness and commitment to effectively establishing relationships and positive communication across multiple dimensions of diversity including, but not limited to, race, gender, physical limitations, class, or religious perspectives.


Calvin University is a Christian academic community dedicated to rigorous intellectual inquiry. Calvin students study the liberal arts and select from a broad range of majors and professional programs. The university fosters scholarship that creates new knowledge, that performs creative work, and that sustains natural and cultural resources. A Calvin education, marked by scholarly engagement with enduring questions and emerging concerns, prepares students to answer God’s call to live and serve in God’s world as agents of renewal.

Calvin University does all this with a robust commitment to providing equal opportunities for all faculty, staff, and students. Calvin University was founded in 1876 and named for 16th-century reformer John Calvin. While retaining a separate identity and function, the university is united in a covenantal relationship with the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The historic creeds and confessions of Reformed Christianity guide the university’s understanding of Scripture and inform its mission.

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