Principal Organist & Assistant Director of Music (PT), Edmonton, Canada.
  • Job Title: Principal Organist & Assistant Director of Music, St Joseph's Cathedral-Basilica, Edmonton, AB, Canada

    Contract: Part-time (average 14 hrs/week), plus weddings and funerals, ad hoc

    Base Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience (RCCO recommended rates)

    Reports to: Director of Music; Rector

    Applications are invited for the above position. Prospective candidates should forward letters of interest and resumes by July 31. Applications received after this may not be considered. It is anticipated that auditions and interviews will be held during September 2024. All applications are treated in strictest confidence. Applications and enquiries should be directed to the Director of Music, Roderick Bryce,

    Duties and responsibilities
    The person appointed will assist the Director of Music (DoM) in any and all aspects of their work and playing a full part in the life and work of the Basilica and its music ministry. They will be a musician of exceptional standard, with a breadth of experience and knowledge of liturgical music and with a mature approach to working in a busy and demanding professional environment. They will be a well-organised, efficient administrator with the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of people.

    A detailed list of duties will be agreed and reviewed annually. These will include (but not limited to):
    1. Playing the organ to a high standard for liturgies, including accompanying the Schola Cantorum and other choirs as required, and selecting and developing an imaginative, appropriate and varied organ repertoire for use in the Basilica;
    2. Rehearsing and directing the choirs as required by the DoM;
    3. Assisting as required with the administration of the music department, with particular responsibility for organising the cantors and organists’ schedule, any organ recitals, and overseeing maintenance of the Basilica’s Casavant organs, in consultation with the DoM;
    4. Coordinating the musical arrangements for special services such as weddings, funerals and school liturgies (all subject to additional fees) - liaising with the organisers, agreeing musical content and assigning/booking musicians as required;
    5. Attending departmental meetings as necessary for planning and other meetings called by the rector or DoM;
    6. Fostering, in full collaboration with the rector, assistant clergy and the DoM the highest standards in all the constituent parts of music and liturgy.

    Within the guidelines above, this position is a flexible one, allowing scope for bringing new interests and strengths to the Basilica. It is a part-time position.

    Qualifications and experience
    Candidates will have a proven record of exemplary organ performance at the highest professional level, including excellent accompanying and improvisation skills. Appropriate musical and academic qualifications including relevant experience is essential.

    All staff and volunteers of the St Joseph’s Basilica and the Archdiocese of Edmonton are expected to comply with the Archdiocesan Safe Environments and Abuse Prevention program. This will entail relevant Police Information Checks, and the completion of ‘Called to Protect’ training sessions.

    Candidates must possess the ability to work collaboratively with the Basilica’s pastoral team and must be able to train and inspire people to fulfill their musical potential. Excellent interpersonal skills and a spirit of generosity is essential.
    A good working knowledge of social media as well as good computer skills will be beneficial, as well as experience with Sibelius or other music notation software.

    Although it is not essential that the applicant be Roman Catholic, the Basilica will look for evidence of candidates’ familiarity with the full wealth of Catholic liturgical and musical practice and the potential to deepen and further their knowledge and understanding of it.
    Candidates should show awareness of the distinctive nature and ethos of Catholic worship, with particular emphasis on the musical traditions of liturgy. They will also be expected to possess detailed knowledge of the teachings of the Church relating to music and liturgy. We will look for an imaginative and constructive attitude to non-choral liturgical music, including congregational services.

    Additional opportunities
    It is expected that the person appointed will naturally wish to pursue a wider musical career, and so it is hoped that it will be possible to combine a certain amount of other work, such as teaching, with duties at the Basilica.

    Sacred Organ Academy
    It is hoped that any new organist will spearhead the Sacred Organ Academy initiative desired within the Archdiocese, offering lessons and workshops on the organ. This Basilica-based project would provide lessons for children and young adults (either new organists or pianists wanting to transfer and improve their keyboard skills). The Basilica would provide teaching space and help promote this cultural endeavour to provide organists and church musicians for the future. Teaching fees would be met by the pupils themselves.
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