Music Director & Organists (New York, NY)

Date Posted: 
July 13, 2022
Organization Name: 
Park Avenue United Methodist Church
Contact Email: 
Job Description: 

Job Description and Functions of the Music Director & Organist (MDO)

The Music Director & Organist (MDO) will work with the Pastor(s), choir members, and church staff to provide and enable the highest possible standard in worship music. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, adaptable, and creative with a passion for excellence and a willingness to expand the music program.

The MDO will report directly to the Senior Minister, who will assist with general planning and leadership of the music ministry. In the absence of the Senior Minister, the Staff Parish Relations Committee will assume this responsibility. An annual evaluation will be provided by the Senior Minister and subject to review by the Staff Parish Relations Committee.


The MDO is a part-time position, up to 20 hours per week.

Duties & Responsibilities

The MDO will audition and supervise all professional and lay singers and musicians for Sunday service and will select appropriate organ and choral music in conjunction with the Senior Minister. He/she will also have oversight over the children’s choir and any other choirs that might emerge.  Additionally, the MDO will provide organ and choral music for the following “special” services throughout the year:

  • Ash Wednesday
  • Midweek Lenten services
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday (9:00am & 11:00am)
  • Animal Blessing
  • Christmas Eve
  • Choir Concert(s)

Additional days, services, concerts, etc. may be added to reflect the growth of the Church and music ministries. The MDO will hold at least one regularly scheduled choir rehearsal each week during the choir year (September to May).

The MDO will be responsible for the leadership of the following:

  • Rehearsal for Sunday services at an agreeable time.  During the summer months, the choir will recess from the 2nd Sunday of June until the 2nd Sunday of September unless otherwise agreed upon with the Senior Minister. The MDO will recruit and coordinate soloist(s) for each Sunday during the summer when the choir is on recess.
  • Be responsible for the purchase of all music and music supplies, and the hiring of instrumental and vocal soloists. Expenditures in this area shall not exceed the amount provided in the church budget for the current fiscal year.
  • Maintain the music library in an orderly fashion and maintain a suitable number of copies of musical pieces to enable performance of those pieces by the choir. The MDO will not engage in the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted materials by photocopying or any other means that would expose the Church to liability for penalties under existing or future copyright laws. In the event that photocopying of music becomes necessary for appropriate purposes, the MDO, on behalf of the Church, will first obtain all necessary permissions and authorizations prior to any such reproduction of copyrighted materials. The Church indemnifies the MDO from all liability in connection with the foregoing, provided he/she complies with this paragraph.
  • Own the copyright and/or the rights granted by copyright holder to any work composed, created, arranged, or otherwise modified by the MDO, regardless of whether the composition, creation, arrangement, or modification was done during the term of this contract and/or at the direction of the Church.
  • Supervise maintenance, storage, and cleaning of choir robes.
  • Be responsible for submitting all payrolls, receipts, and unpaid invoices to the Finance Director in a timely manner as requested.  
  • Meet on a regular basis with the Senior Minister and other church staff and committees as may be necessary. Make reports on the condition and needs for the choir, maintenance of the Church’s musical instruments, and any other related needs.
  • The MDO will have access to the sanctuary, choir room, and copier during regular office hours as well as others time during the week as needed.

Minimum Requirements

The MDO is expected to show superior competence as an organist and choirmaster. The ideal candidate will have competency in traditional Church music as well as classical and diverse musical styles (including World Music), seasons of the Christian year and be able to connect the music with the Scriptural texts for the day/season. He/she must be amenable to taking additional training at the direction of the Senior Minister and/or Staff Parish Relations Committee. A minimum of 3+ years of experience as a church musician is recommended. It is highly desirable for the MDO to be a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO).


The MDO will be paid an annual salary based upon experience to be negotiated at the time of hire with the Senior Minister and Staff Parish Relations Committee. He/she will also receive four weeks of vacation per year that can either be taken consecutively or as separate Sundays as approved by the Senior Minister. Vacation must be scheduled in advance and approved by the Senior Minister.

The MDO is to contact the Senior Minister immediately if he/she is sick and unable to work at a time when expected. The earliest notification possible is expected. The MDO is responsible for finding a replacement organist for all missed services; the exception being if he/she is too ill to contract a replacement.

Weddings & Funerals

The MDO will provide music at all weddings requiring organ music held within the Church’s premises. The fee for this service will be paid by the wedding couple and agreed upon ahead of time. If the MDO is not available, he/she will assist in hiring a substitute musician. Any party wishing to bring in an organist other than the MDO must request approval from the MDO, and if this request is approved, the MDO will receive their customary fee in full as if they were playing the service.

The MDO will provide music for funeral services held within the Church premises if available at the time of the funeral. Additional compensation will be paid for this service provided by the bereaving family. If the MDO is not available, he/she will assist in hiring a substitute musician. It shall be the obligation of the Church to secure said fee.

About Our Organ

In 1971, Park Avenue had the Schantz Organ Company build a new organ for the church. The result became our current organ, model Opus 1022 (1971). Featuring electro-pneumatic key, stop and combination action, the Opus 1022 has three manuals, 32 stops, 42 ranks, and 2,392 pipes. More information about our organ can be found at

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, contact information for three (3) professional references, and three to five links to audio/video samples of the applicant’s playing and choral conducting to with the subject “PAUMC Music Director Application.” Due to the large number of applicants, only those asked to interview will be contacted regarding their status.