JOB DESCRIPTIONOrganist and Choir DirectorFirst Church of ChristWethersfield, Connecticut
Historic First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Connecticut, seeks an outstanding musician for the full-time position of Organist and Choir Director, whose chief task is to bring glory to God and edify the congregation. The desired candidate should be a stellar organist with significant professional training and accomplishment in organ and choral conducting, as well as possess a clear Christian testimony and personal commitment to Jesus Christ, evidenced by an actively cultivated devotional life. Experience with and passion for music in the church is essential, with thoughtful insight into the nature of Christian worship and the significant role of music in that worship.
A Bachelor’s degree in music is required, Master’s preferred. Candidate should be well grounded in all aspects of musical practice, and most importantly be able to lead the congregation in worship, including the creative and skillful use of registration, modulation, harmonization, and improvisation at the organ.
First Church has enjoyed a long tradition of musical strength and excellence, and the ideal candidate must be able to provide leadership to define, drive, and foster a music program consistent with the church’s vision. This includes building and invigorating the adult and youth choral programs, as well as cultivating relationships within the church and community to encourage and increase support and participation. Knowledge of choral repertory appropriate to a mostly volunteer choir is essential, as is effectiveness as a rehearsal director.
Working collaboratively with ministerial staff, the Organist and Choir Director assumes the responsibility for the selection, preparation, and performance of Sunday service music that will encourage congregational participation and be a testimony to the Gospel of Christ. He/she also provides general oversight of fundamental musical values and direction for the contemporary service and its music leaders, affirming its contribution to ministry and the importance of high standards in a contemporary style.
The Organist and Choir Director provides leadership in the planning and execution of special concerts, particularly in special seasons (e.g., Easter, Christmas). As church organist, he/she also services special occasions such as weddings and funerals.
The candidate should possess strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills to oversee scheduling, budgets, contracting outside musicians, ordering music, and supervising the choral library and overseeing the maintenance of church instruments.
The ChurchFirst Church of Christ is an unaffiliated congregational church first “gathered,” or formed, in 1635, making it one of the oldest still active congregations in the country. The present Meetinghouse, as it is called, was erected in 1761 and served the dual purpose of church and assembly hall for town meetings as late as the 1830s; it remains an historic landmark in Old Wethersfield. Among those who visited or worshipped here were George Washington, John Adams, and Jonathan Edwards. Located just south of the capital of Hartford, Wethersfield is ideally situated midway between New York and Boston, each with a nearly limitless array of cultural offerings.
The church sanctuary is endowed with a large 4-manual, 62-rank Austin pipe organ (Opus 2403); for a picture of the console and full disposition, click or enter the following: http://www.hartfordago.org/organs-of-hartford/first-church-wethersfield. Currently there are three services each Sunday (two traditional and one contemporary); an adult choir, youth choir, children’s choir, handbell choir, brass ensemble, and contemporary band.
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Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus benefits.
To apply, please submit a letter of interest describing how you meet the requirements presented in the job description, a current résumé, and contact information for three references. If there is a reference you prefer not be contacted at this time, please inform the committee. Recordings will be solicited later. All application materials will be kept confidential. Send to Music Search Committee, First Church of Christ, 250 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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