SMF Jazz Academy Program Assistant

SMF Jazz Academy Program Assistant (part-time)

Location: Savannah, Georgia
Term: July 2023-June 2024
Pay: Part-time, $20 hourly pay; max 20 hours/week
Reports to: Program Manager

Program Description:

SMF Jazz Academy (SMFJA) is a cost-free after-school jazz program that promotes social justice in the form of high-quality jazz education and mentoring of its students. Students enrolled in SMFJA are offered one-on-one instrumental music instruction from a faculty of eight jazz Artist Instructors (trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, drums, bass, guitar, and melodica) and ensemble instruction with the music director. All program elements are free for participants, including instruments and materials for at-home practice. SMFJA students receive daily meals, snacks, weekly private lessons, weekly group instruction, and participate in weekly group jam sessions.

Critical to the success of SMFJA is a trauma-informed, assets-based teaching practice. This includes substantial time and effort devoted to family engagement and eliminating barriers to participation. A key goal of SMFJA is to build community through collective music-making experiences. SMFJA is the only after-school instrumental music program in the Savannah area. The program targets students in Savannah’s underserved East Side neighborhoods.

Position Description:

The program assistant is the internal community liaison between SMFJA faculty and SMFJA students/families. This individual is responsible for assisting the SMFJA faculty in making the SMF Jazz Academy program experience enjoyable, fulfilling, and rewarding for all program participants and their families. The ideal candidate embodies a team player mentality and always keeps the needs of program participants and their families at the forefront of their work.

Role and Responsibilities:

Reports to SMFJA Manager

  • Work in coordination with Director of Education & Community Engagement, SMFJA Manager, and Music Director
  • Work in coordination with the SMFJA Music Director and Manager for long-term SMFJA learning plans;
  • Learn, uphold, and represent SMF vision and mission
  • Oversee arrival and dismissal of SMFJA students at rehearsals, concerts, and other SMFJA events
  • Oversee SMFJA students during snack time or during moments where SMFJA Music Director and Manager are not present in the room
  • Foster and build relationships with SMFJA students and families
  • Maintain and update individual student schedules of private lessons and group classes
  • Establish, track, maintain, and update individual artist instructor schedules and record of hours taught
  • Communicate with SMFJA staff, students, and their families as necessary and in coordination with SMFJA Manager via email and other printed materials
  • Attend Weekly SMFJA Team Meetings, education and engagement department meetings, and SMF staff meetings as available
  • Assist SMFJA manager as needed in providing social media content to SMF Marketing/Patron Services Associate
  • Other administrative duties as assigned by SMFJA Program Manager 
  • Maintain calm and professional demeanor when presented with challenging situations

Traits and Qualifications:

  • Strong verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • A proven commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, as well as an understanding of how these values contribute to program success and sustainability
  • A team player attitude 
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, plan and organize details
  • Detail-oriented in internal and external communications
  • Ability to work respectfully with others and meet deadlines
  • Flexibility, patience, and grace under pressure
  • Proficient in Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Mac OS, and Zoom
  • Familiarity with nonprofit arts organizations and music industry a plus
  • Musical background and knowledge of jazz a plus
  • Must enjoy working with youth (middle and high school)
  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs
  • All applicants must have a valid driver’s license and submit to a criminal background check and drug test
  • Must be available weekday afternoons and evenings during school year and occasional weekends

Compensation: This is a contracted position with an hourly rate of $20 an hour with a maximum of 20 hours a week during the school year.

How To Apply: To submit an application, please email resume and cover letter to Aaron Jennings at

Savannah Music Festival is an equal-opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical​​​ condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or ​expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting world-class celebrations of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. SMF started as Savannah OnStage International Arts Festival in 1989 with the vision of bringing high-quality artists from around the world to perform in Savannah’s Historic District. The organization operates year-round to plan and produce an annual multi-day, multi-venue music festival, off-season concerts, broadcast programs and free music education programming focused on youth.

The annual springtime festival presents a diverse selection of music genres, including classical, jazz, American, and international roots music. The festival features original productions, cross-genre collaborations, free artistic lectures and Q&As, and commissioned works that are staged at various venues throughout Savannah. With its performances and education programming, SMF serves annually, on average, more than 40,000 music enthusiasts from many backgrounds, locations, and age ranges. In 2019, SMF attracted patrons from more than 40 states.

SMF’s local education programs, Musical Explorers and SMF Jazz Academy, serve the Savannah community, reaching students and teachers at more than 50 public, private, and home schools in urban and rural settings across Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh (GA), Beaufort, and Jasper (SC) counties. On average, more than 80% of participants attend Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools (SCCPSS).