Assistant Professor - Music Theory/Composition

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Assistant Professor - Music Theory/Composition

Brief Summary of Work for this Position
The Department of Music at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is seeking an Assistant Professor in Theory/Composition, a nine-month tenure-track position, starting August 2023.

Opportunity to join a student-centered faculty of teaching artists and scholars who value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and who are dedicated to growth in new and current programs. The ideal candidate will demonstrate excellence in teaching, engagement in significant creative/scholarly activities, and an ability to work effectively with faculty colleagues across all degree areas.

Responsibilities upon initial appointment include teaching undergraduate courses in music theory and aural skills. Additionally, the successful candidate will teach in a secondary area of expertise, which may include composition courses (Orchestration and Arranging, Film and Video Game Scoring, etc.), an applied area, or other departmental needs as assigned by the chair. Responsibilities also include student advising, committee work, and contributing to an inclusive and equitable community in the department, college, and university.

The successful candidate will join a department with strong commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence, and will be expected to contribute actively to these efforts. Our department actively fosters a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment. Qualified applicants from all racial, ethnic, or other minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

  • Advanced degree in Music (MM, MA) with relevant training/experience in music theory and aural skills pedagogy
  • ABD will be considered, with the expectation that the degree will be completed on or before August 1, 2023
  • Experience and expertise in teaching/developing a music theory and aural skills program appropriate for an undergraduate-level institution
  • Evidence of potential to develop a national reputation as a scholar, performer, or composer

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills & Experience
Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • PhD, DMA, or other terminal degree in Music Theory or Composition.
  • Experience in developing an innovative and diversified undergraduate music theory/aural skills curriculum
  • Experience in teaching and/or composing music for film, television, and/or video games
  • Experience in teaching courses aligned with candidate’s creative/research specialty
  • Experience in teaching an applied area and/or jazz studies and/or popular music studies
  • Experience in teaching interdisciplinary courses and/or engaging in interdisciplinary scholarly/creative work
  • Experience mentoring students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education and/or students with non-traditional musical backgrounds

Primary Function of Organizational Unit
The Department of Music is committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and fostering an inclusive teaching and learning environment through its diverse curricula, as well as the artistic endeavors of students and faculty. In addition, the Department of Music is dedicated to nurturing excellence in performance, teaching and scholarship by guiding and preparing students through a comprehensive curriculum that provides a strong foundation for an array of opportunities in the music profession, as well as for graduate study in a range of music specialties. The Department of Music offers two undergraduate curricula, the Bachelor of Arts in Music with options in Performance, Jazz Studies, Music Technology and General Studies, and the Bachelor of Music in Music Education.

College/School Information
The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit and awards approximately two-thirds of the university’s academic credits. Ours is a comprehensive arts and sciences college comprising the arts, the humanities, the mathematical and natural sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences.

The College’s twenty-five units offer a variety of undergraduate majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Music, and the Bachelor of Science. The College also offers a full complement of minors, including interdisciplinary minors such as Africana studies, Asian studies, Forensic studies, Latin America studies, Middle East & Islamic studies, Native-American studies, and Women’s and Gender studies, among others.

Applied learning is a hallmark of the student experience in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each of the College’s departments requires an applied learning experience as a part of the curriculum for its undergraduate majors. Examples include faculty-directed research, internships, service learning, and capstone courses and projects, all of which challenge students to integrate various strands of knowledge and to apply that knowledge to broader, real-world or real disciplinary situations. Through applied learning, students in the College gain direct hands-on experience with the skills of their major fields as an essential part of their preparation for life and career.

In addition to its undergraduate major and minor programs, the College is chiefly responsible for the curriculum that comprises the UNCW’s University Studies Program, through which all UNCW undergraduates gain a foundation in the liberal arts and develop the transferable skills essential for life in the twenty-first century. The College strives in its undergraduate programs and in its University Study offerings to nurture creative thinking, intellectual curiosity, diversity and inclusion, and academic integrity in students while providing them with a solid foundation of knowledge in their chosen fields. Upon completion of their undergraduate studies, College of Arts and Sciences students will have the necessary preparation for rewarding careers, advanced study, effective citizenship, and meaningful lives.

Graduate degrees awarded in the College of Arts and Sciences include the Master of Arts, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy (Marine Biology and Psychology). In addition, the nationally awarded Graduate Liberal Studies program offers a personalized curriculum of interdisciplinary study leading to the Master of Arts. Post-baccalaureate certificates in Applied Statistics, Environmental Studies, Forensic Science, Conflict Management and Resolution, Gender Studies and Hispanic Studies are available. Graduate programs in the College are designed to develop intellectual competence and to prepare the student for careers in business, industry, government, teaching or for further study at the doctoral level.

University Information
The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research and service. Widely acknowledged for its world-class faculty and staff and continuously recognized at a national level for scholarly excellence and affordability, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry and critical thinking and a community rich in diversity, inclusion and global perspectives.

A public institution with nearly 18,000 students, UNCW offers a full range of baccalaureate- and graduate-level programs, as well as doctoral degrees in educational leadership, marine biology, nursing practice and psychology; and many distance learning options, including clinical research, an accelerated RN-to-BSN program, an Executive M.B.A. program structured for working professionals, and the nation’s only bachelor’s degree program focused on coastal engineering.

The university’s efforts to advance research and scholarly activities have earned UNCW the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” institution (R2 University) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

UNCW has been part of the University of North Carolina System since 1969.

Please apply online at

Special Notes to Applicants
Prior to the official appointment to the university, the candidate(s) selected for hire must be able to demonstrate eligibility to teach assigned courses by successfully meeting the credentialing requirements based on official transcripts and other documentation as required.

Applications will be accepted until the posting closing date. To apply, please complete the online application process available at and attach the following materials as Adobe PDF documents including:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Combined Unofficial Graduate Transcripts
  • Teaching Philosophy
  • Statement of Diversity and Inclusion – Statement of Diversity and Inclusion addressing how issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion shape the candidate’s working practices (past and planned)
  • Portfolio/Work Sample – Creative/Research Agenda
  • Links to Digital Audio/Video Files – YouTube links to representative video recording of music theory and/or aural skills teaching (10 minutes), as well as recent compositions/arrangements and/or applied solo performances
  • Writing Sample – PDFs of representative music theory writing samples (scholarship of teaching and learning is particularly welcome) and/or compositions, If needed.
  • List of 3 Professional References, including name, email address, and phone number of reference. ABD applicants must include Dissertation Chair as one of the 3 references provided.
  • Other ** If needed, applicants may upload additional materials under the Other category.

Materials should be addressed to the Search Committee and attached to the online application – not e-mailed or mailed.

Finalists invited to campus will be asked to teach classes in music theory and aural skills, as well as a lecture or lesson in composition or another appropriate secondary area.

Please note that a minimum of three references will be required for highly ranked candidates during the screening process. **ABD applicants must include Dissertation Chair as one of the 3 references provided.

Letters of application without the requested components will not meet the application requirements.

Please note that a minimum of two professional references are required for all applications. References will be requested during the screening process. Please direct questions concerning the search to Dr. Helena Kopchick Spencer, Search Committee Chair, at  For questions regarding the online application process, contact Gail Killman at

EEO Statement
At the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), our culture reflects our values of inclusion, diversity, globalization, ethics and integrity and innovation and we are committed to providing equality of educational and employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, sex (such as gender, gender identity, marital status, childbirth, and pregnancy), age, color, national origin (including ethnicity), religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, military service member status, genetic information, or relationship to other university constituents – except where sex, age, or ability represent bona fide educational or occupational qualifications or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for State funded employee benefit programs. UNCW believes that embracing the unique contributions of our faculty, staff and students is critical to our success and paramount in being recognized for our global mindset.

Eligibility for Employment
Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. UNC Wilmington participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.