First Parish Church of Stow and Acton
Music Director Job Description
Reports To: Minister
Status: Half-time (20 hours per week average), year-round position
Effective Date: August 1, 2023
The Music Director at the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton is responsible for overseeing the music programming and directing the Adult Choir and occasional Youth or Intergenerational Choir at the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton. The Music Director also supports and nurtures the church’s arts programming as a staff point of contact for volunteer leaders. The Music Director will report to the Minister and work closely with the Music and Arts Committees.
Note: We will consider hiring a qualified candidate who fulfills the job requirements for both the Music Director and Accompanist positions, with the compensation adjusted accordingly.
- Direct the Adult Choir – Lead the all-volunteer group in Sunday church services, Thursday rehearsals, pre-church Sunday rehearsals, and special preparation for other services as needed; includes leading “driveway choir” rehearsals and Zoom rehearsals during periods when pandemic protocols limit in-person choir rehearsal.
- Coordination of music for all Sunday services, vespers services, and summer services. At this time FPC is holding one service per Sunday during the church year but that may change in the future. Music planning for the summer services may take place prior to the commencement of the summer services in coordination with the Worship Committee.
- Direct an occasional Youth/Intergenerational Choir – Conduct rehearsals and performances of a Youth and/or Intergenerational Choir for occasional services such as Christmas Eve and Youth Sunday.
- Choose repertoire for worship services, work in collaboration with the Minister and other staff members.
- Coordination of Music and Arts Groups – Be the staff liaison and coordinator for the Music and Arts Committees, and staff contact for other music ensembles and activities, such as the Jazz Band, Coffeehouse, Ukulele group, FPC Drums, and any other groups that may form. Attend Music Committee and Arts Committee meetings and function as liaison between those committees and other staff
- Coordinate Volunteers – Facilitate opportunities for volunteers to share their music in Sunday services, Vespers services, and summer services, including virtually when pandemic protocols limit in-person singing.
- Staff Supervision – Supervise and communicate job-related information with staff organist/pianist
- Staff Collaboration – As part of the staff team, attendance at regular staff meetings and supporting the overall operation of the church is expected.
- Lead the congregation during hymns
- When the choir is not present, perform solos, or coordinate volunteer musicians to perform offertory music during services
- Provide or recruit vocalist for hymns during services where pandemic requirements prohibit in-person hymn singing.
- Masters degree in related field preferred; or Bachelors degree with comparable professional experience
- At least 2 years conducting a volunteer adult choir preferred; or some experience conducting a choir at any level and a demonstrable understanding of teaching adult voices, emphasizing inclusiveness and support for all levels of experience.
- Knowledge and understanding of a broad range of repertoire in many styles, eras, and regions, and a flexibility to correctly program music for the right situation in worship and at church events
- Knowledgeable in conducting and rehearsal techniques with clear and supportive leadership of the choir
- Organization – provide prompt replies to emails, keep track of dates, attendance, and the music library; timely planning and selection of music
- Openness – engage with music across many genres and theologies, reflecting not just their own tastes, but also engaging with music outside their comfort zone. This may be especially important regarding issues of diversity, equity, justice and inclusion, and theology, depending on the music director’s experience in these areas
- Diversity – comfortable working with people across a wide range of religious beliefs and identities, including gender-expansive, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and persons of differing abilities.
- Communication – inform the minister, the staff, the choir and the organist/pianist in advance of plans for the coming weeks, so everyone can prepare
- Cooperative team building skills – be a leader at FPC by working cooperatively across many areas
- Flexibility – work with volunteers and on a staff team rather than making unilateral decisions
- Technological Competence – be comfortable using sound equipment and computer technology as related to providing music for worship.
- Is open to and welcoming in the tradition of UU principles.
- Occasionally asked to move items weighing less than 25 lbs (like sheet music folders, speakers, microphones, etc.) There are often volunteers on hand to help as needed with this moving.
- $28,450 – $31,400 depending on experience and qualifications
- This is not a self-employed position; FPC pays the employer portion of the 7.65% FICA tax.
Benefits in addition to Salary:
- Retirement Account contribution equal to 12% of salary through the UUA Retirement Account.
- 50% of individual health insurance through the UUA’s (BCBS) health insurance plan. If electing to stay on a different plan, payments will be consistent with the personnel policy.
- $1000 in professional expenses.
- 4 weeks vacation plus the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- 4 weeks of professional development time when other duties are lessened.
- 4 additional Sundays off throughout the church year.
- Sabbatical accrued after the first year of service at the rate of 1 (half-time) month per year of service, to be taken after 4 years of service and no greater than 3 months at a time.
People with disabilities, people of color, indigenous people, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. FPC is committed to developing a diverse and talented staff team.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume by May 21, 2023 via electronic submission to Johanna Pyle, at [email protected] Please also direct any queries to this email address.
First Parish Church of Stow and Acton
353 Great Rd.
Stow. MA 01775