DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
The Episcopal Church of the Ascension was founded in 1845 and has a long history of liturgy and music. The church is a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and is in Cartersville, GA, which is about forty-five minutes outside Atlanta. Our Canterbury Choir is currently an all-adult ensemble of 20 singers. Our St. Cecilia Choir is 13 members ranging from 7-17 and has a volunteer director.
The Canterbury Choir leads music for the principal Sunday Eucharist (usually at 11 a.m.) throughout the year including occasional evensongs, the liturgies of Holy Week, and celebrations of other major holy days.
In addition to the 11 a.m. liturgy on Sunday, there is an all-ages liturgy at 9 a.m. That is a simpler form of the Eucharist aimed principally at young families, which uses simpler, congregational music, and it is important that the Director of Music has experience of such repertoire. This is seen as a priority for the expansion of our music ministry, and the successful candidate will need to demonstrate evidence of a commitment to working in this field as well as with adults.
The Director of Music will be organist, choirmaster, and principal musician, working closely and collaboratively with the Rector, to lead, manage and coordinate the music program as an effective part of the Church of the Ascension’s overall ministry. We seek to fill this position by January 2024.
- In consultation and partnership with the Rector, planning and selecting hymnody and music for the services.
- Serving as Organist/Choirmaster for the Canterbury Choir.
- Recruiting, training, and rehearsing the choir, ensembles, and leading congregational training sessions as required.
- Working with a volunteer co-director to continue to grow a robust children and youth choir program.
- Providing, or arranging for the provision of music, at weddings and funerals scheduled at Church of the Ascension, and providing such consultation and advice to wedding parties or bereaved families as is necessary to achieve the pastoral and liturgical aims of the services.
- Managing the music budget and music-related communications in consultation with the sacred music rooted in the Anglican tradition, ranging from the polyphonic repertoire of the 16th Century to masterworks of the current era.
- Managing the choir library and maintenance of the musical instruments of the Church of the Ascension.
- Hiring musicians as may be required to meet the musical needs, including but not limited to substitute organists and/or conductors, soloists, and instrumentalists.
- Working with the Rector on liturgy design and planning and being able to use and develop a broad range of musical styles as desired by the Rector for different liturgies.
- Performing administrative tasks, including the management of the worship bulletins.
- Attending regularly scheduled staff meetings, meetings of the music and liturgy committees, and such other meetings as may be necessary for the conduct of the music program or at the request of the Rector.
About the Working Environment
The Rector is a graduate of General Theological Seminary and has been ordained for almost eighteen years. During that time, he has served a variety of parishes with varying liturgical styles. While the Rector is canonically responsible for the liturgical life of the church, much of the responsibility for choosing music will rest with the Director of Music.
While the Canterbury Choir has no paid professional singers, it is does have many accomplished musicians and a high number of people with advanced degrees in music. It is important the Director of Music has a strong working relationship with both the Rector, members of the Canterbury Choir, children in St. Cecilia Choir and their parents, and parishioners.
Qualifications and experience
- Master’s degree or higher, and/or Associate or Fellowship of AGO or equivalent
- Substantial experience as Organist/Choirmaster, preferably in an Episcopal Church
- Three years of experience leading a music program
- Christian commitment and pastoral skills
- Ability to lead dynamic and organized choir rehearsals
- A passion for engaging the entire congregation through music
- Administrative precision and attention to detail
- Ability to provide a supportive and encouraging environment for the musicians
- Desire to work as a team member with the staff and volunteers of Church of the Ascension
Salary and Terms Summary
- 20-25 hours per week
- Compensation in line with AAM/AGO standards and experience
- Three weeks of annual vacation
- Sabbatical after seven years
- Continuing education time and allowance
- Right of first refusal for weddings and funerals and additional fees for nonmembers
- Limited use of facilities for private teaching
How to apply
Send the following by e-mail to:
The Rev. Alex Dyer, Rector
- Letter of introduction and inquiry
- Curriculum Vitae
- Contact information, including phone number, mailing address, email address.
- Three references, two of which have observed the applicant in the context of a music working environment, one of which should be the rector of a parish (or equivalent)
We will acknowledge receipt of completed applications immediately and initially communicate with applicants by email. We will make every effort to respect the confidentiality of all candidates and will only call references later in the process and with a candidate’s permission. Kindly refrain from sending recordings or other supporting materials at this time.