Organ Scholar (Memphis, TN)

Date Posted: 
March 13, 2024
Organization Name: 
Idlewild Presbyterian Church
Salary Range: 
$25,000 annually + Housing and Benefits
Job Description: 

Position Title: Organ Scholar

Position: Exempt/40 hours per week.Two Year Term.

Idlewild Presbyterian Church is in search of a full-time organ scholar for a two-year term, inviting candidates with experience in organ performance, service playing and choral accompaniment. Tailored for a recent graduate passionate about church music, this position offers ample opportunities for skill enhancement.

  • The successful applicant will demonstrate proficiency in organ repertoire and possess collaborative abilities with both volunteers and staff.
  • Alongside a competitive salary and benefits package, this role entails a diverse array of responsibilities aimed at honing service playing and keyboard skills including repertoire, hymn playing, choral accompaniment, and improvisation.
  • The organ scholar will also develop confidence in conducting, teaching, and collaborating with various choirs throughout rehearsals and services, offering an immersive experience in the church’s liturgical life.
  • Working closely with the Director of Music, the scholar will gain practical skills in the administration of a liturgical music program. This position reports to the Director of Music and Organist and will undergo regular review to ensure continual growth and development. Celebrated for its vibrant and inclusive community, Idlewild is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Shares in playing of service music and organ voluntaries at Sunday services, including 8:30 am Chapel Service and 11 am Sanctuary Service.
  • Participates in all choral, instrumental, and handbell rehearsals. Maintains a regular organ rehearsal schedule. Shares wedding and funeral assignments with the Director of Music. (compensated separately)
  • Directs choirs and plays the organ in the absence of the Director of Music. Meets weekly with the Director of Music for coordination and planning.
  • Attends all program and worship staff meetings as well as meetings of the Worship and Music Committee.

Administrative duties include:

  • Maintain music library and all choral and instrumental folders.
  • Assist with Music Ministry communication, promotion and recruitment. Coordinate and track attendance for all ensembles.
  • Oversee music program accounting and check requests. Assist with set up for all rehearsals and programs.
  • Other duties may be assigned based on the applicant skill set.
  • Qualifications Minimum bachelor’s degree in organ performance, sacred music, or related experience.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the performance of organ repertoire.
  • Experience in accompanying worship services and choral ensembles on the organ and piano. Ability to manage and execute administrative tasks. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Organized. Self-starter.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others.
  • Eagerness to grow and develop in all areas of leadership and administration of a church music program.
  • Proficiency in computer systems and use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Finale/Sibelius. Package

Details Minimum Salary: $25,000 annually + Housing and Benefits

The Scholar will incur no housing expense while employed by Idlewild. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and three references, one of which being a primary organ instructor. Additionally, we ask that the applicant provide video recordings demonstrating their playing (listed below).

Materials should be sent to Landry Duvall, Director of Music by April 15, 2024. The position has an anticipated start date of June 3, 2024. Email: Applicants should submit video recordings of the following items:

  • One solo work for the organ suitable for a service voluntary.
  • One choral anthem accompanied by the candidate at the organ.
  • One hymn accompanied by the candidate at the organ that includes an introduction and an improvised bridge before the final stanza.

Instruments at Idlewild:

  • Bedient Organ (3 manuals/69 Ranks)
  • Schantz Organ (2 manuals/8 Ranks)
  • Paccard Carillon (48 Bells)
  • Yamaha Piano Baldwin Piano

Idlewild Music Ministry Under the direction of Director of Music, Landry Duvall, the music department offers music programs for all ages. The Chancel Choir of 35 singers sings weekly at the 11 AM worship service. This choir is supported by a professional cohort of 8 staff singers.

The choir most recently sang John Rutter’s Gloria (Christmas 2023) and is preparing a presentation of the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré (Spring 2024). This fall, we are excited to host a choral festival for the Presbyterian Association of Musicians as well as an organ recital by Isabelle Demers.

The choir is making plans for a tour of Scotland in 2026 which will include a performance at St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh of which the organ scholar would be the primary accompanist. Beyond our adult choral program, Idlewild has a growing children’s chorister program of over 30 children as well as a committed handbell ensemble.

The organ scholar, should they desire, would also have the opportunity to play the 1999 Paccard Carillon - the largest carillon in the Mid-South.