APOLLO’S FIRE STRING PROGRAM IN MATTESON, IL
(a South suburb of Chicago)

Seeking Part-Time String Teachers

Apollo’s Fire, a GRAMMY®-winning chamber orchestra, has been invited to launch a string program for Matteson School District #162, beginning in November 2021.

We are seeking excellent and passionate string teachers who are performers, with some teaching experience and pedagogy training. Cultural diversity, empathy, and inspiration are all high priorities in the team we are building; musicians of color are especially welcome. The demographic in the Matteson district is 90% people of color. There is a wide range of economic diversity, but the neighborhood is mostly middle class.

WHERE IS MATTESON? – approx. a 1-hr drive or 1h15min Metra ride from the Loop. Two teachers will go to Matteson on the same day, and could ride together or take the train together.

THE CONCEPT – The program, designed by Apollo’s Fire artistic director Jeannette Sorrell in collaboration with experienced educators, is inspired by the El Sistema model and the historical model of Antonio Vivaldi’s teaching-orchestra at a large orphanage in 18th c. Venice.

In the first year, the program will begin with 4 upper elementary schools, grades 4-6. Eventually, the program will expand to 2 middle schools and the high school. The high school is Southland College Prep – an outstanding charter school that has sent many students to Harvard and Yale, etc. The school has a 100% college-acceptance rate. There is a high level of parental engagement.

TIME COMMITMENT – a minimum of 1 afternoon per week for each teacher, but preference will be given to teachers who can commit to 2 or 3 afternoons per week.

STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
Teaching will take place for 3 hrs. in the afternoons on Mondays, Wed., Fridays, and Saturdays.
Not all teachers need to do all 4 days, but preference will be given to teachers who can commit to at least 2 afternoons/week.

  • Each teacher visits 2 schools in an afternoon, spending 75 min. at each school, with a 30-min break in between. Each 75-min session consists of a 40-min group class followed by a few semi-private lessons for children in pairs. The 4 schools are 10 min. apart from each other.
  • The ensemble: On Saturdays, the children from all 4 elementary schools converge at the high school (Southland Prep) for a larger rehearsal followed by semi-private lessons. The ensemble, to be called the Matteson String Orchestra, will be led from the violin by one of the teachers (as Vivaldi led his student orchestra). A cello teacher will play principal cello in the ensemble. For major performances, a few musicians from Apollo’s Fire will join the children to play side-by-side.
  • Apollo’s Fire musicians will visit once a month to coach the children in baroque music, ancient folk traditions, and improvisation. In addition, AF’s Education Director Gabriella Martinez, who is a member of AF’s MOSAIC team, will teach classes once a month in music history and music appreciation, with an emphasis on cultural diversity.

COMPENSATION – $210-250/day, depending on experience. Thus, a teacher who goes twice a week will be earning $420-500/week. Ideally, 2 teachers who are colleagues and live near each other could ride to Matteson together.

QUALIFICATIONS – A Bachelor’s degree in music, an engaging personality, some teaching experience with children, and a passion for classical music. Training in pedagogy is preferred but not strictly required. Proof of vaccination (COVID) is required unless there is a medical exception.

TO APPLY – Please send a short letter of interest and your resumé or bio to search@apollosfire.org. For more information, contact Jeannette Sorrell, Artistic Director of Apollo’s Fire, at jsorrell@apollosfire.org.

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)