The School of Music’s Gig Connection provides freelance performance opportunities for current upperclassmen (juniors and seniors), graduate and certificate students, and alumni of up to five years after graduation. If you are an underclassman (freshman or sophomore) and feel strongly that you should participate in the Gig Connection, please ask your teacher to contact the Gig Manager. While it is primarily to help students develop their professional music skills and experiences, Gig Connection serves as a professional 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.
If you are looking to hire students to perform at your next event, please visit Gig Connection.
Gig Connection Policy
Gig Connection Musicians are representatives of DePaul School of Music
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 unprofessional conduct regarding any aspect of a gig referred through this service may result in 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, then changing your mind; late arrival; poor customer service; or failure to find a replacement performer if a conflict should arise.
A no-show at a gig that you accept may result in your immediate suspension from the 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, he or she will try to assist you. However, the Gig Manager cannot guarantee that he or she will be able to find a replacement. In cases of unexpected conflicts, it remains your primary responsibility to find a substitute.
Requirements for Participation in the Gig Connection Service
- You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
- You must register for the service by filling out TWO forms: one is online, the other is on paper. The online form provides the Gig Connection Manager with all pertinent contact information for you and/or your ensemble. Then, you and a faculty sponsor must also sign a (paper) Agreement Form, acknowledging that you agree to abide by Gig Connection policies. The Agreement Form will be made available after the online application is completed. Once the Agreement Form is submitted to the Gig Manager in Room 204, your application will be valid for up to five years after your graduation date.
Notification of Gigs
When the Gig Manager receives a gig, he or she will send out an email request to the appropriate students for the gig. Those interested must reply to the request quickly, as the gig will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the Gig Manager approves, he or she 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. The Gig Manager does not negotiate or discuss specific performance information to the client. Contracts
It is strongly recommended that you use a contract when agreeing to perform for an event. 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 can be found here.
Students will set their own pay rates and negotiate with the client on all aspects of the gig. We encourage you to be aware of market rates, which depend on a number of factors including quality and experience. For a typical one-hour gig, each musician in a trio or quartet could expect to be paid $100 (for larger groups, the pay would be less). The longer the gig, however, the less the per-hour rate should be. For example, each musician in a trio may be paid $100 for a one-hour gig; $125 for a two-hour gig; and $150 for a three-hour gig. Often a client will contract with the ensemble or individual that appears to be the most professional in their approach and preparation. Therefore, setting your fee below the market rate may not help you gain a gig, nor will it 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.
Occasionally there will be performing opportunities on DePaul’s campus. In this case, there is often a fixed rate that cannot be negotiated unless the Gig Manager believes the rate to be insufficient.
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 requirements. If no instructions are given, women should wear concert black, and men should wear either a dark suit and tie or all black. Do not wear khakis, jeans, sneakers or any other casual clothing unless expressly told to do so by the client.
Contact Person for Ensembles
Ensembles should be pre-formed, and they should maintain a certain consistency and standard throughout the year. Each ensemble MUST have a contact person. Only one person can be the contact for each ensemble of similar type. For example, a person can’t be the contact for two string quartets, but could be the contact for a string quartet and a string duo. If contact information changes at any time, you must notify the Gig Manager immediately.
Occasionally, gigs for good causes may be available at locations like hospices, children’s homes, or nursing homes. While we understand that your time is valuable and that all musicians should generally be paid for their services, giving back to the DePaul and surrounding communities 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.
For advice on professionalism in freelancing, please read the document Successful Gigging and Freelancing located here.
Questions about the Gig Connection service should be directed to Rachael Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to apply?
By registering, you are acknowledging you have read and understand the Gig Connection Policy.
to register your ensemble.
to register as a soloist.