St John's Choir
Categories: Rector's Corner

The Search for Our Next Director of Music Ministries

Last week the Director of Music Ministries Search Committee launched its work to find the next leader for St. John’s dynamic music program. After ten years under Anne Timpane, this program has grown into a vibrant ministry that enlivens our liturgy and nourishes our creative spirit. We sent Anne off with love this summer as she moved on to her next adventure, and then began the exciting work of finding a new Director to ably take the reins.

The Search Committee includes Becky Berman, Cassie Carr, Liz Everhart, Jane Houlihan, Diana Ingraham, Leslie Saltsman, John Welch, and Jessica Zehner. Collectively, we represent the five vocal and handbell choirs and our three Sunday services that include music.

We have set an aggressive but doable schedule to attract capable candidates and fill the position as soon as possible. To date, we have reviewed archives from our past two music director searches (thank you, Christine Curto, for the well organized files), heard from Sari and our senior warden Johnna Story on their criteria for the position, and established a timeline and process for getting the job done.

How you can help with the Music Minister Search

Look for an invitation in next week’s Crossroads newsletter and on our Facebook page for listening sessions in October, open to all parishioners. We will also hold a listening session for each choir (or parents of young singers), at times we’ll announce within the next two weeks.

We hope to hear from many in the parish and choirs about the values, vision, and hopes you hold for the music ministry and our next Director. We’d like to know what you cherish about our music traditions. We are interested in the changes you would like to see, and the personal qualities in a music director that are most important to you or your family. Your input will inform the creation of a new music ministry vision statement and position description that captures our aspirations.

The steps and the schedule for the Music Minister Search

Announcement:In early October we will post an announcement of the opening in key music ministry publications. We will complete listening sessions with parishioners and choir members by the end of October. We plan to publish a new vision statement and in-depth position description by mid-November. We will accept applications until December 31.

The Committee will meet weekly from now through mid-January to execute plans and review accumulated applications. We will conduct telephone interviews through January with a selected subset of candidates. Then we will further limit the field, inviting a small number of candidates to St John’s for an extensive interview, a step to be completed by mid February. Each candidate will perform for the committee on organ and piano, rehearse and conduct the Search Committee (acting as a small choir) through music we have selected, and participate in a personal interview with the Committee. We will select three final candidates, which we will present to Sari by March 1. The candidates and selection decisions will remain confidential, consistent with St. John’s normal practice and policy. Sari will interview each candidate, review the Committee’s findings, and make the final selection.

The transition and your questions

We are grateful for Interim Director Sonya Sutton, who is capably leading us through this transition period. Thanks to Sonya, this time of change continues to be filled with beautiful, inspiring music that we look forward to every week. Thanks also go to all choir members, the singers and ringers who continue to give the parish the gift of music each Sunday.

Please contact Committee co-chairs John Welch and Jane Houlihan¬† or any of the Committee members with questions and thoughts you would like to share in advance of October’s listening sessions.

Karen Berry
Karen Berry

Karen is the Director of Church Operations at St. John's.