Job Center > Zeller Chair, Opera Studies - Willamette University Music Department

Zeller Chair, Opera Studies - Willamette University Music Department

This is a Permanent, Full-time position.

Category: College/University
State/Province: Salem, OR
Position: Zeller Chair, Opera Studies
Deadline: December 15, 2018
Posted: October 19, 2018

Job Description / Duties

Instructions for Applicants:

Please read the following carefully before beginning the online application process.

To be considered for employment at Willamette University, please complete our online employment application. Your application and all required attachments -- listed at the bottom of the page -- must be submitted for each individual job post that you are interested in applying for. If there is an application deadline, please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. Once you submit your application you will not be able to edit your application.

Position Summary:

Willamette University and the Department of Music seek to make a tenure track appointment at the assistant professor level for the newly-created Zeller Chair in Opera Studies, with a starting date of August 2019. The Zeller Chair holder will have the opportunity to shape and develop our existing Dramatic Vocal Arts curriculum.

The Zeller Chair will be responsible for the continuation and development of our Dramatic Vocal Arts Ensemble (DVA), working in conjunction with our voice and instrumental faculty and ensembles to produce and direct opera performances as well as scenes from operas and music theater. Repertory and scope of productions will be commensurate with the assets of a strong department of music within a liberal arts college. All faculty at Willamette teach both majors and non-majors. In addition to directing the Dramatic Vocal Arts Ensemble, depending on background and specialties, the Chair will teach courses in the music core curriculum and in the College’s general education offerings, engage in collaborative production/presentation with other faculties and departments across campus, actively recruit prospective students for the program, take part in faculty governance, and perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications / Required Skills


The successful candidate will be an artist/educator of exceptional promise engaged in an ongoing program of professional development including performance and/or research. A terminal degree, preferably in music, is expected.


Additional desirable qualifications include a degree in theatre or significant professional experience as a director/actor/operatic performer; an artistic vision that imagines opera and music theatre as a vibrant and flexible program open to experimentation; experience in a teaching/mentoring role to young artists in a university opera setting; knowledge of standard and contemporary opera and musical theatre repertoire and styles; an ability to work with an increasingly diverse array of students and colleagues; communication skills for successful collaboration with others within a university setting; and an aptitude for cultivating donor relationships and fostering successful external partnerships.

Additional Information


Classroom teaching is scheduled Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Rehearsals and performances are scheduled for evenings and weekends.


Normal music classroom teaching; technical courses in acting and movement will require mobility.

Theatre work will sometimes require moving props, instruments and sound equipment.

You will need to upload the following documents as part of your application materials in the "My Experience" section:

1. A cover letter describing background and experience as opera director. The letter should address the candidate’s ability to teach and work in a liberal arts environment.
2. A curriculum vitae.
3. A statement of teaching philosophy, including methods of creating an inclusive classroom through both pedagogy and repertory.
4. A brief proposal outlining a vision of how to recruit students and build a successful program. How will the program grow? What will be observable benchmarks? What might the program look like in five years?
5. The names and contact information for three professional references, at least two of whom can evaluate teaching.
6. URLs or digital links to video documents of productions directed by the applicant.

Review of applications will commence December 15, 2018; for full consideration, all application materials should be received before this date.

Contact Information

All applications must be submitted online at:

Questions or Need Assistance:

If you need assistance applying for a job, please contact our HR Department, or call us at 503-370-6210.

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Willamette University, founded in 1842, is a nationally recognized liberal arts school with graduate programs in business and law. WU has earned a national reputation for its academic standards and exemplary citizenship, values that have defined the culture of this campus for more than 160 years. Willamette University's motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born,” captures the essence of our distinguished university. It speaks to our commitment to community service, to the extraordinary collaboration between faculty and students, and to the tradition of service and civic engagement that is typical of our alumni.

Willamette University is situated in the heart of the Willamette Valley and Oregon Wine Country, Salem is Oregon’s capital city, boasting a mild climate and high quality of life. Our prime location affords us ready access to the Oregon Coast, the Cascade Mountains and a wide range of recreational opportunities. Salem’s local attractions are complemented by those of nearby urban, cultural and academic centers in Portland, Corvallis, and Eugene – all within an hour’s drive of the of our beautiful campus. ​Oregon is home to great food and wine and some of the nation’s most beautiful scenery.​ Salem is the perfect community in which to live and raise a family.

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Employment at Willamette University means being part of a community that values education and its impact on the world is friendly, supportive, and increasingly diverse.

Believing that diversity contributes to academic excellence and to rich and rewarding communities, WU is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body. We seek candidates, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups, whose work furthers diversity and who bring to campus varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds.