Episcopal (TEC) Parish - Palo Alto, CA - St. Mark's
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, CA is searching for one individual to be our Music Director and instrumentalist (organ/piano) to shape, direct and inspire our music ministry.

    Music is vital to the spiritual life at St. Mark’s. Listening to and participating in music grounds us as a diverse community and deepens our experiences of the Holy. We have and will always treasure the classical tradition, yet we are also newly inspired, partially from our recent streaming experience during the pandemic, to explore the promise of a wider range of musical offerings. We find chanting from various traditions to be centering and also find that singing folk spirituals or summer camp/retreat songs or contemporary compositions that are both musically astute and lyrically meaningful is uplifting and conducive to deepening the souls of those gathered. In other words, we celebrate our musical tradition which has endured and remains worshipful while also enjoying new explorations that, offered with the same regard for theological integrity and musical quality, will nurture us in new ways.

    Compensation starts at $45,000 annually and is dependent on experience...
    Average weekly commitment is 20 hours

    This is my parish, and my wife is the Associate Rector.
    Based on that (if you know me), you can probably make some assumptions, and you'd probably be right.

    Here's some more intel:

    It's a large (for TEC) parish with a rich choral music tradition and ties to the local performing arts community. In the pre-COVID times, they hosted A LOT of concerts. They also have a history of paid staff singers (though I don't know if there is plan to continue that. As you can imagine - the last 15 months have created a lot of upheaval.)

    The previous Music Director and Organist (two people) had been there for over 25 years (longer than the current rector of 23 years). And their retirement has caused an understandable amount of grief in the community, as parishioners have always considered the music program to be a strong identifying characteristic of the parish. The choir is large, and very good for a parish choir. I only attended a handful of services before COVID (my wife started the job in February of last year), and I was particularly struck by their facility with vernacular chant.

    As you can tell from the job posting, they are looking to expand to include a wider range of music styles, while still centering the program on the Anglican choral/hymn tradition. Someone who understands the "contemporary Catholic folk" idiom and can find a way to make it beautiful and blended into the larger tapestry of a high quality Anglican music program would be the ideal candidate. There are also a lot of talented musicians in the parish who have not, for whatever reason, become involved with parish music. There is a strong desire to find someone who can invite and draw these people in.

    You can DM me if you want more insider info. See the attached PDF for the actual contact info to apply.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
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