St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is seeking an energetic, creative, and faithful Director of Music to join us in our ministry in the Plainfield, New Jersey community. The Director of Music will lead the entire music team as a ministry to the service and glory of God.
Director of Music
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Plainfield NJ
TYPE OF COMMITMENT
Part-time (15-20 hours a week)
- Degree or certification in music or equivalent work experience
- Proficiency at playing the organ and piano
- Knowledge about diverse church music styles from traditional to contemporary
- The ability to play traditional spirituals and more contemporary gospels music in the African American tradition is especially important to this congregation.
- Experience directing choirs of adults and children, as well as ability to identify and recruit individual musical gifts in the broader church community to enhance worship
- Proven ability to maintain, expand and improve the church’s library and catalog of vocal and instrumental scores
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Hands on skills or, at a minimum, demonstrated familiarity with technologies that support virtual choir participation and musical recordings for use in livestreamed church services is highly desired.
The Rector and Director of Music will collaborate to determine the best use of time and focus regarding position responsibilities as the music ministry and its lay leadership grows. In addition to the qualities described above, our next Director of Music will be responsible for:
- Collaborate with the Rector to design and implement a music ministry that represents and engages the full diversity of music of God’s Church.
- In consultation with the Rector and the lay leadership of the music ministry: plan, prepare, lead, and play for (or supervise the leadership) for the 10:30am service, as well as special Church holidays that are observed outside of Sundays (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, All Souls, Christmas Eve, etc.). This will be worked out with the Rector, according to the hours contracted.
- Engage the musical talents and gifts of members of our parish in worship services and/or special events.
- Collaborate with parishioners to encourage their musical leadership and create vibrant musical participation throughout the congregation.
- Grow youth and children involvement and encourage their leadership in our music ministry (as accompaniments, as soloists, and by re-starting a youth choir or starting a youth band, as some examples)
- Prepare and lead regular rehearsals for choir and musicians on Thursday evenings (time to be worked out with choir members.
- Plan and lead a Christmas concerts or musicals in December of each year.
- Be present, prepared, and engaged for staff meetings and 1-on-1 meetings with the Rector
- Will be responsible for managing their Vestry approved music budget and purchasing any needed music
- Collaborate with the parish administrator in maintaining and obtaining any music licenses that are needed, and for ensuring that all copyright laws are adhered to
- Maintain and oversee the maintenance of musical instruments on an as-needed basis (including tuning and repair of our organ, pianos, drums, and guitars, etc.)
- Secure supply musicians on Sundays that the Director of Music is away due to vacation, illness, etc.
- With dedicated parishioners, organize, grow, and maintain the music library of the parish.
- From time to time, perform other duties as may be assigned by the Rector, as time allows.
- Maintain skills through regular practice, performance, score study, and private study.
LONG-TERM VISION FOR POSITION:
Our goal is to grow this position over time to include these additional responsibilities, with proper compensation.
- Engage the broader community by creating and growing either a summer program for children and youth that builds relationships with our neighbors and invites them into our worshipping community.
- Build relationships and collaborate with local choirs/bands/glee clubs/school music groups/etc. as a part of our parish’s community outreach and engagement, as time allows.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHER INCOME:
- Right of first refusal to plan and play music for all funerals and weddings performed in the parish. The fee for funerals is fixed. The fees for weddings and wedding rehearsals are negotiated between the Director of Music and the couple.
- As space is available in the sanctuary and choir rooms and with agreement of the Rector, ability to use space to lead private music lessons and classes.
HOW TO APPLY:
Interested in the position? Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to the Rev. Angelo Wildgoose.
ABOUT ST. MARK’S
St. Mark’s is a warm and lively congregation in the Plainfield community of New Jersey. We use a variety of music, from tradition to contemporary, in our worship. Established in 1903, we are proud of our long history of service to the Plainfield community. We are one of the historically Black churches in the Diocese of New Jersey.
Our motto, Generations of Faith in Action, accurately describes what St. Mark’s has been throughout our long history. From our humble beginnings, starting with thirteen families, St. Mark’s grew from a little church on the corner to a top tier parish in the Diocese of New Jersey. At one point, this small parish had over 80 children in our Sunday School and over two dozen singers in our Youth Choir. We are especially proud of our church’s youth programs which, with a strong focus on spiritual and personal development, have produced prominent leaders in various fields.
We have two Sunday services, a spoken mass at 8:00 AM and a full service with music at 10:30 AM. Sunday School is held at 10:30 AM. When the church had to close during the pandemic, we offered our services online. Since reopening, we have continued to stream services online along with our in-person worship in the sanctuary.
Lively and uplifting music is very important to our worship. Our congregation comprises mostly African Americans and immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. Music in the African American tradition is highly valued in our church. We use the organ and piano in our worship and look forward to adding other instruments as our music ministry blossoms. In addition to our senior choir, St. Mark’s also has also had a Men’s Choir, a Youth Choir and a Children’s choir. These other choirs have not been as active in recent years. We look forward to them being re-established.
Worship at St. Marks also includes our highly acclaimed Praise Dance group and step team, The Saints & Soldiers Step Team. These groups are led by members of the congregation and perform regularly during services.