Organist & Choir Director

About Saint James:

Saint James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA is a large and growing parish founded in 1744 in the middle of a historic, vibrant city undergoing a renaissance driven in large part by remarkable creativity in the arts and a faith-based commitment to philanthropy. We are a congregation and staff team that pride itself on innovation, excellence, and breadth in our approach to everything we do. We have as our mission to be a place where joyful worship, contemplative prayer, generous living, and holy dying are the hallmarks of our life in Christ.

About the Position:

Saint James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA seeks a three-quarter time or full-time organist/choir director.

We are searching for a warm colleague and servant leader who loves the city and wants to collaborate with its many artists, one who is an accomplished organist and trained choral conductor, capable of leading a choir of paid and volunteer singers whose ability ranges from novice to professional, and who understands formal liturgy and the place of pop, rock, blues and contemplative music traditions in great worship. The successful candidate will be comfortable in a wide range of musical styles from Gregorian chant to gospel, as well as have the ability to play piano when appropriate, and to interface with all the myriad service opportunities currently offered at Saint James. While excellence in music and performance is important, so too is using the gifts, abilities, and formational power of music for children, youth, and families to participate frequently and meaningfully in the liturgy.

The Organist & Choir Director will work under and report to the Director of Worship whose responsibilities include planning and integrating all the components of worship from seasonal planning and technology to digital worship production. The Director of Worship is responsible for an integrated vision and execution of music in all aspects of our worship, prayer, mission and urban community.

Services Duties & Responsibilities

  • First Friday Compline, monthly, at 9:00 PM
  • Evensongs semi-annually or more
  • Sundays 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM
  • Additional services Holy Week, Christmas Eve, feast days, weddings, funerals and other special services


  • Recruit and lead a diverse choir of community and regional singers in the ancient rite of Compline. First Friday from 9-9:30 PM with one rehearsal immediately prior. Drawing music from a variety of sources from ancient chant to modern choral music within the framework of the BCP Office of Compline.

Sunday Services

  • Plan music, anthems, hymns and other service music in conjunction with, and under the direction of the Director of Worship
  • Conduct weekly rehearsal
  • Recruit, audition, hire and manage section leaders, payments and scheduling
  • Hire additional musicians as needed (brass, strings, etc.)
  • Maintain music library of nearly 900 files and digital database; purchase music
  • Submit music notes, bulletin inserts, hymns, anthem texts to office and communications staff
  • Lead professional quartet/quintet of professional singers in Rite One liturgy, singing renaissance to 21st century polyphony at weekly 8:30 Sunday service

Children’s Choir

  • Coordinate with children, youth and families director and director of worship to develop opportunities for children and youth

Personal Qualities & Skills

  • Capacity to work independently and collaboratively
  • Desire to think theologically in a downtown, mission-driven church
  • Creative and inclusive
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Relates easily to parishioners in musical and social situations
  • Writes well about music for a wide audience including creating bulletin notes about the anthems, hymns, and organ music which educate and deepen worshipper’s spiritual experience
  • Can write text for social media posts or weekly e-news that is informative and generates interest and engagement
  • Familiar with different liturgical styles and the Book of Common Prayer
  • Proficiency in music-editing software; ideally a composer or arranger

This position is three-quarter time or full-time with a full-time base salary range of $52,000-$60,000. The role includes excellent benefits: medical, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, 401A and 403B retirement plans with employer match, generous vacation and sick leave, schedule flexibility, a family-friendly workplace and budget for professional development opportunities.

 Application deadline May 17, 2024

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Application for Employment