Harrisburg, PA | Director of Music/Organist (Full-Time) - Mater Dei Latin Mass Community


    Mater Dei Latin Mass Community is an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) located downtown Harrisburg, PA along the Susquehanna Riverfront, which offers Mass and the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form (1962 books). Our music program and our community have both grown dramatically in recent years, and the growth trend continues. We are searching for a Full-Time Music Director/Organist to lead the music program forward for the glory of God and the edification of the faithful.

    Mater Dei has an auditioned Sunday choir and chant schola led by professional section leaders, a non-auditioned choir roster for special Masses, a children’s Chorister program (45+ students ages 6-18), and opportunities to collaborate with the Cathedral music staff (St. Patrick Cathedral is just one block up the street). Pastoral staff, community leadership, and parishioners are all highly supportive of the music program and desire to foster truly beautiful liturgy and excellent music. The Music Director plays a crucial role in the life of the Mater Dei Community. This is a full-time position with a competitive salary and benefits available, and reports directly to the Chaplain.

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Develop and lead all adult and children’s choirs
    • Select music for each Mass under guidance of Church norms, liturgical season, and Chaplain
    • Direct music/choirs for Sunday Sung Mass and any feast days or special Masses as assigned
    • Provide organ accompaniment and instrumental material for all Masses as assigned
    • Provide organ and vocal music for special parish devotions, including a monthly (3rd Wednesday) St. Jude Devotion (holy hour, Low Mass, devotion prayers, and veneration of relics); First-Friday Mass, devotion, and Compline; monthly sung Vespers (4th Sunday); and others as assigned
    • Curate and maintain an orderly music library, following all relevant copyright laws
    • Develop curriculum and teach classes on Gregorian chant, general music, and singing to Chorister students on Friday mornings during the school year
    • Prepare Chorister students to sing for 2-3 Masses per semester
    • Plan and direct a weeklong Summer Chant Camp for children and youth
    • Plan and deliver bi-annual adult workshops on sacred music topics
    • Manage discretionary budget as allotted for music department needs such as choral section leaders, choir garb, music, etc.
    • Direct music for nuptial and requiem Masses (additional fee is available to the Music Director for these Masses)
    • Scrutinize and supervise any visiting musicians for weddings/funerals/etc. (bench fee is paid to Music Director when outside musicians are approved)
    • Maintain records of organ maintenance and troubleshooting needs, collaborating with Cathedral and Brunner & Assoc. (organ manufacturer and tuner) to maintain the organ in fully operable and well-tuned condition
    • Meet and maintain compliance with the Diocese of Harrisburg’s policies on Safe Environments for Children, and ensure that any volunteers associated with the music program will comply with those Diocesan policies
    • Other duties as assigned

    Education/Experience Requirements:

    • This role requires a combination of education and experience in Sacred Music; relevant music degrees, certifications, colloquium/conference attendance, performance experience, work experience, and liturgical knowledge will all be considered in assessing a candidate’s fitness for the role
    • Thorough knowledge of Catholic liturgy and the Church’s patrimony of sacred music, including the relevant Church documents and legislation on Sacred Liturgy and Music (especially Pius X's "Tra Le Sollecitudini")
    • Demonstrated proficiency in Gregorian Chant, renaissance polyphony, hymns, organ, and conducting
    • Experience with- and knowledge of the 1962 Roman Missal (Extraordinary Form, or Traditional Latin Mass) is desirable, though training is available for the right candidate
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills
    • Leadership aptitude
    • Proficiency in basic computing (e.g. Microsoft Office applications, email, etc.)
    • Commitment to modeling the values of the Roman Catholic Church

    Additional Details

    Start Date: Late November/Early December 2020
    Location: St. Lawrence Chapel, Harrisburg, PA
    Compensation: Salary DOE starting at $45,000/annually with benefits available; funerals/weddings provide additional income
    Hymnal: St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal (CC Watershed)
    Instruments: 28-rank Felgemaker(1885)/Brunner(2009) 2M/P; pianos and keyboards available in classrooms for rehearsal purposes
    Hours/Schedule: Position is full-time, but actual hours may vary from week-to-week depending on season; flexible office hours, including possibility of some prep work from home, but requires at least one full onsite office day per week
    Community Website: http://MaterDeiPA.com
    Differences During Covid Restrictions: Choirs are limited to a quartet at Mass, and no weekly rehearsals are held. Warmups are still held before each sung Mass. Other details to be discussed during the interview process.

    Interested parties should present a cover letter and resume to music@materdeipa.com. Please also feel free to contact with any questions.

    With all those official details out of the way, here's a bit of context from me, as the incumbent:

    Friends, this is a wonderful position which has brought me incredible joy for the past three and a half years. It has been a blessing building and developing our choirs and children's program. I’m only departing because a new opportunity arose for me to work alongside my father and brother in my “other” career (the ski resort business) in the Rocky Mountains. Despite the excitement of my new role, it was an agonizingly difficult decision to leave Mater Dei. The parish is truly supportive of the music program, and the Chaplain is great to work for, and I have made many dear friends here. We’ve built a solid foundation, but there’s still plenty of room for the program to grow, and I’m sure the right candidate will work with Father to develop a great vision for the future. I am at your disposal to answer any questions about the job, the church, the organ, the music community, the Harrisburg area, housing, cost of living, etc. Please feel free to private message me.

    Here are a few recordings of our music program for your reference:

    This is rehearsal footage for a choral meditation we were preparing that had to be cancelled due to the virus, but it gives a sense of where we were chorally before having to reduce "operations" in mid-March 2020: https://youtu.be/FIx_oqECgfs?t=83

    The Chorister children singing Mass II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFpFiTxcYy4

    A couple videos of the spectacular Felgemaker (1885) / Brunner (2009) 28-rank organ:



    And our parish intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGSze0ErFbE
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