Advice

St Albans, Hertford & Bedford

A brief Guide to finding organists, choir directors and music leaders for Parish staff

Contents: (1) Overview (2) Places to advertise vacancies / look for deputies (3) Selection (4) Fees

1.Overview

Music for worship nowadays often requires a different approach from the traditional organist/choirmaster role. Therefore working out first of all what a parish really requires is crucial to achieving a long-term successful appointment. See LINK A below for useful guidance for this process.

This guide picks up after that decision has been made; although, of course, during the process of looking for music staff the original ideal may change!

2. Where to advertise/look for organists

Like any recruitment, the message needs to get to the likely candidates. This is a review of current options of where to place the message (with a bias towards the Herts, Beds, Bucks area). The list distinguishes between situation A – where a new organist is required (i.e. a permanent post to be filled); and B – where an organist is required to cover a temporary absence/unavailability of the usual organist.

Category

Contact place

Notes

A

B

People on your church’s existing network (deputies, etc)

This has to be the first step and, if luck is on side, it could be the last as well!

St Albans Diocese

https://www.stalbans.anglican.org

Social media

Facebook/Twitter/other social media. There are many Facebook groups devoted to church music

Church Times

https://jobs.churchtimes.co.uk

Quite expensive but good support such that, if the post is not filled, the advert will stay posted beyond the paid-for time.

RSCM (HQ)

https://www.rscm.org.uk/our-resources/magazines/advertising-in-our-magazines The RSCM publication Church Music Quarterly (a periodical sent to churches affiliated to the RSCM) is cost effective for parishes with a limited advertising budget

RSCM (Local area)

http://www.rscm-stalbans.co.uk/?cat=1 to post adverts use the Contact page

http://www.rscm-stalbans.co.uk/?page_id=747 there is a contact form on the page

Rhinegold publications

www.rhinegoldjobs.co.uk currently no organists jobs

RCO (Royal College of Organists)

https://www.rco.org.uk/jobsboard.php – not a very active site

Organistsonline

https://organistsonline.org/ “Enter site” and scroll down for the “How to find an organist” section which also covers advertising vacancies

British Choirs on the Net

http://www.choirs.org.uk/vacancies.html Covers concert choirs and churches; a lot of jobs & vacancies are listed

Church Organ World (suppliers of digital organs)

http://churchorganworld.co.uk/NewsArticle.aspx?articleID=203

As at Aug 2018 this is more aspirational than real?

Lastminutemusicians

www.lastminutemusicians.com/search/organists.html there is no experience to offer about this site

Encore musicians

https://encoremusicians.com/hire/organists/

Local Organists’ Associations

For example the Enfield and District Organists’ Association at www.edoa.org.uk . Contact the webmaster and newsletter editor to advertise.

Church Music Future

www.churchmusicfuture.com They have an emailed newsletter; free to advertise

3. Selection

All the sources/sites mentioned are just listings. There is no guarantee of ability or suitability, nor any indication of safeguarding issues. Assessing these is considered to be the responsibility of the church involved.

4. Fees: As a footnote, guidance about musicians’ fees can be found from:

the RSCM at https://www.rscmshop.com/rscm-membership-area/rscm-fees.html ; (an RSCM member key is required to gain access to this)

the RCO at https://www.rco.org.uk/news_displaystory.php?newsid=272

the ISM at https://www.ism.org/advice/organists-fees-survey-2017 

the MU at https://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Files/Rates/Live-Rates/Organists-Rate