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REPORTING TO: Board of Directors 

LOCATION: Chicago, IL 

THE ORGANIZATION: The People’s Music School (TPMS)

Mission: To deliver access to the benefits of high-quality, tuition-free music education to children.  Through intensive instruction and performance, our students achieve excellence in music that  transfers to other areas in life. They grow musically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually, and develop  a foundation of responsibility, self-esteem, and purpose. 

Values: Opportunity. Excellence. Hard work. Creativity. Community.  

Pillars: Instrumental Lessons. Ensemble Groups. Music Theory. Performance


Thank You For the Music video (Big Night Virtual Gala 2021)

Strings Students Performing a Brahms/Journey Mashup

Original composition in collaboration with Third Coast Percussion


The People’s Music School (TPMS) is now in its 45th year with a $3.9M total budget and proud bragging  rights that nearly 100% of its students graduate high school and are accepted to college. TPMS is comprised of a solid family community and supported by highly committed staff, faculty, and Board of  Directors, all focused on ensuring student success and advancing TPMS’s critical mission.  

The TPMS model is completely tuition-free, serving students aged 5-18 who otherwise would not be able  to afford music education. To date, TPMS has transformed over 10,000 students’ lives across Chicago  and now California. 

The benefits of music education extend far beyond music itself, allowing TPMS students to participate in  a journey that leaves them ready for college and for life. From early elementary through high school  graduation, TPMS provides a music program rooted in academic merit while developing crucial life skills.  It starts with the children learning to love music and advances to mastering an instrument and leaves them  with college readiness.  

During the 2021-22 school year, TPMS is serving a total of 850 students and their families (over 90% non white) in after-school programming and will also reach nearly 2,500 students through its current work with  teachers in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Ravenswood School District in California.  

“We build cognitive, academic, and social-emotional skills through an intense and  rigorous music curriculum. Our students learn with us for up to 12 hours per week and  their families fulfill a significant service requirement” said Michael Buck, President, TPMS  Board of Directors 

In the last four years, the school has enjoyed tremendous growth, maintained quality programs, and  benefited from the amazing strength of its community. The results have recently been showcased in the Chicago Tribune, Billboard Magazine, and more. Recently, TPMS retained a leading PR firm focused on further raising the school’s visibility through media. 

After many years of accomplished leadership, TPMS President Jennifer Kim-Matsuzawa has relocated to  California. Known both externally and throughout the organization for her breadth of knowledge and  commitment to artistic quality, she has masterfully guided the school to its current heights of enrollment,  programming excellence, and fiscal strength. Going forward, she plans to work part-time for TPMS as a  remote musical instructor. 

TPMS seeks a new President who, building on the organization’s successes, will strengthen its future and  ensure TPMS continues as a vibrant organization advancing student outcomes. This new President will  have the benefit of an established platform throughout Chicago as well as an elevated national reputation  to build upon. 

As of November 1, 2021, Ms. K. Sujata, former CEO of The Chicago Foundation for Women, has been  appointed Interim President of TPMS.


TPMS is on solid financial footing, operating with strong cash holdings, and has adapted to the COVID 19 environment via an organization-wide pivot to virtual learning, enhanced safety protocols, and strict  Chicago Public Schools compliance. The new President will devote significant time, at the onset, to ensure  that quality programming remains stable despite challenges in the pandemic environment. TPMS remains  in alignment with its current strategic plan with an expectation to revisit the plan once the new leader is in  place. 

TPMS Core Near-Term Strategic Priorities 

1. Develop best-in-class curriculum 

2. Optimize staff, systems, and structure 

3. Strengthen revenue model to drive growth 

4. Widen partnership portfolio 


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President must have a strong commitment to the mission as well  as strategic and overall operational responsibility for direction and vision, program effectiveness and  delivery, and financial and organizational health. 

This role will guide the organization’s growth by leveraging the existing Chicago program as the  foundation. S/he will empower a growing staff to contribute with impact and meaning while motivating  stakeholders to support. This role will also balance near-term strategic goals while looking ahead to  expansion opportunities and exploring potential new revenue streams. 

Headquartered in a stand-alone building in the Uptown neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, the  President reports to a 17-member Board of Directors and provides leadership for 21 “home-office staff”,  consisting of 13 full-time, 6 part-time, 1 contractor (grants) and 1 extern. There are 71 part-time faculty. As of October 2021, TPMS has two full-time vacancies and two part-time vacancies. In addition, the  growing TPMS Associate Board is composed of 15-20 young professionals from a variety of industries across Chicago. 

Direct reports include:  

• Chief Operating Officer 

• Chief of Staff 

• Dean of Teaching & Learning 

S/he will oversee the $3.3M operating budget focused primarily on programming operations. Growth has  been at a slightly slower pace this year than historically, due to the rebuilding of the development team.  The FY22 total budget is $3.9M reflecting an additional $0.68M investment (from cash holdings), $0.43M  in instructional support, and $0.25M to fortify the supply of musical instruments. TPMS’s fiscal year ends  on August 31. 

TPMS owns its Uptown building, which serves as both administrative headquarters as well as an after school programming hub for over 400 students and TPMS’s Service, Leadership and Mentorship (SLAM) program. TPMS also operates after-school programming in three locations on CPS campuses across the  city: (Albany Park, Back of the Yards, and the Greater South Side). TPMS has a pilot partnership with  four CPS teachers and three teachers within the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto, CA. to  provide in-school music education curriculum, support, coaching and professional development. 

TPMS is entering a due diligence phase in anticipation of different growth opportunities, with the intention  of creating a “menu of options” for both the Board and the incoming leader. In the short term, the focus  is on a new Greater South Side facility since TPMS will no longer be able to use its current south side programming space next year as its student numbers continue to grow. 


Reporting to and working closely with the TPMS Board of Directors, the President will be responsible for:  

• Overall success and creative growth  

• Vibrancy of music programs 

• Financial sustainability 

• Program impact 

• Establish leadership presence within Chicago’s corporate/non-profit communities and beyond • Support and advancement of mission  

Specific responsibilities include: 

Strategic Leadership and Programmatic Vibrancy 

• Oversee and ensure ongoing local excellence in programming and program evaluation, consistent  achievement of strategic goals within finance and administration, fundraising, and communications.

• Seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for operations and future planning.

• Actively engage and energize organization’s volunteers and families, event committees, alumni,  partner organizations, funders, and other stakeholders. 

• Lead, coach, develop, and retain organization’s high-performance senior leadership team.

• Operate as a leader and collaborator to all team members and solidify alignment.

• Oversee short-term operations and long-range strategic planning while delegating responsibilities to appropriate parties. 

• Lead with integrity and authenticity. 

Demonstrated Passion for Fund Development 

• Energize funding efforts to increase foundation, corporate, and individual giving, major gifts, annual  appeal, planned giving, and special events. 

• Identify new revenue streams and strategies that maximize earned income. 

• Actively participate in donor cultivation and solicitation.

Board Management  

• Collaborate with Board to ensure strong governance, providing support to best utilize talents and  resources of Board members, stimulate involvement, and recruit new members. 

• Serve as ex-officio of each Board committee. 

• Advise and engage Board and committees on matters to promote efficient operation of TPMS.

•Work closely with Board and staff to maintain overall fiscal responsibility for annual operating  budget and financial objectives. 

Values, Goals, Objectives, and Achievements 

• Effectively manage change by conducting oversight, while placing trust in staff to make decisions  and implement change. 

• Implement, grow, and develop a culture of servant leadership at all levels. 

• Promote a comfortable and welcoming environment where every stakeholder is treated with dignity  and respect. 

• Ensure a spirit of collaboration is pervasive throughout. 

Understanding & Valuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

• Must be sensitive to differences in race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age, and culture,  particularly as they become more crucial to ensuring effective stakeholder relationships,  engagement, and performance while elevating underrepresented talent. 

• Strive for inclusion of diverse viewpoints when leading and managing. 

• Comfortable valuing and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and have nuanced social skills  to effectively manage a diverse and inclusive learning community. 


The ideal candidate will have a unique talent for inspiring and motivating staff, external stakeholders, and  families to achieve new heights of success at a mission-driven organization. They will be an exceptional  leader with a passion for music. Demonstrated track record in high-level fundraising from a variety of  sources. 

• Minimum 10 years of proven leadership, coaching, and relational management. For-profit  professionals with non-profit and fundraising experience will be considered. 

• Track record of taking organizations to the next level through strong development initiatives and  fundraising success beyond just individual giving, including earned income, grants, foundations,  and corporations. 

• Strong Board relations and understanding of the importance of building relationships.

• Outstanding listener who can gather information and craft strategies for winning initiatives.

• Decisive with the ability to make clear-cut and timely decisions with the appropriate amount of  information.  

• High level of comfort with public relations and public speaking, as well as communicating  information to a wide range of audiences.  

• Strong business acumen and grasp of financial principles and marketing savvy. 

• Demonstration of high emotional IQ, self-awareness, and empathy toward TPMS culture.

• A strong appreciation, knowledge of, and personal connection to music and education.

• A background in and knowledge of music (performance and education) is seen as strongly preferred.

• Ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have  taken an organization to next stage of growth. 

• Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.

• Active and visible sponsor of the school’s commitment to safeguarding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. 


Advanced degree is preferred. 


TPMS has exclusively retained the services of Montague & Associates to lead the search for the  President. The team is led by Founder and Chief Consultant Mary Lee Montague. 

Interested applicants should direct a cover letter and resume to: 

Nancy DeMoss  

Vice President, Candidate Management 
Montague & Associates 

TPMS is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion,  gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or  veteran status. Individuals of color are encouraged to apply.