St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
St. Stephen’s Church has been located on the same plot of land, in the center of picturesque Ridgefield, since its founding in 1725. We are a vibrant, inclusive and welcoming community that nurtures the spiritual development of all members in the recognition that often God is revealed to us through love, respect, and care for others. Within the congregation and the community, St. Stephen’s is known as a place where sacred music is integral to our worship and outreach.
To that end, we seek a Minister of Music who will carry on a tradition of musical excellence that inspires people of all ages, both within our walls and beyond, rooted in the faith that we share. Ideally, the candidate should be well versed in the tradition of Anglican/Episcopal music and its expression of spirituality. The Minister of Music will also be expected to explore the creative use of non-traditional forms of sacred music, including folk, indigenous and global. We require an excellent choral conductor, skilled organist, gifted teacher, strong advocate for music in our church and the community, and a well-organized administrator.
General Position Description
• Worship services: Working in collaboration with the Rector, the Minister of Music is responsible for planning, leading and playing music for Sunday worship services and other occasional and festival services, including but not limited to Christmas, Holy Week and Easter Vigil.
• Choral programs: The candidate will administer and direct the all-volunteer adult choir as well as the St. Stephen’s Chorister Program, which is based on the curriculum of the Royal School of Church Music. The Chorister Program attracts singers in grades 3 through 12 and is not limited to members of St. Stephen’s.
• Seasonal planning: The Minister of Music works collaboratively with the Rector in planning and implementing music for worship that reflects and illuminates the seasons of the liturgical calendar.
• Occasional community offerings: The Minister of Music will offer occasional musical services/events to the larger Ridgefield community, engaging both paid and volunteer musicians, as appropriate. There is flexibility in the timing and variety of these offerings.
• Fostering committed team of volunteers: The Minister of Music develops and fosters engagement, volunteerism, support and recruitment for the advancement and success of the music program at St. Stephen’s.
• 8:00 a.m. Sunday worship: Provide instrumental music and accompaniment.
• 10 a.m. Sunday service: Accompany and direct choirs/soloists and provide instrumental music. Select voluntaries, hymns and service music appropriate to the liturgical calendar.
• Special services: Plan, lead and play music for weddings and funerals for additional compensation (approximately three and seven, respectively). Responsible for providing music for special services and other occasions, as the need arises.
• Cultivate congregational participation: Teach and lead the congregation in singing, especially when introducing new music. Encourage both vocal and instrumental participation.
• Choral rehearsals: The Music Minister will direct and provide accompaniment for regularly scheduled choral rehearsals. Choirs rehearse and sing at services from (approximately) Labor Day through Trinity Sunday. A pick-up choir provides music during the summer.
o Adult choir: Rehearses Wednesdays at 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9:10- 9:45 a.m. during the school year. Rehearses during the summer on Sundays at 8:15 a.m.
o Choristers: Rehearse Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m.during the school year. Choristers sing in worship one time a month.
• Participate as a member of the staff at St Stephen’s by attending weekly staff meetings (~45 minutes), meeting with the Rector and other staff as mutually agreed.
• Oversee the maintenance and upkeep of the organ and pianos of the parish, including scheduling regular tunings and repairs within the confines of the annual budget.
• With the Rector and Finance Committee, propose an annual budget for music ministry.
• Hire professional musicians, as budget allows, for special occasions such as Easter Sunday.
• Arrange for suitable substitute when taking time off.
• Develop a team of volunteers who can assist with some of the tasks that are integral to the success of the music program, such as the items below:
o Purchase, catalog, and distribute music. Maintain licenses for use of printed music and for performance of copyrighted materials.
o Maintain rehearsal space, library, and musical instrument stores.
o Design and produce concert/evensong programs and posters.
o Design service leaflets.
Requirements and Qualifications
• Experienced choral conductor/vocal teacher
• Skilled organist with ability to master our 1963 Moller, Opus 9810, III/30 rank, 36 stop pipe organ.
• Master’s degree in sacred music and/or choral conducting.
• Experience leading a church music program
• Knowledge of the Episcopal liturgy, worship and sacred choral repertoire is beneficial.
• Approach church music spiritually and be comfortable sharing the spiritual/liturgical context of hymns, anthems, etc., with singers.
• Ability to connect effectively with a variety of groups and individuals, including clergy, staff and parishioners of allages, as well as other local musical professionals.
• Interest in leveraging current programs to provide additional musical engagement.
• Management, computer and community-building skills with ability to delegate as appropriate.
• Excellent, patient choral teacher with sense of humor
• Highly organized
This is a part-time position with an allotment of 20 hours per week. It is expected that the Minister of Music may use the parish facilities for rehearsals, teaching and performance when it does not conflict with parish plans and programs. Teaching and performance opportunities must be approved by the rector. Compensation meets the salary guidelines of the Association of Anglican Musicians ($39k-$53k, based on experience). This position includes participation in the Church Pension Fund.