The Unitarian Church of Montpelier is hiring an Acting Director of Music to join our staff team as early as July 1, 2021 for the coming church year. Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
Job Summary: The Acting Director of Music creates and directs a program of inspiring and diverse music for the church worship services, in alignment with Unitarian Universalist principles and the church’s mission, vision, and goals. The Director also leads the Church Choir. During the upcoming church year, we anticipate that we will pivot from entirely virtual Sunday services to a hybrid/dual-platform approach. The Church Choir will move towards in person or hybrid rehearsals as circumstances allow and will need to maintain connection in adapted ways. Plans may change in response to the circumstances of Covid-19 in our local community and the reopening protocols determined by Church leadership. The Acting Director of Music will need to work with the Minister and Worship Team to creatively develop a music program and lead the Choir during this period of continued transition and opportunity.
Congregational Description: The Unitarian Church of Montpelier is a Unitarian Universalist congregation that welcomes all as we build a loving community to nurture each person’s spiritual journey, serve human need, and protect the Earth, our home. We have a robust ministry spanning worship and music, spiritual exploration, pastoral care, and social and environmental justice. We have 256 certified, active members and another 200 or so nonmember “friends” of the congregation. Our Sunday services are vital to the life of the congregation, and music is an essential aspect of our worship. Since March 2020, we have offered an online, virtual Sunday service with participants joining live on Zoom and Facebook and more viewing services later on our YouTube channel. People of all ages and abilities (musical, intellectual, physical) within the congregation value music for its spiritual nourishment and enrichment. The Church Choir is an enthusiastic group of singers of a wide range of skill levels and is open to all without audition. Some have participated in Zoom Choir rehearsals over the past year and gained skills in recording and virtual choir participation. Over the last few years, the Choir has consisted of 20-30 members, and over the next year a priority will be to re-energize the Choir.
Reports to: Minister
Status: Part-time, 0.4 FTE (16 hrs/week)
FLSA: Exempt, Salaried
Duration: As early as July 1, 2021 through at least June 30, 2022. There is the possibility of this becoming a permanent position.
Work Schedule: This position will require work on most Sunday mornings. The Church Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings. Work schedule is flexible beyond that. Office space can be provided. In the case of building closure, all staff will be expected to work from home.
- In collaboration with the Minister and Worship Team, plans and creates worship services in keeping with our Unitarian Universalist tradition. Works with the Minister to coordinate themes for services.
- In association with the Pianist/Organist, prepares and leads music during worship services. This may include pre-recording of music, playing live music, identifying music videos or audio tracks for inclusion, and leading songs.
- Recruits and directs a community of choral singers. This may include coordinating choir practice and participation in worship, educational workshops, and/or community-building events (in person or virtual).
- Provides a diverse selection of music in keeping with UUA Principles and the Church mission.
- Maintains a library of choral sheet music inclusive of a diversity of musical genres and performer skill levels.
- Stays current on copyright law as it relates to music used for worship services (virtual and in person) and advises the Minister and Worship Team on these matters.
- Recruits and supports musicians of all ages from the congregation. Supports and assists with musical performances by children and youth as needed.
- Leverages networks and relationships outside the church to broaden and ensure diverse and spiritually nourishing musical offerings. Recruits guest musicians for a variety of musical pieces during church services.
- Provides day-to-day direction to the Pianist/Organist and works collaboratively with the Pianist/Organist in fulfilling the responsibilities of the music program.
- In collaboration with the Pianist/Organist, ensures the maintenance of the church’s musical instruments.
- Maintains current records and files regarding all aspects of the administration of the music program, including the music budget.
- Develops and maintains relationships with other musicians and music professionals of other faith communities in central Vermont as well as the broader community of Unitarian Universalist musicians. Connects this larger community of musicians to our congregation.
- Participates in regular meetings with the Minister, Staff, Music Committee (when active) and Worship and Arts Committee.
- Collaborates with the Music Committee chair to direct the committee’s activities and participation in the congregation’s music program.
- Participates in the broader life of the congregation such as Sunday morning Coffee Hour, all-church events, etc. as time allows.
- In collaboration with the Minister and Pianist/Organist, prepares music for weddings, funerals, and special events as available with right of first refusal.
- Maintains membership in the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries.
- Mission Ownership: Demonstrates understanding and full support of the mission, vision, and values of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. Works toward the achievement of the mission and guides those involved in all aspects of the music program to do the same.
- Worship Leadership: Collaborates effectively to design and facilitate relevant and inspiring worship; directs music to promote experiences of the sacred. Fosters worship moments that invite participants – church choir and congregation – into an encounter with ultimate meaning. Creates musical moments in worship that embrace spiritually meaningful participation.
- Choral Leadership: Familiar with choral repertoire in a variety of styles. Able to teach choral parts and inspire singers who have differing skill levels. Demonstrates knowledge of vocal technique and communicates good singing habits, especially for aging voices. Communicates effectively through gesture and verbalization what is needed to create sensitive choral performances within worship. Able to plan and manage rehearsals with attention to flow and pacing.
- Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates ability to lead others and work with a variety of people. Demonstrates the skills of active listening and acceptance of critical feedback. Productively engages others and resolves conflict. Engages people positively with a spirit of generosity.
- Management Skills: Demonstrates ability to work independently, fulfill commitments, maintain flexibility, and prioritize tasks and approaches work with strong organizational skills. Marshals resources (people, funding, materials, support) to get things done.
- Creativity and Innovation: Generates new ideas. Makes new connections among existing ideas to create fresh approaches. Takes acceptable risks in pursuit of innovation. Learns from mistakes. Has good judgment about which creative ideas and suggestions will work.
- Anti-racism And Multicultural Leadership: Holds a commitment to practices that foster a multicultural environment. Strives to follow practices of cultural appreciation rather than cultural appropriation especially as it relates to music and worship offerings. Is open to continual self-reflection, learning, and growth in this area and encourages this attitude within UCM’s music and worship program.
- Competence in singing performance and keyboard or other instrument
- Demonstrated interpersonal, organizational, communication, and leadership and management skills
- Proficient in use of computer and online technologies including video conferencing (e.g. Zoom), slide show production, and use of YouTube and other video hosting sites
- At least minimal proficiency with audio and video production (strong proficiency preferred)
- Experience performing with community or church music programs, including choral direction as well as working with professional and amateur musicians
- Bachelor’s degree with Music major and/or equivalent work experience in choral and church music of any genre
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
The salary for this position follows the UUA Salary Recommendations (Geo Index 2, Midsize II) and is commensurate with experience and credentialing. The position also includes health insurance coverage, professional development expenses, and leave time according to the UCM Personnel Policies.
HOW TO APPLY:
To apply, please send the following items to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Acting Music Director.”
- A cover letter explaining your motivation to apply, interest in the position, and relevant skills and experience
- Two professional references, including one for choral direction
- 1-2 musical samples (e.g. performance recordings, music videos, etc.)
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning May 10, 2021. Position will remain open until filled.
The Unitarian Church of Montpelier is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from women, people of color and other members of underrepresented groups who will contribute to the diversity of our staff.