Director of Music Ministry
Western Presbyterian Church, one of Washington, D.C.’s most dynamic and socially active downtown churches, is looking for a director to lead the next phase of our music ministry, to help grow and strengthen our congregation, and to build on our traditions. The position will oversee music in worship services, work closely with the pastors and staff, and teach and engage the Western family musically. We are looking for someone who sees sacred music at the core of worship and spirituality, brings strong instrumental and conducting skills, has proven leadership experience, and can help build a broad blend of music into our church life. We believe music is at the heart of how we worship God, how we welcome and engage our community, and how we strengthen and expand our congregation.
Who We Are
Located in D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, adjacent to George Washington University, Western is one of the capital city’s storied churches with a strong progressive agenda, a congregation of 225 members, and a music program that honors its 163-year history. Distinguished composer and arranger Thomas Beveridge is retiring after two decades of building a program known for excellence, superb soloists, and a repertoire extending from the Western European canon to Latino and African-American compositions. We’ve established a vibrant children’s choir led by a musically trained elder, and we sponsor a variety of special services and community concerts.
Western’s traditional sanctuary, built in the 1990s, features superior acoustics, a Mason & Hamlin grand piano, and a Rodgers T957 hybrid organ with twenty ranks of pipes and a three-keyboard console. Our music office and practice suite hosts a Steinway & Sons baby grand piano.
What You Will Do in this Position
- Build a lively, diverse and innovative ministry that engages, refreshes and deepens our congregation’s relationship with our music.
- Place emphasis on teaching at Western, from varied musical styles to new hymns to understanding the role of music in the spiritual journey. Work with the choir to build an eclectic repertoire and maintain its excellence.
- Lead all aspects of our music ministry, working with the pastors, staff and lay leaders to plan Sunday, holiday and special services.
- Play a central role in church leadership by developing a music program that forwards Western’s mission, social justice work and strategies for growth.
- Place special emphasis on our children’s program, long one of our strengths and a key to our future.
- Find ways of connecting with the neighborhood community, including George Washington University and Miriam’s Kitchen, one of the city’s primary non-profit homeless service centers, and many other organizations we support.
What You Will Bring to Western
- Our director will bring skills in cooperative, imaginative leadership that knit together our community of faith and the larger community.
- The director will demonstrate talent and experience leading musical groups, with an emphasis on keyboard and conducting skills.
- As the duties suggest, the director will embrace a breadth in music to match the diversity of our congregation and community.
- The post calls for a talent for developing the musical gifts of our congregation, along with the teaching, inspirational, and organizational skills required to make the most of those talents.
- The ideal candidate has degrees in Sacred Music or Choral Conducting, with high skills in Organ and Keyboard. Other degrees and backgrounds considered.
What you should know about applying:
- The director of music ministry is currently a 20 hour/week role. Salary and benefits information, including additional compensation from special events, is available upon request.
- The music director will report to the Pastor and Head of Staff, Rev. Dr. Laura Cunningham, who is leading the search for this post in conjunction with our Personnel Committee and Session (church council).
- The role calls for flexibility to adapt to the weekly church routines, with a schedule that can be structured to adapt to other part-time work.
- Your application should include a cover letter, resume and references. Feel free to submit any supportive materials you’d like, as video and audio samples will be expected in later stages of the search process.
- Applications should be submitted in digital form to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is April 16, with the expectation to fill the position before September 1.