Employment at MSM

Job Opening at MSM:

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Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Institutional Giving

The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Manhattan School of Music in the search for an Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Institutional Giving.

The Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Institutional Giving will be a well-organized fundraiser with a proven track record of success who will raise support from foundations and government agencies for the School’s annual fund, scholarships, endowment, capital projects, and education outreach programs. A self-starter, the successful candidate will possess strong writing skills and secure grants from new funders, as well as renew existing institutional donors, by creating detailed grant proposals and arranging site visits and stewardship and cultivation activities. The Assistant Vice President will have a genuine interest in prospect research and will collaborate with staff throughout the School to effectively gather information necessary to prepare compelling narratives and accurate budgets for grant applications and reports.

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) is deeply committed to excellence in education, performance, and creative activity; to the humanity of the School’s environment; and to the cultural enrichment of the larger community. A premier international conservatory, MSM inspires and empowers highly talented individuals to realize their potential. The School takes full advantage of New York’s abundant learning and performance opportunities, preparing its students to be accomplished and passionate performers, composers, and teachers and imaginative, effective contributors to the arts and society.

From its beginnings as a small settlement music school to its current incarnation as a top, international conservatory, MSM has upheld a tradition of excellence in professional music education. The School was founded in 1918 by pianist and philanthropist, Janet Daniels Schenck. Then called the Neighborhood Music School, it was located in East Harlem and tasked with bringing high-quality musical training to the immigrant communities of New York City.

Under the current leadership of Dr. James Gandre, who assumed the presidency in 2013, Manhattan School of Music continues to uphold the mission that Janet Schenck began nearly 100 years ago. Now home to 965 students from more than 50 countries, the School is a thriving international community of artists. As MSM continues to grow, its focus remains the same: the education of tomorrow’s leaders in the arts.

To learn about this opportunity, please scroll down this page or download the PDF prospectus.

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Reporting Relationships
Principal Opportunities
Primary Responsibilities
Key Colleagues
Candidate Qualifications
Salary & Benefits
Diversity & Inclusion
Application Instruction


Reporting Relationships

The Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Institutional Giving will report to the Vice President for Advancement.

Principal Opportunities

“This is an exciting time at Manhattan School of Music as 2018 marks the School’s centennial, a momentous occasion that is being celebrated with a year-long series of concerts and special events. Over the past three years, the School has successfully completed a series of major capital improvements to its architecturally distinguished campus, totaling $25 million. These include 28 new practice rooms with sophisticated virtual acoustic technology, new acting and dance studios to support an acclaimed new program in Musical Theatre, a complete renovation of the cafeteria, and the largest and most important project of these, the $15 million renovation of Neidorff-Karpati Hall, the School’s principal performance space and an Art Deco jewel designed by the architects of the Empire State Building. The Hall has been transformed into a state-of-the-art venue to showcase MSM’s immensely talented students and distinguished alumni and guest artists.

MSM is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians from precollege through postgraduate studies. Today, MSM is recognized for its gifted undergraduate and graduate students, a world-renowned faculty—teachers who are themselves artists with international reputations—and innovative curricula. Our alumni are soloists on the stages of the world’s great concert halls and opera houses, play in major orchestras internationally, lead important music organizations, and are faculty members training the next generation of artists.

Each year, MSM presents over 700 performances on-campus featuring our talented students, artist- faculty members, and special guests, as well as more than 70 master classes by world-renowned musicians. Most are free and open to the public. MSM is a vital cultural resource for the neighboring Morningside Heights and Harlem communities. We welcome about 30,000 visitors to exceptional concerts and performances annually.”

Susan Madden, Vice President for Advancement

Primary Responsibilities

The Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Institutional Giving will

  • be responsible for writing and preparing well-crafted grant proposals, letters of inquiry, and interim and final reports to foundations and local, state, and federal government agencies to secure support for the annual fund, scholarships, special projects, including a series of ongoing capital improvements to the campus, endowment, education outreach programs, and other projects;
  • actively seek new funding by identifying and researching foundation and government agency prospects and preparing grant proposals to new funders;
  • track outreach to prospective funders;
  • maintain a calendar of deadlines for renewing funders and new grant opportunities and ensure all proposal deadlines are met;
  • continually update and prepare detailed, well-written grant proposals for the School’s annual
  • fund and for scholarship and endowment support, as well as for specific projects and programs, including MSM Outreach and MSM Summer, which provide music education for pre-K-12 school children from underserved New York City schools;
  • cultivate and strengthen relationships with current and prospective institutional funders by arranging site visits and sending invitations to concerts, performances, and other events based on a donor’s particular areas of interest;
  • prepare interim and final narrative and financial reports to current institutional funders in accordance with their guidelines;
  • brief the School’s President, Board members, and senior staff prior to meetings with foundation leaders and government officials;
  • act as MSM’s liaison with foundations and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels;
  • manage grant acknowledgments and other donor correspondence, including invitations to site visits, stewardship events, etc.;
  • report to foundation scholarship fund donors about annual recipients in college and precollege Divisions;
  • ensure that biographies and thank you letters are sent to named scholarship recipients each year;
  • inform department heads about possible funding opportunities, and develop proposals in response to RFPs;
  • prepare budgets for grant proposals and financial reports in consultation with the Finance Office and appropriate department heads;
  • prepare reports for presentation at quarterly meetings of the Development Committee and for meetings of the Board of Trustees; and
  • maintain a thorough knowledge and understanding of the School’s mission, current programs, and strategic plan.

Key Colleagues

About James Gandre, President

James Gandre, President, is an educator and musician with a deep commitment to students and the development of American conservatory learning.

Dr. Gandre returned to MSM to assume the presidency in 2013 having previously served the School for 15 years (1985–2000), most recently as Dean of Enrollment and Alumni. In 2000, Dr. Gandre became Dean of Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he went on to serve concurrently as the Interim Dean of the College of Education, and ultimately as the

University’s Provost and Executive Vice President. President Gandre has broad knowledge of the history and discourse of the American conservatory, the subject of his doctoral dissertation, And Then There Were Seven: An Historical Case Study of the Seven Independent Conservatories of Music that Survived the 20th Century. As a performer, James Gandre has appeared as a tenor soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Classical Players, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and members of the San Francisco Symphony.

His professional choral engagements include more than 175 performances with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Warsaw Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and more than 20 commercial recordings and television appearances.

About Dr. Joyce Griggs, Executive Vice President and Provost

Dr. Joyce Griggs is MSM’s Executive Vice President and Provost. She joined the staff in 2018. As Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Griggs is chief academic and student affairs officer and serves as the School’s second in command, overseeing all academic programs and services, faculty hiring and development, and student affairs and enrollment operations.

Dr. Griggs, who has deep roots and diverse leadership experience in music higher education, came to MSM from Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM),

where she conceived and launched the Center for Innovative Musicianship as Vice President and Director. Prior to her work at Cleveland, Dr. Griggs held several leadership positions during her decade- and-a-half tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Music that culminated in a four-year appointment as the School’s Associate Director.

Dr. Griggs is also an educator and saxophonist.

The breadth of her professional experience brings with it a deep understanding of how to effectively cultivate working partnerships among faculty, administrators, trustees, and community leaders. That instinct for inspiring productive collaboration, along with her deep experience and sustained drive, has given her a sturdy foundation from which to thrive as a leader, earning successes across a range of priorities, including faculty recruitment and hiring; contract negotiations; enrollment and fiscal management; curriculum development; financial oversight and fundraising; strategic planning; and accreditation management.

About Susan Madden, Vice President for Advancement

Susan Madden, a long-time New York City-based development professional, is Manhattan School of Music’s Vice President for Advancement, a role she began in 2018. Susan spent nearly a decade as Vice President of Development and then Senior Vice President for External Affairs at the Museum of the City of New York, where, working closely with the President and Board of Trustees, she raised more than $23 million annually for general operations and $97 million for a major capital campaign. She also led a successful fundraising campaign of $17 million for New York at Its Core, a permanent, multi-media exhibition on New York’s 400-year history, and cultivated and secured several major gifts.

Prior to her many successes at the Museum, Susan led, managed, and implemented a $7-million annual fundraising effort at the New York Restoration Project, where she worked as Director of Development. As an important part of her work at the Project, Susan collaborated with founder Bette Midler and trustees to identify, solicit, cultivate, and increase general operating and capital support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. The resulting major gifts included grants from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation ($2.5 million), Target ($2 million), and over 20 six- figure gifts from Goldman Sachs, Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and Toyota, among others.

In addition to Susan’s accomplishments at the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Restoration Project, she has held senior development posts at the New York Philharmonic, the Paley Center for Media, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Candidate Qualifications

The successful candidate for the position of Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Institutional Giving should have:

  • proven success in writing compelling proposals that generate grants of all sizes from foundations and government agencies;
  • excellent research and writing skills with meticulous attention to detail;
  • highly developed interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • discretion with sensitivity to confidential material;
  • an ability to take direction, act independently, manage an extensive proposal deadline calendar, to multi-task, to prioritize, and to meet all application and reporting deadlines;
  • an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong interest in pursuing new funding;
  • experience working collaboratively with program staff and liaising with Boards of Trustees, foundation officials, and government grant-makers;
  • an ability to work collegially and effectively with the School’s staff, donors, and volunteers;
  • availability to attend approximately 15-20 evening and/or weekend events annually, including concerts and performances;
  • an understanding of trends in foundation philanthropy and nonprofit accounting practices; and
  • expertise in Microsoft Office applications, an understanding of Raiser’s Edge, and knowledge of Raiser’s Edge NXT (preferred).

A bachelor’s degree is required for this position as is five to ten years of experience in foundation and government grant-making. A degree in music or music education is a plus.


Salary & Benefits

Manhattan School of Music offers a competitive salary and benefits package.


This position is located in New York City.

Diversity and Inclusion

Equal employment and equal educational opportunity have been and will continue to be fundamental principles at Manhattan School of Music, where employment and enrollment are based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination or harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship or veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. Manhattan School of Music does not permit retaliation against individuals who oppose a discriminatory practice or participate in an investigation.

Application Instructions

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Before submitting your materials, please read them over for accuracy. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

To apply for this position, visit: http://opportunities.aspenleadershipgroup.com.

To nominate a candidate, please contact Floyd Akins: floydakins@aspenleadershipgroup.com.