Catholic organ scholar positions: Help, please
  • Note: this is a speculation.

    I am considering a gap-year organ scholar position among my post-graduation options (I'm a college junior right now); I would prefer a situation in a Catholic cathedral or large parish in the United States. However, it seems such things are rare outside England and Anglican circles. If anybody knows something to recommend, I'd appreciate the assistance. Thank you.

  • rare outside England and Anglican circles
    You're already exercising your talent for understatement!

    You might contact the Benedict XVI Institute for helpful leads.
  • Are you expecting a paid situation? Or just an opportunity to gain experience - which has its own value.
  • Are you expecting...
    I'm surprised at our esteemed Noel. Anyone who plays for free is being had - and setting a poor example for other musicians who seek employment - and setting a lamentably poor precedent for those who do the employing.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen madorganist
  • @noel

    I would expect a paid situation, an extension of the experience I'm already gaining. (I'm not expecting to find something accessible anyway, but thought I'd make a pitch on the forum.)
  • St. Peter's Anglican Cathedral in Prince Edward Island might be a possible solution. They are looking for a music director and might consider a temporary solution.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,220
    Depending on your background, you could probably gain a full-fledged DM/organist position after you graduate. They might not pay family-supporting wages in many cases, but there's not a real shortage of jobs...yet.
  • Old St Mary, Cincinnati, OH, tried to hire one (literally the position was called/conceived as Organ Scholar) this season but failed to find. You might contact Bro Brent Stull, C.O., who directs there, and see if it is still available. Masses in Latin, English, and German. Exquisite space with lovely acoustic and excellent choral program. Lots of fun to be had with EF Mass also served by Oratory priests at a nearby parish from time to time.

    Also in Cincinnati, St Gertrude Parish, served by the Dominicans, has an expert vocalist/choral DoM, and hires an organist to accompany the choirs. They tend to do good repertoire, but as the position is only that of accompanist, they burn through organists pretty quickly. You might keep an eye on that position come your gap year. Large, thriving parish.
  • I investigated the website of St Peter's Cathedral (Anglican) in Charlottetown, PEI, which was mentioned above by Ken of Sarum. This would be a most pleasurable post for anyone who doesn't mind a church that is non-Catholic but is by tradition a genuinely Anglo-Catholic church - not just incense throwing 'high church', but truly Anglo-Catholic. For anyone interested there is a beautiful video of their Holy Week celebrations on their website. The church is beautiful and even has a rood screen and riddle curtains, the latter of which are common in Canada but rarely encountered in the US.

    Many thanks, Ken.
  • JL
    Posts: 171
    St. Paul's in Cambridge, MA, has had organ scholars for some time. I don't know if there is a position open currently (or soon), but it could be worth inquiring. You might also send out some feelers to your local chapter of the AGO--I don't know how it is where you are, but here in Puritan land there is a strong Catholic (and clerical!) representation in the local chapter. It's likely that someone there could point you in the right direction.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • Thank you all for your input and assistance. I will keep all these things in mind as I plan ahead.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,667
    Move somewhere with a lack of organists (like Phoenix, Arizona) and sub around for a year while taking lessons from some great organists in the area.