Job Description
  • I would like to write up a detailed job description for DM position I recently started and would like to get some ideas and samples of other job descriptions.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 178
    Have a look at all the Job Openings posted here before on the forum for all the ideas you could possibly need.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 307
    –Include the salary. For the love of God....print the salary. Even if it’s a range.

    “Commensurate with experience” is worthless. I don’t know if they intend to overpay or underpay me; they could do either in a manner commensurate with my experience.

    –Include the fees for weddings/funerals, so I can work out if they’ll make up for a low salary, or tire me out and leave me poor.

    –Include clear information about the current state of affairs. “The Director of Music will oversee the choir school, the Cardine Insitute for Chant Interpretation, and the Symphony Orchestra responsible for the yearly Mahler Festival” sounds pretty fab, but if these things don’t yet exist and the choir is currently 3 altos who don’t read music and the hymnal is currently Breaking Bread, I’d like to know that.

    –Information about the organ, especially if it’s not readily available on the parish website. If the last guy put in a Bungle and Smash hybrid 10 years ago, or if there’s an 1885 Hook in pristine condition that was just restored, I’d like to know that, so I can stay away or prepare to work there forever.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 412
    From a different perspective, if there's a parish hymnal or you have to purchase new, I would include a line that you'll use 90% of the music in the hymnal, especially for psalm text. You might say this infringes on creativity or freedom but you want to get the best bang for your purchase. Not to do so is a waste of money.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • The recently posted description for St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Indiana is a good start.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,660
    One of my favorite memories was going out to interview at a church and the pastor looking at me and saying, "honestly, I don't know anything about music. I want what our Bishop is asking for, but have no idea how to do it. Write down a proposal for your job description, salary needs, etc. and email it to me and I'll see what I can do."

    I emailed him the proposal, he went to his finance council, and a few days later he returned it signed with only one line changed (because of a Diocesan policy).

    Reverend Fathers (and Your Excellencies) if you're reading this and are hiring - find a musician you can trust - and I mean really trust - and you don't know what you want, ask them for help.
  • Avoid euphemisms.
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • Amen, Matthew!
    Those priests who are as candid and honest about their shortcomings and their need for the guidance - as opposed to the subjection - of a qualified musician with his feet firmly grounded in history and what Vatican II actually said, are rare as snow in Houston.

    A priest who does not actually admire the character and expertise of a given musician should not think of hiring him or her.
    Obversely - a musician who does not admire the sanctity of governance, personal piety, and liturgical integrity of a given priest should not consider working for him.

    If either party sees the position merely as a 'job' happiness, fulfillment, and growth with never be found.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 273
    Obversely - a musician who does not admire the sanctity of governance, personal piety, and liturgical integrity of a given priest should not consider working for him.
    Just one caveat about this: while it's the pastor who is responsible, you work for the parish and not the pastor as an individual. Have in mind from the start that the pastor who hires you might leave some time.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,071
    Are you a Vibrant Catholic Community?
    Thanked by 1mattebery
  • MarkB
    Posts: 427
    And inclusive and welcoming?
  • Elmar
    Posts: 273
    Has the parish a council and high profile volunteers who routinely overrule pastor's directives?
    ...responsible for five parishes and therefore rarely present...


    For the record: the parish I have in mind is 'progressive'; but while welcoming, not very inclusive (e.g. regarding Tradition lovers) and certainly not vibrant...
    At least they were transparent concerning their 'vision' which largely matches who they actually are - except for the detail that they expect the choir director not to copy their anti-hierachical attitude; which took me a few years to find out.