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Career and Education Opportunities for Music Directors in Eugene, Oregon

Music directors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Eugene, Oregon area. There are currently 600 working music directors in Oregon; this should grow 15% to about 700 working music directors in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for music directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.0% over the next eight years. Music directors generally direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

Music directors earn approximately $17 per hour or $35,500 annually on average in Oregon. Nationally they average about $19 per hour or $41,270 annually. Music directors earn more than people working in the category of Musical Entertainment generally in Oregon and more than people in the Musical Entertainment category nationally. People working as music directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: choirmaster, music supervisor, and orchestra director.

The Eugene area is home to seven schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Eugene where you can get a degree as a music director. The most common level of education for music directors is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a music director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Music Director

Music Director video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, music directors direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.

Music directors direct groups at rehearsals and live or recorded performances in order to produce desired effects such as tonal and harmonic balance dynamics and tempo. They also consider such factors as ensemble size and abilities, availability of scores, and the need for musical variety, so as to decide on music to be performed. Equally important, music directors have to position members within groups to obtain balance among instrumental or vocal sections. They are often called upon to formulate and schedule rehearsals and performances, and arrange details such as locations and instrumentalists. They are expected to audition and decide on performers for musical presentations. Finally, music directors talk with clergy to decide on music for church services.

Every day, music directors are expected to be able to note differences between sounds as they change tone and volume. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for music directors to meet with soloists and concertmasters to consider and get ready for performances. They are often called upon to assign and review staff work in such areas as scoring and copying music, and vocal coaching. They also perform administrative tasks such as applying for grants and designing and printing programs and other promotional materials. They are sometimes expected to transcribe musical compositions and melodic lines to adapt them to a particular group, or to generate a particular musical style. Somewhat less frequently, music directors are also expected to use gestures to shape the music being played, communicating desired tempo and other performance aspects.

They also have to be able to study scores to learn the music in detail, and to optimize interpretations And finally, they sometimes have to audition and decide on performers for musical presentations.

Like many other jobs, music directors must be able to take change and lead and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Eugene include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Interpreter. Translate or interpret written, oral, or sign language text into another language for others.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Music Director Training

Northwest Christian University - Eugene, OR

Northwest Christian University, 828 East 11th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401-3745. Northwest Christian University is a small university located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 534 students and an admission rate of 54%. Northwest Christian University has 2 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Religious/Sacred Music, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Music Management and Merchandising, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Eugene Bible College - Eugene, OR

Eugene Bible College, 2155 Bailey Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97405. Eugene Bible College is a small college located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 78%. Eugene Bible College has a bachelor's degree program in Religious/Sacred Music which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Oregon - Eugene, OR

University of Oregon, 110 Johnson Hall, Eugene, OR 97403. University of Oregon is a large university located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,435 students and an admission rate of 87%. University of Oregon has 4 areas of study related to Music Director. They are:

  • Music Performance, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, fifteen, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Music Theory and Composition, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated four, four, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Conducting, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Music, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon photo by Ccmpg

Eugene is located in Lane County, Oregon. It has a population of over 150,104, which has grown by 8.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Eugene, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Eugene cost $197,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-one new homes were constructed in Eugene, down from two hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Eugene are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 37.3% of Eugene residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Eugene is 9.9%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Eugene residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 24.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Eugene is home to the Eugene Country Club and the Balboa Park Drag Strip as well as Acorn City Park and Monroe City Park. Visitors to Eugene can choose from Hawthorn Inn & Suites, Best Value Inn and Marriott Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.