Trenton Children's Chorus (TCC) is an award-winning nonprofit whose mission is to empower the academic, social, and spiritual lives of children through artistry in music. TCC provides exceptional social and personal opportunities to the young people it serves in the greater Trenton, New Jersey area, regardless of each child’s financial situation. Founded in 1989 as an outreach project of two churches in Princeton, New Jersey, Nassau Presbyterian Church and Trinity Episcopal Church, TCC began as an entirely volunteer-run organization with 11 choristers in its first year. TCC has grown to serve more than 150 singers in grades K through 12. TCC offers choral music education, drumming and keyboard instruction, performance opportunities, music theory instruction, tutoring, homework assistance, SAT prep, college application help, and summer camp scholarships. Tuition is determined based on a sliding scale and no child is ever denied participation because of limited resources.
In an urban area where approximately 20 percent of students do not even complete high school, 100 percent of TCC’s graduates attend college. Furthermore, TCC offers scholarships to its participants who are pursuing college or vocational degrees, matching family contributions to these costs up to $1,000 per semester. TCC strives to help its participants appreciate the value of self-discipline and commitment to a goal, broaden their outlook on life, recognize the importance of community, build skills that will promote their future success and happiness, enhance their self-esteem, and embrace the transformative joy of music.
TCC is known as one of the best children’s choruses in the country and has performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama, the United Nations, the National Cathedral, and Princeton University; for the swearing-in ceremony of former United States Representative Rush Holt at the Library of Congress and for the inauguration of Governor Chris Christie; in concert with Bobby McFerrin and Dave Brubeck; and for corporate, community, church, and private events in the Greater Trenton area.
For fiscal year 2016, TCC collected more than $500,000 in revenue, most of which was gained through contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals. TCC is governed by a 14-member board of trustees and has a staff of two full-time, three part-time administrative employees, and 15 part-time artistic staff.
In the next five years, the organization intends to demonstrate that choral singing and other kinds of music study in a setting like TCC’s can be a path to empowerment for children, families, and the community at large. Indeed, TCC aims to show that teaching children and youth to make music gives them the essential tools for success in academic, social, and workplace endeavors.
As the capital of New Jersey, Trenton is home to many government offices and sites of historic significance, including the golden-domed New Jersey State House, the New Jersey World War II Museum, and Patriots Theater. Trenton’s proximity to Princeton, New York, and Philadelphia also makes it part of the vital arts and culture corridor spanning the Northeast coast of the United States.
Trenton has an estimated population of 84,000 and is a youthful city with a median age of 33.6. Ethnically diverse, Trenton’s population includes 52 percent African American and 34 percent Latino/Hispanic residents. Also, the cost of living in Trenton is relatively low. The median home value is roughly $107,000 and the median annual household income is approximately $34,000.
Trenton’s economy is driven largely by the strong presence of government employment. The city also boasts a high concentration of manufacturing, trade, and service industry jobs and benefits from spillover in the high-tech industry, which is booming along the Route 1 corridor.
Trenton has a rich musical history, beginning with the fife-and-drum corps of the Revolutionary War and continuing through the Trenton Opera House, R&B and jazz greats playing the city’s hot spots, and the steady stream of rock-and-rollers who attended Trenton High School in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Sources: city-data.com; visitnj.org; trentonnj.org; census.gov; trentonmakesmusic.org
The Artistic Director (AD) will be the dynamic creative leader of the TCC, defining and building its artistic identity and nurturing the artistic, academic, emotional, and social development of its choristers through the collaborative development of a coherent and engaging curriculum. The AD will also serve as a key spokesperson for the TCC and play a key role in promoting the organization locally, nationally, and internationally while building and developing audiences, participants, and donors. This position reports to the Executive Director.
Roles, Responsibilities & Expectations
- Provide the artistic vision and leadership to ensure TCC’s continued achievement of its mission and future growth.
- In partnership with the artistic staff, develop the comprehensive curriculum for all programs.
- Identify and pursue appropriate performance and enrichment opportunities for choristers at all levels, in collaboration with the Executive Director.
- Conduct the Chorale and/or a future Performance Choir and provide artistic and conducting oversight to artistic staff for all choral programs.
- Assume full accountability for the artistic staff, including choral directors, accompanists, and drumming instructor, and their delivery of program excellence.
- Inspire artistic staff to achieve their full potential and that of their students.
- Communicate powerfully through programming and musical outreach to a variety of audiences, so that TCC becomes even better known in the community and beyond.
- Identify and cultivate collaborative community partnerships in support of the strategic plan and audience development goals.
- Actively participate in public and donor events, serving as an ambassador for TCC.
- Broaden TCC’s appeal to multiple constituencies in the Trenton community and beyond, making TCC known as a beacon for service to children and youth in an urban community.
Youth and Family Development
- Engage with students and parents to ensure participants are reaching not only artistic goals but also academic and social growth goals.
- Establish trust with students and mentor them as they develop life skills through their participation with TCC.
Traits & Characteristics
The AD will be a versatile educator who can empower and inspire others. A highly collaborative team player, the AD will have the ability to meet people where they are and also inspire them to accomplish ever-increasing levels of artistic, academic, and social achievement. Diplomacy, tact and empathy are critical interpersonal skills in this position. The AD will model personal accountability, focused planning, and organizational skills for staff and choristers.
A bachelor’s degree in music is required and a master’s degree in choral conducting or equivalent experience is highly desired. The demonstrated ability to work with people, particularly children and youth, of various socio-economic backgrounds is necessary. Strong public presentation skills, a deep knowledge of choral music, and a commitment to helping develop the full potential of young people are essential. A minimum of five years of experience in choral conducting and music organization leadership is expected. A proven track record of developing partnerships with other artists and in using musical performance as a tool for empowerment of children, their families, and the community is necessary. Demonstrable ability to interact successfully with a variety of constituents, including donors, prospective donors, community leaders, parents, and students, is critical. The expectation is that this individual will lead TCC to a new level of accomplishment and impact in the community.
Compensation & Benefits
TCC provides competitive compensation, commensurate with experience, and benefits, including paid time off and a contribution toward a self-selected insurance plan.
Applications & Inquiries
Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:
Ms. Ronda Helton
Vice President, Arts Consulting Group
533 Church Street, Suite 160
Nashville, TN 37219-2312
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218
Fax (888) 284.6651
TCC is an equal opportunity employer and educator that fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, ancestry, age, any physical or mental disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. Additionally, TCC prohibits retaliation against individuals who oppose such discrimination and harassment or who participate in an equal opportunity investigation.