The First United Church of Christ in Northfield, Minnesota seeks to hire an organist to support its vibrant, long-standing, and wide-ranging tradition of musical worship.
First UCC is an open and affirming church with a progressive Christian voice and a dedication to social and racial justice. With an active congregation of over 400 members and a commitment to choral and congregational singing, First UCC welcomes and embraces many musical styles: classical, folk, global, gospel, and more. The 53-rank organ, built by Johnson & Son in 1876, was installed in First UCC in 1994 and received a $200,000 refurbishment in 2019, and a 7-foot Bösendorfer piano is a standard element of worship as well. The church is closely connected to Northfield’s two colleges, St. Olaf and Carleton, and weekly services incorporate singing from the Senior Choir and Spirit Voices as well as frequent amateur and professional soloists and groups drawn from the congregation and wider community. Youth are present throughout worship, and children’s choirs have been a significant part of our church’s history. More information is available on the church’s website, firstucc.org.
This is a salaried, year-round, approximately quarter-time position, with some flexibility in determining vacation and other time off as well as support for professional development. The organist’s primary responsibilities are these:
- Playing for the regular Sunday morning services and standard additional services (e.g., Christmas Eve), including prelude and postlude, hymns, choir anthems, and service music
- Playing for regular Wednesday evening and Sunday morning choir rehearsals
- Working with clergy, the director of music, and other staff members to shape the musical life of the church
- Supervising the maintenance of the Johnson organ
Compensation will be determined in connection with the organist’s relevant education and experience. Participation in weddings and memorial services, which are paid separately, is left to the discretion of the organist.
The ideal candidate for this position will have a deep musicality shaped by relevant education and experience, an appreciation for stylistic variety, a familiarity with Protestant liturgical traditions, a spirit of collaboration with clergy and staff in designing the role of music in worship, and an eagerness to perform with choirs, instrumentalists, and congregations. This position also offers room for the candidate to incorporate additional areas of expertise.
Interested candidates should send a brief letter of interest and resumé to First UCC’s director of music at [email protected]. The current organist of First UCC will be retiring in the upcoming months; the new organist is expected to start at some point in the late spring or early summer of 2023, at a date to be determined in conversation with clergy and staff. Applications are welcome at any time.