Music DIrector Audition - NYC

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  • New York
  • Hours Part-time
  • Start Date Flexible

The Second City is looking for theatrical, jazz or band pianists with experience in, or a willingness to learn, theatrical improvisation for teaching and music directing at its Training Center and on its Stages at its new location in Brooklyn. Auditions will be held over Zoom in July; contract begins on August 20, 2023.

Candidates who are hired will be compensated with flight, hotel, ground transport and per diem ($59/day) to come to Chicago with the rest of the NYC team from August 21-31 for onboarding.

Job Description:

Music Directors at The Second City are responsible for piano accompaniment and music creation for sketch comedy and improv shows.

On our student and professional stages, Music Directors:

  1. Write music for lyrics and sound design;
  2. Live underscore scenes and improv games;
  3. Create sound design using QLab, MainStage, and other programs such as DAWs like Logic or ProTools.
  4. Run vocal warm-ups
  5. Collaborate with the cast and the director on all elements, and are responsible for the professional execution of all music and sound design
  6. Run the sound cues of their pre-designed show from the piano, usually via QLab.
  7. Can commit to a regular schedule of shows (days per week vary in range).

In our classrooms they use existing Second City curriculums and principles to:

  1. lead workshops in music improvisation games
  2. lead vocal warm-ups
  3. teach the basics of improvised song building
  4. teach lyric writing concepts and formation
  5. write music for student songs

Successful candidates will have:

  1. Great piano skills, with experience in playing many styles and genres.
  2. If working in the Training Center, experience teaching.
  3. An understanding of, or willingness to train in, comedy and comedic improvisation.
  4. Comfort with songwriting and an understanding of theatrical lyric writing.
  5. The ability to vocally warm up a cast and help teach them songs.
  6. Readiness to up train in any skill; and the ability to take direction from senior staff throughout their time with the company.
  7. Energy, positivity and a ‘yes, and’ attitude!

Additionally, we are interested in candidates who have a familiarity with or a willingness to learn fundamental elements of theatrical sound design with a sound design platform (The Second City uses QLab).

Candidates selected to advance in this process will be invited to a closed audition.

If selected for an audition, please be ready to:

  1. Play three one-minute selections on the piano from three different styles of music. These can be fully composed pieces, piano accompaniments of songs, or played from a lead sheet.
  2. Take direction to improvise a selection of other musical styles.
  3. Improvise a song from scratch with a singer, based on a suggestion.

Pay rates for candidates interested in the Training Center:

The Second City provides paid training both in-person and online, and onboarding over several weeks that includes watching classes, learning curriculums, and being trained and observed by senior staff. Paid training is provided at $25/hour. Once on the schedule, Music Directors are paid at a rate of $50/hour for workshops. Additional rates apply for different responsibilities and skills.

Scheduling is done on a seven-week term turn around. Class and show assignments are based on the number of classes running, and the availability of individual teachers. Amount of work is not guaranteed but is also flexible for those who balance other responsibilities.

Pay rates for candidates hired to play for our professional shows:

Mainstage MD is $187.77 per show.

Pension is 14.388%

Health is $220/week

Second Stage MD

$154.65/show, $19.47/hour for rehearsal

Improv Shows

$150/show and $20/hour for rehearsal