School of Music > Resources > Career Services > Gig Connection Student Application

Gig Connection Student Application


The School of Music’s Gig Connection provides freelance performance opportunities for upperclassmen, graduate and certificate students, and alumni of up to five years after graduation. 

While it is primarily to help students develop their professional music skills and experiences, Gig Connection serves as a music hiring service for the Chicago community and beyond. Contact information for each gig will only be passed on to students and/or ensembles that have been approved for Gig Connection. The Gig Manager acts as a liaison for the client and the student. 

To join Gig Connection, follow these steps:

  1. Review the Gig Connection Policy list below.
  2. Submit a Gig Connection Student Registration form (found at the bottom of this webpage).
  3. Request an approval email from your applied lessons professor or chamber/combo coach to be sent to the Gig Manager, ​Amy Weatherford. Your submission is not finalized until both of these steps have been completed.​
    Sample: "I give my student, [insert name], permission to join the Gig Connection platform."
  4. Visit the Gig Connection Job Boar​d​ to review and claim available opportunities. 

If you are looking to hire students to perform at your next event, please visit Gig Connection.

Gig Connection Policy

1) You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

2) You must register for the service by filling out an online form. The online form provides the Gig Connection Manager with all pertinent contact information for you and/or your ensemble. Then, you must have a faculty sponsor (applied lessons professor, chamber/combo coach) send an approval email to the Gig Manager, acknowledging that you are allowed to join the platform and that you agree to abide by all Gig Connection policies. Both the online form and faculty sponsor email must be completed and received to become a member of the platform. Once your materials are submitted to the Gig Manager, your application will be valid for up to five years after your graduation date.

When the Gig Manager receives a gig, they will post the opportunity on the Gig Connection Job Board. Those interested must reply to the request quickly via email, as the gig will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the Gig Manager approves, they will release the client's contact information to the student.

It is then the student's responsibility to discuss and negotiate all details pertaining to the gig with the client, including compensation. The Gig Manager does not negotiate or discuss specific performance information with the client.

Once you have confirmed all details of a gig with the gig requestor, you must inform the Gig Manager via email.

It is strongly recommended that you use a contract when agreeing to perform for an event, especially when the job pays more than $500. This ensures that both you and the client agree to all specifics regarding the performance, including pay, hours, date(s), and any special provisions. Also, a contract will strengthen your case in court should non-payment occur. Sample contracts have been linked on this webpage. 

In order to offer more opportunities to students, we will no longer require ensembles to be pre-formed. While groups may not be pre-formed, all ensemble performers must be registered members of Gig Connection before accepting an ensemble gig. 

Each ensemble/group must have a contact person who will be responsible for communicating directly with the gig requestor and Gig Manager.

If an ensemble point-persons contact information changes at any time, you must notify the Gig Manager immediately.

You should always consider the following questions when booking a gig:
Music: What style/genre are you expected to play? Are there any special requests in the repertoire?

Time: What are the event start and end times? Will there be a soundcheck? Will the requestor allow the performers a small break per hour (10-15 minutes)?

Location: Where is the gig located? Are the provided travel directions clear? Will there be parking available on site?

Space: Is there a designated space for the performers? If performing outdoors, is there a plan for inclement weather? Are power outlets nearby? Does the space have access to an elevator?

Equipment: If a piano is provided, when was it last tuned? Are chairs and stands available? Will you need to provide your own amps and cordage?
Attire: Will you be required to wear specific clothing for the gig? Is there an event theme?

Food: If dinner is served at the event, will musicians be provided with food?

Contact: Is there a specific point-person to communicate with for the event outside of the event requestor? Can you exchange cell phone numbers and email addresses?

Payment: What is the fee for the gig? Will you be paid via check or electronic deposit? Is parking or transportation included in the fee, or will it be added as an extra charge?
Contracts / Performance Agreements are recommeded for all gigging musicians. Contracts help both parties understand each other's responsibilites and ensures that you and your ensemble receive payment. Be sure to keep a signed copy of the finalized contract for your own records.
For Performance Agreement basics, view these slides from the Lawyers for the Creative Arts workshop, Contract Check-up for Musicians.
For sample contracts, click here.

While students will set their own pay rates and negotiate with the client on all aspects of the gig, Gig Connection recommends an hourly rate of at least $200 per musician. We encourage you to be aware of market rates, which depend on a number of factors. For a typical one-hour gig, each musician in a trio or quartet could expect to be paid $200-250 (for larger groups, the pay could be less). 

Setting your fee below the market rate may help you gain a gig, but it won't help to educate the client about the value of the services you provide. Ultimately, undercutting the market is a disservice to you, your peers, and to other professional musicians.

Occassionally, there will be performing opportunities on DePaul's campus that function with a fixed rate of pay. In this case, the Gig Manager will notifiy you and assist in rate negotiation if they believe the rate to be insufficient.

A no-show at a confirmed gig will result in your immediate suspension from Gig Connection. Once the gig is accepted, you are expected to follow through with that commitment. If you or a member of your ensemble cannot perform the services, you must find a replacement. If you let the Gig Manager know in advance of a conflict, they will attempt to assist you. However, the Gig Manager cannot guarantee that they will be able to find a replacement. In cases of unexpected conflicts, it remains your primary responsibility to find a substitute.
If you are hired for a gig via Gig Connection, it is imperative that you wear concert dress. Make sure to ask the client if there is a dress code or any specific wardrobe requirement. If no instructions are given, musicians should wear concert black. Do not wear khakis, jeans, sneakers or any other casual clothing unless expressly told to do so by the client.

International students are welcome to join Gig Connection!

International students must be authorized for off-campus work before accepting any gig. This requires that you speak with an ISS advisor for prior approval of work authorization. Please visit the ISS employment website for more information.

When accepting a gig, please notify the Gig Manager of your international status to ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed in a timely fashion. 

Occasionally, gigs for a good cause may be available at locations like hospices, nursing homes or hospitals. While we understand that your time is valuable and that all musicians should generally be paid for their services, giving back to the DePaul community fulfills an important aspect of DePaul's Vincentian mission. You are under no obligation to take a volunteer gig, however, your willingness to do so may increase the likelihood of getting a direct offer for a paid gig for which nobody else has applied.

If you secure a gig opportunity through Gig Connection, you are regarded as a musical ambassador acting on the School's behalf. As such, the School expects conduct and performance standards at the highest level, in all aspects of the opportunity. Reports of unprofessionalism regarding any aspect of a gig referred through this service may result in the suspension from the service at the discretion of the Performance Department Chair. Types of behavior that may result in suspension include, but are not limited to: inadequate preparation; no-show; accepting a gig and then changing your mind; late arrival; poor customer service; or failure to find a replacement performer if a conflict should arise.

Additional Information ​

Not sure what to charge for your gig work? Visit this page​ from WeddingWire to view average rates in Chicago.


Questions about the Gig Connection service should be directed to Amy Weatherford at

Ready to apply?

By registering, you are acknowledging you have read and understand the Gig Connection Policy.
​Click here​ to register for Gig Connection.