A question about wages...
  • I know that money is a sensitive topic, but I have a question for you paid church musicians out there.

    I am the part-time DM and organist for a relatively small parish in a small Southern town. I play/accompany prelude, postlude, interludes, hymns, propers, and ordinaries. I rehearse the choir weekly in preparation for Mass, and of course conduct them during. I plan all of the instrumental and choral music, which consists largely of chant with some hymns and polyphony. I do this for the principal morning Mass on Sunday, the principal Mass on Holy Days, all Christmas Masses, and all Triduum Masses. I have been a musician all my life, but do not have a degree in anything musical. I make $13,500 annually, is this normal? High? Low?

    I ask out of curiosity, and because I genuinely have no idea how much people get paid to do this. I certainly do not ask out of unhappiness, as I love the job very dearly and it is rewarding work. In any case, input ranging from "you're being robbed blind" to "I cannot believe they're paying you that much" is welcome. Thanks in advance.
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    I am also part time, organist only, in New England. I'm between two churches so I play 3 masses per weekend plus one choir rehearsal . I figure I make $400 each week, extra for funerals and weddings. I don't have a degree in music either. I love this and would do it for less but my husband says I am underpaid. I don't really care because I have two beautiful organs to play! Oh ,I also pay for my own organ lessons.
  • Incardination
    Posts: 639
    It is a hard question to answer because it isn't an apples to apples comparison across different geographies. However, from my perspective, that seems a bit low given that you are both director and organist. The part that indicates it is "only a bit low" are the geography and the size of the parish. Other considerations... Do you get time off? Are summers with the choir too? Based on your description, it sounds like 60-65 Liturgies (don't know if you do anything in addition to Mass) through the year assuming year-round, no time off. That would be 200-225 per Mass. I make a bit less per Liturgy (I would consider myself underpaid, but on the other hand I don't play the organ, so there is that), in a rather medium-sized Midwest parish.

    The irony is that I put in at least as many hours (very probably more) than I do at my "day-job" which pays my real living.

    I'm able to justify this in my mind for several reasons, not least of which this is my opportunity to give to the Church.

    One possibility is to ask your pastor if there is anything more in the parish budget for your position, considering how much you produce on behalf of the parish. It doesn't have to be confrontational or aggressive in order to have an effect. Whether yes or no, you'll know that you've raised the question - you've done your part in the equation.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,954
    You are underpaid, but I realize there can be extenuating circumstances. For example, our parish still has $1 million in debt to pay off from our former free-spending pastor. Knowing that, I take a small salary and I am likely underpaid. I am blessed to not need the money so I am happy with that. Your situation may be different.

    I know that money is a sensitive topic...


    Actually, it is the lack of money that is sensitive.

  • Thanks for the input. Being small, there is a very tight budget and I know for an absolute fact that I'm being paid about all I can be. I am one of three employees, including the pastor. It is not my intent at this juncture to ask for a raise, and I assumed I was being undercompensated; I honestly was more or less just curious. I am at ease currently taking the salary I take because I'm helping to build a lovely little music program, and because the pastor is very supportive of true sacred music and sung liturgy. This was my childhood parish under a different priest, and as a child I experienced an infrequent banjoist and guitarist as our only liturgical music. Now we have sung Mass with organ and chanted Propers and Ordinary every Sunday. That, to my mind, is part of my payment.

    My day job pays the bills. I don't have a contract, but my understanding with the pastor is that I can take a handful of Sundays off each year. I don't play or plan liturgies aside from Mass currently. I do not have a choir from Corpus Christi until the beginning of October, so that's a factor as well.
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    If you are working in a supportive environment that's worth an awful lot.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 512
    The AGO and NPM used to publish salary guidelines but have ceased doing so because of federal government regulations. The 2015 AGO Salary Guide for Musicians in Religious Institutions ranged from $11,121 plus benefits for a 10 hr./week position with no music degree to $85,235 plus benefits for a 40 hr./week position with a doctorate in music or FAGO certificate. The 2010 NPM guidelines ranged from $37,803-79,915 plus benefits for a full-time position. AAM still publishes a salary guide, which you can find here. You can also browse the listings at catholicjobs.com. There are a few music director positions on there that have the salary listed.

    I knew of organists 10+ years ago making $250 a week ($13,000 a year with paid vacation) for a single service and a single choir rehearsal - organist only - without a degree. Someone with a large repertory and whose technique is already in good shape from other musical activities can put in as little a five hours a week for that kind of job. Most organists could do it very well with six hours of practice a week, an hour of planning, and the three hours in rehearsals and services. It sounds like your position certainly demands more time and effort. It take a LOT more work to prepare for rehearsals as director than as organist only. I believe three hours' prep for every hour of rehearsal was the old AGO recommendation. This from the AGO may also be helpful for determining how many hours you actually work.

    You didn't bring this up, but it's one of my pet peeves and I think it should be mentioned in this discussion: unless you're working on music that you'll never under any circumstances use at your parish, organ practice time is part of your work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I know no priest, deacon, or minister of any denomination - and no matter how part-time his employment might be - that would not consider sermon prep part of his job. There cannot be a double standard for musicians. If you're part-time, chances are you don't have any benefits other than the paid vacation time. There has to be some give-and-take when you're scheduled to work weekends and holidays, so a "handful" of Sundays off sounds reasonable. Contracts seem to be the exception, not the rule, in our line of work. You're lucky if you even have a written job description.
  • trenton j conn says that he is quite happy with his situation even though he realises that he is underpaid. There are many like him, who do their work as an act of love regardless of the salary that they draw. This is all well and good if other factors are favourable.

    I am troubled, though, that several of the above commenters seem to think that being well treated and appreciated is worthy of consideration as part of one's compensation. This, emphatically, is not something that should be thought of as a make up for poor salaries. Being treated fairly, being respected, having the pastor on one's side, are normative (if not normal) in any employment situation. These things are to be expected regardless of salary. If, as often happens, these factors are not enjoyed by a given musician no amount of salary can make up for them. They are requisites for sane employment, and where they are lacking one should be on the look out for a better post.

    Trenton seems to be doing stellar work, enjoys his situation, has his pastor's full backing and appreciation, and does not mind the small salary he receives. This is all well and good - for him. He can only be commended. His is one very lucky parish. One might suggest, though, that he (or anyone else) should be getting a salary of at least $20 to 25,000 for what he is doing 'part time'. (In some parts of the country, perhaps even more.) Too, one might note that his parish could not replace him for the salary that he draws.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,095
    The AAM Anglican association of musicians still publishes a salary guide....I don't have the link at hand. However, it mainly describes a fantasy, as I don't know anyone who is paid what they advise.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,095
    The big question in all of this is benefits.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Incardination
    Posts: 639
    ... seem to think that being well treated and appreciated is worthy of consideration as part of one's compensation. This, emphatically, is not something that should be thought of as a make up for poor salaries.


    And yet I think you'll find that this is true in many other jobs as well, not just applicable to musicians. In the IT industry, for example, it isn't uncommon for someone to choose a company where the salary is at the low end of the scale - and still be satisfied because of other intangibles involving management, on-call status, flex-time, work-from-home, or even the vision of the company in question, etc., that may not have been available in the same way with positions that paid significantly more.

    Being "well-treated and appreciated" are some of those intangibles that factor into one's decision to part ways with any job. In one article I read (I was researching turnover for the HR department), the author said that most people who quit a position leave because of the manager, (i.e. feeling that they were not "well-treated and appreciated") not because of the job itself.

    At the end of the day, we - each of us in every conceivable job type - balance a lot of different factors into determining whether or not we are satisfied with our pay "and other" compensation. Nothing is ever one-size-fits-all.
  • Matilda's and Incardination's points are spot on. Reflect on the bad old days of "renew" when the liturgy committee (!) would insist on getting into the mix. :-/

    that said, I hope to see more comments in this thread about benefits...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,954
    Liturgy Committee - actually, I did them all in. They are gone and I know not where they went.

    The committee is myself and one like-minded lady. She handles logistics, altar decorations, set-up for liturgical events, and does an excellent job. I handle music. There is a state of peace and joy in the land and no discouraging words are ever heard.

    Oh, and we threw that dead Renew tree in the trash.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 512
    @trentonjconn, when you're away, does the church hire a substitute? If so, what is the rate? If my church went by the minimum AAM rates, they would be paying a substitute considerably more than I make in a week for the same number of Masses and rehearsals!
  • TCJ
    Posts: 623
    Several part time jobs I have had:

    1. Organist: 2 Masses per weekend, no choir, just a cantor which meant practicing before Mass. $6500/year approx. (weekend job while finishing school)

    2. Organist/Music Director: 5 Masses per weekend, holy hour, 1 weekday Mass, one choir practice per week. About 24 hours/week for $24,000.

    3. Organist: 1 Mass per weekend, no choir practice (but a family that sang very well). $5500/year approx. (weekend job to supplement other jobs)

    In all three cases I felt that I was paid enough for the work that I was required to do.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,998
    I think your job should qualify as half-time. If I understand correctly, you plan, conduct, play for, and are in general responsible for one Mass per weekend and holy day. Is that correct? That is not a full-time DM job, which ordinarily entails oversight of the parish's music at large, and multiple Masses. On the other hand it sounds as though you take care of everything, at a high level, for the "big" Mass of the weekend. So I would say half-time.

    In the US, your pay is low. It should be half of a professional level salary.

    In the UK it would be perfectly normal.

    People who think you are being overpaid are probably considering only the show-up-on-Sunday part. This is a big problem. Often people who feel they themselves are not "musical" think that people who are "musical" just show up and know exactly what to do without planning or rehearsal. They don't consider the backstory.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,700
    OK, then, I'll be a bit of a contrarian; in my experience your compensation is about right or a little high (assuming minimal travel.) My church gigs were all part-time, too, with similar or slightly more/less time-on-the-bench requirements.

    Let me underscore: your comp is fine based on my experience. It's entirely possible that I worked only for cheap parishes; it wouldn't surprise me to learn that that is the case. And my full time occupation paid well enough that there was no real "need" for the money, so perhaps I didn't push hard. Finally: I did it because I enjoyed it and had 'a mission.' (There were two serious exceptions in 40+years, both were directly "priest" problems, not congregation problems.)

    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • @madorganist when I'm away, they don't have music because there are no other available liturgical organists in the area. I think I may be the only Catholic organist within at least an hour in any direction. A Presbyterian organist fills in for weekday funerals frequently, but he works in his own parish all day on Sunday. If I'm gone, the priest leads chanted a capella ordinaries, and maybe a few of the volunteer choir members might sing settings of the propers to psalm tones.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • Ken of Sarum
    Posts: 335
    Lots of great comments and insights. Might I dare to add this thought / question. Shouldn't compensation be based first on expertise and level of excellence of both the person and the position, more than only hours, number of choirs and masses? A highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced person might require less hours and efforts to achieve the same results as someone less gifted, experienced and knowledgeable. Or am I missing something?
  • Ken's observations are worthy. One might add, though, that most church musicians do what they do because they love it and, typically, go far above and beyond the call of duty, no matter what their official duties are and no matter what they are paid. This is as true of the highly paid and skilled as it is of the minimally paid and less (or more) talented. As for being treated well and having one's work appreciated, this is common human (and especially Christian!) decency and should be shown one's employees regardless of what they are paid. Some pastors and priests, and some congregations get an A+ on this score; some get an F.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,049
    A highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced person might require less hours and efforts to achieve the same results as someone less gifted, experienced and knowledgeable


    Let's give Ken a standing ovation for this spectacular observation!

    Here comes a rant:

    I can't tell you how many disagreements I have had with people at work/church (many of whom do not supervise my work, so it's none of their darn business) who seem to think that spending only a small amount of time on something means that it will be of inferior quality. I'm good at what I do, I've been doing it since I was in high school during George W. Bush's first term in office, so it's not rocket science for me to put together the Triduum liturgies.

    Perhaps an example would be illustrative. A newly-ordained priest told me a story...

    He's the parochial vical/associate pastor at two parishes in a smallish city, population approx. 35,000 in the Midwest. At the parish which has a full-time music and liturgy director, he and the pastor decided they would like to sing the entrance antiphons for the season of Advent 2018. They told the director about 2.5 weeks before Advent began that they'd like to do this. They put no restrictions on her about how it was accomplished, just that it would be done.

    It didn't go well.

    The pastor had a discussion with her after Advent, mentioned that it didn't go well, and wanted some sort of an explanation. She said she didn't have enough time to prepare. Are you kidding me? You need more than 17 days to prepare to sing 4 brief entrance antiphons in any manner you wish? And you're a degreed musician, employed full-time as a Catholic music director for the past two decades?

    My boss told me last week that he wanted antiphons chanted at Entrance, Offertory, and Communion at a particular Mass. He gave me less than one hour notice. This was not a problem for me because I know what the heck I am doing.

    I could accomplish this request easily and beautifully in just a few minutes, while she was given weeks and couldn't do it competently.

    As another example, just to show that I'm not elite at every part of my job, if you ask MJO and me to play the same Bach prelude and fugue for Mass in two weeks, MJO would probably have to practice it far less and would perform it to a much higher standard than I would.

    To wrap this up, I'm sick of Catholic HR directors treating every job that's considered "full-time" exactly the same. My job isn't the same as the receptionist's job, and that's okay. We don't keep the same hours, and that's okay. She can't do her job from home, while I can do parts of my job from home. It's just different, and I've had my greatest professional satisfaction when my pastor has hired me to do a job to a high level and then stepped out of my way and allowed me to go to work. I've had my greatest professional disappointments when my pastor (or someone else, a middle-manager type) has insisted on micromanaging how I achieve results.

    Rant over.
  • Incardination
    Posts: 639
    Ken, I think it depends. First of all, I tend to compare based on salary per Liturgy (that eliminates the factor of experience vs. hours of work)... but at the end of the day, how does one actually measure level of expertise? I rather think that the truest assessment is based on results, rather than something like having a degree, say - which may or may not be a good indicator.

    In one situation I encountered, the director / organist had everything that would have indicated experience and expertise... an advanced degree from a highly respected music college; a working knowledge of chant; knowledge of composition and hymnody. He had been working in music for several decades, director of the parish choir in question for about 14 years.

    Under that particular director my impression (some Masses that I attended, and from talking with choir members subsequently) was that the music program really struggled. One of the Masses I attended towards the end of his time directing was a special Mass for a visiting dignitary that drew attendees from around the region. The chant was acceptable for the Ordinary (but largely forgettable - very limited sense of interpretation or nuance) and the Propers were in really sad shape. At least a third of the Propers were sung by two strong voices a full step (sometimes a third) apart. It was one of the most teeth-grating experiences I've ever had at Mass. I also couldn't understand why there was no polyphony from the adult choir - until Communion when they sang Mozart's Ave Verum. It was another teeth-grating experience.

    When I took over (maybe 5-6 months after that Mass), there was a sheet posted in the practice room - "pieces we know in parts". It listed FIVE pieces (five - in 14+ years). I still remember the pieces (Mozart Ave Verum; Cherubini Veni Iesu, Amor Mi; Traditional O Sanctissima; Soul of my Savior; and O Lord I am not Worthy - of which only the Cherubini and the two English pieces were reasonably proficient).

    When I came on board, he was still the organist (he lasted another 5 months or so). When I started, he did not attend the rehearsals, just showed for the sung Mass on Sundays and Feast Days. He was making 3x what I made i.e. per Liturgy. (Not complaining, just observing).

    I started a robust chant program, and while it took time to develop, it was reasonably good within 2 years and quite strong within 4. We also started some easy 2-3 part music as well as some basic 4 part motets... about 30 in the first season. By the second season we were starting to get into more robust repertoire; by year 4 and 5 we were singing rather advanced polyphonic Masses and motets.

    I never requested a raise, although the pastor voluntarily increased my salary somewhat (his original salary was still more than 2x what I made at the end). I might also point out that, while I don't play the organ, that was not an issue as we only had an organist for 3 of the 6+ seasons I was there - and the organist was mostly part-time at that. One of the first things I did was to stop accompaniment for everything except hymns and the occasional piece like the Cherubini or the Mozart. I wanted the singers to be self-reliant and not rely on a crutch, and largely that worked.

    The first director certainly had the experience and expertise... but he wasn't able to translate them into a satisfactory music program. I do put in a lot of hours... mostly not in practice (although I could certainly use that time effectively!) - but primarily in developing and working a disciplined plan to accomplish our goals; doing LOTS of music entry into Finale; doing LOTS of time reworking revisions of our choir books; etc..

    It shouldn't matter whether I spend lots of time or little time behind the scenes. It also shouldn't matter what degree or certification I do or don't have. What SHOULD matter is the end result. Period.

  • Elmar
    Posts: 109
    A highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced person might require less hours and efforts to achieve the same results as someone less gifted, experienced and knowledgeable

    My boss told me last week that he wanted antiphons chanted at Entrance, Offertory, and Communion at a particular Mass. He gave me less than one hour notice. This was not a problem for me because I know what the heck I am doing.

    The downside is that it obscures the value of this excellence. Too many pastors and parish councils are clueless about the amount of time and energy invested in developing these skills.
  • Short notices are what prompted us to name our choir Magnum Hysterium.
    :-)

    Still, short notice may be much less due to inconsiderate attitude than to a certain confidence level in the director, choir, and their proven ability to "make it so".
    That said, with the pastor pulled in 10 different directions at any given time, it is possible to help him understand that reasonable time is needed to bring off changes in an orderly manner. Reminders of this, now and then, are a good idea.
    I think priests in general will genuinely appreciate people they can rely on.

    Back to the original post: This, this, this.
    >> I've had my greatest professional satisfaction when my pastor has hired me to do a job to a high level and then stepped out of my way and allowed me to go to work. I've had my greatest professional disappointments when my pastor (or someone else, a middle-manager type) has insisted on micromanaging how I achieve results.
    Thanks for this thread & the very helpful insights from everyone who is responding!
  • To the OP: I'd say you're underpaid. I was playing 3 masses a weekend (commuting 1hr one-way to get there too) but didn't have to futz with choirs and the like; I was making between $375 and $450 a weekend depending on the parish (I did this for over 4 years between two different parishes). That works out to around 20k per year. These were both small town / country parishes that were small.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,700
    What SHOULD matter is the end result.


    Amen. Alleluia. The ability to teach and lead is not granted by college degrees--albeit they can give someone the "what to teach." On the other hand, so can a wide-ranging reading program.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Ken of Sarum
    Posts: 335
    When a massive rough diamond was found that yielded Cullinan I and II, it wasn't just anyone that was chosen to cut, facet and polish. Every music position, in my opinion, is a gem in the rough or a gem cut, faceted and polished by a predecessor. Thus, its the pastor's responsibility to find the best musical lapidary (with the best skills, experience and insightful knowledge and know-how), with the appropriate funds that the pastor has at hand to produce the best results on behalf of the parish under his guidance; to inspire, edify and minister to, in leadership to salvation and heaven. (SEE REFERNCE TO THE HYMN - BLESSED CITY, HEAVENLY SALEM - "POLISHED WELL THOSE STONES ELECT").
  • I really like Ken's analogy with diamonds and gem stones.
    When stressing diction and rhythmic accuracy to singers I have often suggested to them that every syllable and every finely delivered note is like unto an expertly crafted precious stone that we are offering to God.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,573
    Many cities have min wage higher than federal rate.
    The minimum compensation is
    (hidden hours + visible hours) * cityrate [$15/hr]

    Justice would require at least that amount.
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 98
    That seems low for your work. It sounds like you are doing 3 liturgies?
    About 10 years ago I was receiving $75 per mass plus $50 per rehearsal. It was a very small parish. I did not have any office hours and as a new mom could be at home with my baby nearly fully time and could plan and practice at home. However, it was stipend work so I paid my own taxes. That was very low. It was my first job and I had plently other music gigs so I was happy. The pastor even refused to take a salary for 2 years in order to keep the church doors open. It was a great place for a first job.

    Now working full time, I still think I deserve a higher base salary, but the benefits are just wonderful, and the flexibility allowed by my employer makes all the difference for me as a single mom. I do wish there was a culture of better pay for musicians. Liturgy is an important place to spend the money.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Aristotle EsguerraAristotle Esguerra
    Posts: 1,154
    I ask out of curiosity, and because I genuinely have no idea how much people get paid to do this.

    @trentonjconn, the definition of "this" is key.

    More likely than not, next Advent will mark the beginning of my eleventh year at my current full-time position. Like you, I am not degreed. I won't publish my compensation, but I'll give a bit of a taste of what is (currently) required of me; you and others can determine what my compensation might (ought?) to be:

    1. For the weekly 4:00 PM anticipated Sunday NOM:

    • Lay out worship leaflet for this and the Sunday 9:15 NOM
    • Play organ preludes, interludes, and postludes outside of purple Sundays
    • Chant as a soloist the proper (Introit, Offertory, Communion w/verses in Latin; Gradual and Alleluia/Tract in English)
    • Lead congregation in organ-accompanied ordinary (Kyrie XVI; Proulx or DeBruyn Gloria; Sanctus XVIII; ICEL Memorial Acclamation C; Lord's Prayer; Agnus XVIII) and recessional hymn

    2. For the weekly 7:30 AM Sunday TLM (if sung or solemn; occasionally one or two Sundays a month may be low):

    • Play organ preludes, interludes, and postludes outside of purple Sundays
    • Lead a small schola of men in full Gregorian ordinary (in the annual four-setting cycle of Masses XVII, IX, I and XI), proper, and seasonal Marian antiphon

    3. For the weekly 9:15 AM Sunday NOM:

    • Lead a twelve-voice SATB choir in three to five pieces of unaccompanied polyphonic motets: one as a prelude, one as/after the offertory antiphon, one to three at communion after the communion antiphon and its verses; be prepared to sing any part if needed
    • Chant as a soloist the Gregorian Introit, Offertory, Communion w/verses in Latin; and simplified versions of the Gradual and Alleluia/Tract in Latin
    • Lead congregation and mixed choir in organ-accompanied ordinary (Kyrie XVI; Proulx or DeBruyn Gloria; Sanctus XVIII; ICEL Memorial Acclamation C; Lord's Prayer; Agnus XVIII) and recessional hymn
    • Play organ interludes and postludes outside of purple Sundays

    4. Some seasonal and job-specific peculiarities:

    • Lead music for both the NO/OF and TL/EF Tridua, offered back-to-back
    • Coordinate the singing of TL/EF Tenebrae
    • Coordinate TL/EF Vespers for every last Sunday of the month
    • Lead schola at men's monthly holy hour, including NO/OF Vespers (Sept–Apr)

    Benefits: enrollment in a health-sharing ministry, paid for by the parish—traditional health insurance coverage ceased during the previous presidential administration. (Of course we submit the medical bills, float the funds, etc.)

    Intangibles: Outside of on-site requirements, work is highly flexible and has allowed me to pursue, among other things, independent musicological scholarship—many choral works I introduce to my choir's repertoire may have been New-World premieres, for all I know—and practical problem-solving, like programming systems to help my singers learn parts on snow days or in the car.

    Finally, I wholeheartedly second @irishtenor's ovation to Ken and associated rant above.
    Thanked by 2eft94530 CHGiffen
  • Ken of Sarum
    Posts: 335
    Aristotle - it reads like a full time ministry; to my eyes.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 395
    My FT position, at present:

    -Each weekend, direction or accompaniment of at least 2 Masses.
    -Plan all music, prepare sheets, stuff accompanist binders
    -Schedule all parish musicians
    -Teach elem. music 2hrs / wk
    -Teach HS Choir, daily meetings
    -Teach HS Schola Cantorum, weekly rehearsal
    -3 HS concerts / annum
    -3 elem. concerts / annum
    -accompany other concerts
    -accompany soloists for music contest (rehearse with them or coach them)
    -Play dinner piano / sing for school fundraising functions
    -weekly HS Mass
    -weekly elem. Mass
    -assist in HS drama vocal prep (band teacher leads team)
    -coordinate elem. parish choristers
    -parish choir with weekly practices and masses.
    -TLM choir with near-weekly practices and masses (sometimes low mass).
    -weekly school staff meetings
    -3 monthly or near-monthly evening meetings.
    -Holidays and holy days, multiple Masses
    -Periodic Sunday Vespers, Tenebrae during holy week. Prepare all musical materials, train men, servers, MC and sing.
    -Work as needed with parish organists.
    -Meet with all couples to prepare wedding music.
    -Play most parish funerals.

    I feel like I am forgetting some things, too.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,743
    You are the musician, essentially, for two entities: a school and a church-parish.
    This seems to me incredibly burdensome.
    Each of these ought to be and is a full time job in itself.
    I must admire your dedication and stamina!
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 395
    Burdensome but rewarding!

    The parish runs a K-12 school, and the two are tied together in beautiful ways.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,049
    I once worked for a parish that ran a K-12 school, and the two were tied together marginally, and in annoying, frustrating ways. I am very glad that you find yourself in a much different situation! For me, onward and upward! :-)

    Edit: Hey, it's my thousandth post! What do I win?!
    Thanked by 1Carol