Music Director (Philadelphia, PA)
The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA seeks a Music Director to develop and implement a vision for our future. The successful candidate will have experience leading one or more music ensembles. Advanced degree in music preferred. The Music Director will work collaboratively with clergy, staff, choir members, congregants, and community leaders to expand the use of its considerable musical assets for meaningful worship and a growing commitment to the surrounding neighborhood. The Music Director will assist in the imminent installation of an historic Moeller Opus 8128 organ and maximize its value for worship and community outreach. The Music Director will expand opportunities for participation in music programs for adults and children. Our historic building was originally designed for acoustical excellence and subsequent alterations have added to its city-wide reputation for musical performances that extend beyond weekly worship. The Music Director will utilize our building, our historic instrument, and our welcoming posture to those outside of our doors to develop and nurture relationships with Philadelphia’s rich and diverse musical community.
Opened in 1859, Church of the Holy Trinity was established as a “low church” parish - which had simpler services and focused more on preaching. In 1868, our second Rector, The Rev. Phillips Brooks, penned the words to “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” (with organist Louis Redner providing the music) for the children’s choir. Under the Rev. Dr. Floyd Tompkins, Sunday services began to be broadcast locally on WIP AM in the 1920s. Each generation of parishioners gradually added embellishments to the interior, including the barrel-vaulted ceiling, an enlarged chancel, a 25-bell carillon, beautiful stained glass windows and an ornate pulpit. It boasts some of the best acoustics in the city. In the 1960s-80s the parish rejected offers from developers and undertook renovations that preserved the historic building. During this period Holy Trinity continued to expand its outreach into the community, with its ministry of meals for the homeless, the homebound, and people with HIV/AIDS. The parish also became active in advocating for full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ members in the Episcopal Church. In the future, we will continue to reimagine our space to best serve our neighborhood.
When you ask people what they know about Church of the Holy Trinity, the most frequent answer is “music.” Our church choir has always been known for its excellence and consists of a core of 8 professional singers and a varying number of volunteer singers. We are also one of the only churches that has choir music throughout the year. We sing traditional hymns and sacred music, along with weekly psalms and music for holidays. Each service has two anthems sung by the choir. Grammy Award winning Kile Smith, our composer-in-residence, has premiered several of his pieces with the CHT choir.
We envision a future for a children’s music program, which is inclusive and welcomes participation of all levels. Over the last few years, the church has shifted to incorporating children, youth, and families into our programming and music ministry. Children and youth have opportunities to offer their own music during our Child-led worship services, Sunday school and the Christmas pageant. We recently purchased Malmark Choir-chimes and have successfully played during Advent, Christmas and Lent, accompanying hymns and leading the Great Litany during services.
As a local and regional destination for music, we continue a long tradition of partnering with Philadelphia’s premier performing arts organizations; including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia, Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia, The Crossing, and the Mendelssohn Club, among others. Additionally, CHT provides community outreach through its weekly concert series Concerts on the Square, and ensemble-in-residence Camerata Philadelphia - both making great music accessible to all through free public concerts. Concerts on the Square presents area professional musicians of all styles and genres, emerging artists from the Curtis Institute, and Camerata Philadelphia which features the region’s top chamber musicians and vocal artists. This commitment to service and excellence is a hallmark of CHT’s community presence for all music lovers.
We see significant possibilities for expansion of our programs and ministries and believe this position can expand as programs grow.
- Create and lead the vision for the music ministry, in collaboration with Rectors and staff.
- Plan, prepare for, and lead music for weekly 11 am worship including playing organ and conducting our choir – working knowledge of liturgical church year is helpful!
- Create new music opportunities within the congregation to encourage children and adults alike to participate in musical worship
- Oversee the church’s music budget as well as the maintenance of instruments and music ministry-related equipment;
- Provide music for parish weddings and funerals, for an extra fee.
- Utilize and expand CHT’s network of musicians to hire for special occasions in the church in coordination with the Rectors.
- Attend weekly church staff meetings
- Develop and coordinate our community music events and concerts, such as Concerts on the Square, our relationship with the Curtis Institute of Music, and other community music ensembles (our Rentals Coordinator will act as staff support).
Successful applicants should have demonstrated the following skills and characteristics:
- Experience as a leader of choirs and/or other musical ensembles;
- A strong team player and a willingness to collaborate with the CHT staff and clergy.
- Understanding of Episcopal worship, a plus
- A completed Master’s degree in music, preferred
- Demonstrated history of innovation/entrepreneurial background in starting or growing music programs. Thinking out of the box is welcomed.
- Ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages and an interest in developing a children’s music program
- Leading or designing creative fundraising campaigns to enhance base music budget