Interim Director of Music Ministries 2017

Posted May 19, 2017. This position is considered open immediately, and is anticipated to be for a period of not less than one year.

Background

Westminster Presbyterian Church is a growing PC(USA) congregation in the National Capital Presbytery, deeply committed to study, service, and sharing God’s love. The church has approximately 1,000 members and routine Sunday attendance varies between 350-450 (Christmas and Easter attendance is usually about 900). During the summer, Westminster has only one Sunday service at 10 AM in the main sanctuary. From September to May, there are two services, one at 8:30 AM in the chapel and one at 11 AM in the main sanctuary.

Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church is a disciplined and traditional program, with music presented by a 30-voice adult chancel choir, two large children’s choirs and two handbell ensembles. Sundays that traditionally have extensive musical content include Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Remembrance Sunday (closest to Veterans Day), Festival Sunday (the Sunday before Christmas), and Christmas Eve. Instrumental accompaniment in the chapel is a 2008 Allen “Protégé” electronic organ (2-manual/28 stops). The main sanctuary has both a 2007 Steinway Grand Model B piano and a 1965 Moeller pipe organ (3-manual/57 stop/32 memory levels / 46-ranks). The church has agreements with other instrumentalists, including the Commonwealth Brass (the Sunday before Christmas and Easter Sunday each year). The church will transition in June from the current Presbyterian Hymnal (1990) to the new “Glory to God” Presbyterian hymnal (2013).

The Interim Director of Music Ministries is either a part-time or full-time (depending upon scope of responsibilities and skills) member of the professional staff of Westminster, responsible to the Pastor/Head of Staff and the Session of the church (via the Personnel Committee). Periodic performance evaluations will be provided by the Pastor. The Interim Director may be eligible to apply for the position of Permanent Director.

Primary Responsibilities

General. The role of the Interim Director of Music Ministries is to continue to nurture the music programs, and represent Westminster positively. To this end, Westminster staff members must treat all with a caring and professional attitude, and both understand and support the theological identity of the church. Westminster staff members should possess a willingness to work with a politically diverse and educated congregation, and to diplomatically and respectfully listen to and respond to differing viewpoints based on internal beliefs, the theological identity of WPC, and Christian principles.

Routine duties. The Interim Director attends the weekly staff worship planning meeting and monthly full staff meetings, provides musical support as organist/pianist for all regular and special services, weddings (including rehearsals, if asked), and funerals in accordance with Session policies. The Interim Director will direct and accompany the chancel choir as well as soloists (vocal and instrumental) and conduct choir rehearsals every Thursday (except during the summer months) as well as Sunday mornings before the appropriate service. A personal practice schedule is preferred to ensure proficiency with the instruments at Westminster. The Interim Director should oversee the maintenance and tuning of all installed musical instruments.

Confidentiality. The Interim Director must be sensitive to and maintain confidentiality concerning financial contributions, pastoral care, counseling, and any other information about members or friends of the church, whether received directly or indirectly, and maintain appropriate confidential and professional relationships.

Preferred Additional Responsibilites

Additional musical duties. If able, the Interim Director should plan music for the Westminster handbell ensembles and rehearse these ensembles on a regular basis. An Interim Director of Children’s Music Ministries is in place to oversee the children’s choirs, but the Interim Director would ideally provide accompaniment for the children’s choirs’ rehearsals and Sunday performances. The Interim Director should also be the primary contact to arrange for substitute organists/choir directors, if necessary, and recruit volunteers to serve as instrumentalists, music librarians, helpers, choir officers, etc., as appropriate and arrange for the payment of soloists and instrumentalists for special presentations.

Worship planning. The Interim Director should attend and support Worship & Music Committee meetings, and coordinate with the pastors to integrate traditional worship music with the scriptures and lessons. Where necessary, the Interim Director may be asked to plan and carry out special music programs. Scheduling of music and coordination with the directors of bell and children’s ensembles should be conducted by the Interim Director. Where needed, the Interim Director should advise on matters pertaining to the music budget, and manage the expenditure of funds approved for the music program.

Qualifications

Professional. The position of Interim Director of Music Ministries requires a Bachelors degree in Music, and it is preferred that candidates have a Masters degree in music, conducting, sacred music, or piano/organ performance. A high level of proficiency in piano and organ performance is essential. The Interim Director must be proficient in choral conducting, service planning, service playing, and as an accompanist. The Interim Director should also have experience in preparing volunteer vocalists across a broad range of proficiency, age, and personality. Westminster also prefers the Interim Director have proficiency in children’s music education, handbell ensemble direction, and music arrangement. The Interim Director must have a working knowledge of modern office processes, including email and word processing, and should be proficient in music notation software as well as image-processing software is preferred.

Personal. The Interim Director should be detail-oriented, flexible, have a disciplined work ethic, and experience with project management. The Interim Director should have strong interpersonal communication skills, and have demonstrated experience in working successfully as a member of a team. The Interim Director should also have experience in establishing good relationships with a wide variety of individuals, such as church staff members, choir members, other musicians, and members of the congregation. Westminster prefers the Interim Director possess a commitment to Jesus Christ, the church, and view this position as a call to ministry. The church also prefers applicants to this position of have at least five years of experience in the key required skills.

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