Organist/Ensemble Director (Minneapolis, MN)

Date Posted: 
May 5, 2021
Organization Name: 
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Contact Email: 
Salary Range: 
Job Description: 

Organist Position Opening: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, MN

Title: Organist and Ensemble Director (.75FTE + benefits), Westminster Presbyterian Church

Position Start Date: Aug 1, 2021

Relationships: Reports to Director of Worship & the Arts

About the position 

Westminster Presbyterian Church seeks an Organist and collaborative leader whose primary responsibility is to serve the church in weekly worship services, embracing music’s role in worship to support, reflect on, and enliven the Word.  The ideal candidate would have strong professional training, knowledge of a wide range of repertoire, the ability to inspire and lead, and versatility to explore new directions.  The Organist would also serve as Ensemble Director, leading the adult Handbell Ensemble and the Choristers (grades 3-6).  

Westminster recently engaged in a process of deep listening across the congregation to further develop the role of the arts in our community.  In response to this visioning process, we are building a staff team based on a collaborative model, with artistic creativity, full inclusion, and broad access as primary goals in our arts programming. The Organist will work closely with the Associate Director of Music, who will assist in service playing and accompanying.  Together with the Director of Worship & the Arts, this team will guide the vision and programming of Arts at Westminster.

Responding to COVID-19

This search process acknowledges the complexities of planning for the future while continually navigating a global pandemic.  Prior to COVID-19, Westminster engaged approximately 850 congregants in worship each week across four weekly services (Sundays at 8:30am, 10:30am, and 5pm; Wednesdays at 6pm).  Over the past year, Westminster has continued three of these services online (Sundays at 10:30am and 5pm, and Wednesdays at 6pm), broadcasting the Sunday morning service on local television.  Weekly worshippers now number over 3,000, including congregants joining from across the country.  Westminster is currently in a time of phased re-opening and is looking toward the possibility of a full return in the fall of 2021.  Westminster’s music ensembles have been affected by the pandemic as well; this position will be instrumental in the safe re-launch of in-person ensembles.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access

During the 2020-2021 program year at Westminster, all staff and ministry areas embraced a theme of “Listening.”  Amidst the pandemic and Minneapolis’s racial reckoning, Westminster’s 30-person staff team has deepened their commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.  The staff is currently working with trained leaders to develop skills of intercultural competence both personally and institutionally.  Westminster staff and lay leaders are committed to leading the congregation toward a vision of God’s desire for the fullness of human community. 

About the church

Westminster is a vibrant, open-minded congregation worshipping in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, known for its traditional services combined with a progressive church culture.  Westminster has been a telling presence in the city for over 160 years and continues its commitment to work for love, peace, and justice.  

The church features two organs: a Moeller organ (IV/85) in the Sanctuary, and a Dobson organ (II/24) in the Chapel.  Westminster’s newest renovation, completed in 2018, includes a contemporary concert space recognized for its acoustical and design qualities, which houses Westminster’s new Performing Arts Series. 


  1. Worship planning

    1. Attend and assist in weekly worship planning meetings with pastors and musicians

    2. Coordinate, hire, and supervise guest musicians in worship, in consultation with the Director of Worship & the Arts

  2. Service playing

    1. Select and prepare organ/piano music as an integral part of worship, in collaboration with the worship team

    2. Support congregational song 

    3. Accompany choirs and other musicians in worship

  3. Ensemble leadership

    1. Serve as weekly rehearsal pianist with the Westminster Choir; accompany other choir events (e.g. choir retreats)

    2. Direct the Choristers (grades 3-6) 

    3. Direct the adult Handbell Ensemble

  4. Instrument Maintenance: Supervise the maintenance of church organs and pianos (instrument specs listed below)   

  5. Participation in church staff meetings, retreats, and other staff events

  6. Other duties as assigned

  7. Contract Opportunities: Select music and plan liturgy for weddings (annually 10-12) and memorials (annually 30-35), in collaboration with families and staff.  Organist has first right of refusal.  Compensation is paid via stipend directly.

Required Experience, Skills and Attributes:

  1. Master’s degree or equivalent experience in organ performance, church music, or other related degree

  2. Minimum 5 years experience supporting worship on organ and piano

  3. Broad knowledge and expertise of organ literature, including ability to craft and perform recitals

  4. Demonstrated skills in planning worship within a collaborative staff model

  5. Familiarity with Reformed/Presbyterian liturgical tradition, hymnody, and historical context, and vision for the evolving future of church music

  6. Knowledge of and experience accompanying a broad range of styles in sacred repertoire (e.g. global music, gospel, classical, jazz, contemporary, etc.)

  7. Commitment to Westminster’s mission and the role of music as ministry

  8. Effective organization and implementation skills with an ability to plan ahead

  9. Excellent oral and written communication skills

  10. Passion for creativity and eagerness to try new things

  11. Grounding in intercultural competence

Compensation: Commensurate with experience and comparable positions 

Instrument specifications:

Chapel (8:30am Sunday worship): Dobson organ (II/24), 2008:,_Westminster_Presbyterian,_Dobson_sp.html  

Sanctuary (10:30am Sunday worship): Moeller organ (IV/85), 1981 rebuild:,_Westminster_Presbyterian,_Moller_sp.html  

Westminster also houses six pianos:

  1. Sanctuary - Steinway B 122953 - 1906

  2. Chapel - Steinway M 217545 - 1923

  3. Meisel Room - Yamaha C3 B 1633572

  4. Westminster Hall - Steinway B 474810 - 1981

  5. Choir Room - Kawai RX-2 2580399

  6. Youth Music Room - Steinway L 553515 - 2000

To Apply: Send cover letter, resumé, and supporting digital files (minimally one piece of organ repertoire and one accompaniment recorded within the last year) to Dr. Amanda Weber, Director of Worship & the Arts, at  Review of applications will begin May 1, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.