Minister of Music
Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church (USA) – a thriving, progressive community of faith in the heart of Baltimore City – is seeking its next Minister of Music to lead the congregation’s musical and spiritual worship and life.
Brown Memorial has a rich history of musical excellence and leadership, including the musicians Virgil Fox, Eugene Belt, John Walker, and until his death in 2022, Michael Britt. Its organ – built and installed in 1931 and historically restored in the early 2000s – is internationally renowned as one of the best surviving examples of the Skinner Organ Company’s and G. Donald Harrison’s work. Other musical ‘assets’ include a strong 36+-member volunteer Chancel Choir assisted by eight paid soloists, two “Soulful” volunteer contemporary ensembles, two grand pianos, and one set of handbells and one set of choir chimes. Brown Memorial also presents 2-4 concerts/events each year as part of its Tiffany Series, named for the outstanding collection of Tiffany windows in the sanctuary. (You can learn more about all of these things on the church’s website.)
The congregation is seeking its next Minister of Music to honor and build upon this strong musical tradition, while also developing a vision of a vibrant music ministry for the future.
Major Responsibilities: The responsibilities listed below reflect the current vision for this position. The gifts and talents of the successful candidate may affect the final set of responsibilities. The search committee is open to the possibility of this position being split into two, within the salary and budget available at this time.
Minister of Music
- Plan and lead all musical elements in worship, working with the ministerial staff and the worship committee to provide worship in ways and times that bring spiritual nourishment to the membership and challenge the congregation to discipleship.
- Create a positive atmosphere of support, care, and love among all people and groups involved in the church’s music ministries, including providing pastoral care and concern.
- Provide strong administrative leadership of the music ministry of the church, including: recruitment and supervision of all music program staff, volunteers and guest musicians; arranging for substitute musicians as necessary; and ensuring appropriate licenses are obtained and copyright laws are followed.
- Provide staff support to the worship and Tiffany Series committees, and provide musical leadership in areas where the music ministry of the church supports the church’s ministries and outreach.
- Participate in professional organizations to gain new ideas, share expertise with colleagues, and keep abreast of current practices and trends in worship and church music.
- Lead the chancel choir through music preparation and education, choral rehearsal and direction, and oversee other choirs and ensembles including, but not limited to handbells, ‘Soulful’ ensembles, and children’s choir.
- Provide excellent organ performance, hymn playing and other accompaniment for all worship services through preparation and practice.
The Knowledge and Skills desired include: The successful candidate will have many of the attributes listed below. It is recognized that the depth of experience in each area will vary.
• Intimate knowledge of a wide range of sacred choral and organ repertoire
• Excellent skills in service playing, especially knowledge of hymnody and the ability to inspire meaningful congregational hymn singing
• Skills in conducting and choir management
• Skills in human relations
• Excellent musical keyboard skills
• Ability to conduct the choir from the organ console and piano.
• Ability to supervise maintenance of the church organ and pianos
• Pastoral skill and attitude
• Spiritually centered understanding and commitment to the life of the congregation.
• Ability to plan ahead and to remain flexible
Experience desired: At least five years successful experience as a director of music/organist or similar position.
Education required: Minimum of Bachelor of Music degree, graduate degree in music and AGO certification desirable.
In addition to one weekly Sunday morning service, other special services include but are not limited to a Christmas Eve lessons & carols service, a three-church community Ash Wednesday service, and a Good Friday Tenebrae service.
Brown Memorial encourages underrepresented candidates to apply and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or age.
Brown Memorial is deeply commitment to social justice, access and belonging. It deliberately uses inclusive language in its worship texts and music lyrics. The congregation’s commitment to progressive ideals influences all aspects of its life and ministries. You can learn more about its rich history of and continued commitment to social justice and inclusive welcome on the church’s website.
The church’s mission statement is: “Emboldened by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, we strive to bear witness to the reconciling love of God by nurturing an inclusive community, wrestling with Scripture and tradition, and working for justice and peace.”
This is a full-time position as presented here. The salary range is $65,000 - $70,000, commensurate with experience and abilities. A generous benefit package is also available and includes health insurance, contribution to a retirement plan, and paid personal time off.
To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and an audio or video recording of you: playing one piece of organ repertoire, conducting one choral anthem, and accompanying one congregational hymn (either with, or as though leading, a large and enthusiastic congregation). Application deadline is April 15, 2023.
Please include in your cover letter why this job appeals to you, why you believe it is a good match for you as a person and as a musician, and what personal and professional attributes, skills, talents and abilities you would bring to the congregation and this position.
These should be sent to: David Bielenberg, Search Committee Chair via email to [email protected].
All submissions will be kept confidential.