Director of Sacred Music

St. Michael the Archangel
Employment Type
Full Time
Gastonia, NC
Posted Date

Hours per week: 30+

Position Summary:

St. Michael the Archangel parish in Gastonia, North Carolina, a medium size parish of approximately 1000 families, is seeking a full-time (30+ hours/week) Director of Sacred Music (DSM). The program has seen steady growth over the last several years, particularly in the areas of chant and polyphony. The incoming DSM would be assured of the full support of the pastor, a music lover, in building a program faithful to the norms laid out in the Second Vatican Council.

A typical Sunday Solemn Mass includes a Gregorian Mass ordinary, Entrance and Offertory propers in English from the Simple English Propers, Communion proper in Latin with verses from the Graduale Romanum, a sung Creed in English with occasional polyphonic “Et Incarnatus”, and motets in Latin and English at the Offertory and Communion. There is usually a large contingent of altar boys, considerable usage of incense, an altar rail, and a young and growing congregation. St. Michael currently utilizes the Source and Summit Digital Platform for the majority of congregational music. The parish also has the St. Michael Hymnal (4th ed.) available in the pews.

There is a small, but growing, parochial school attached to the parish. It is based in the Classical Catholic tradition and emphasizes the importance of the arts in the lives of its students. The headmaster is very supportive of music, and occasionally sings with the Festival Choir. The school children have been progressing through the Ward method for several years, and recently were invited to participate in recordings for the Catholic University of America in collaboration with the Lilly Foundation.

The Diocese of Charlotte is a growing diocese, evidenced by the opening of St. Joseph College Seminary, several new churches being built in recent years, and the announcement of the construction of a new cathedral to take place in the coming years. In addition to being close to St. Joseph seminary, St. Michael is also in close proximity to Belmont Abbey College, and sits 20 miles outside of downtown Charlotte. The region boasts excellent weather, easy access to mountains, lakes, and beaches, as well as a thriving music and arts scene.

Key responsibilities:

  • The DSM, in consultation with the pastor, will be in charge of all liturgical music for the parish including two (2) Masses per weekend (4:30 PM vigil and 9 AM Sunday), Solemnities and Feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady, occasional Solemn Vespers, funerals, weddings, and other liturgies and events as they are scheduled. Additionally, the DSM is expected to collaborate with and assist the school music teacher for Thursday School Mass, First Friday School Mass, Advent Lessons and Carols, and other events as available. Leaflets are created by the DSM for most liturgies to aid congregational participation.
  • There are currently two main choirs for which the DSM will have primary responsibility, the Parish Adult Choir and the Parish Children’s Choir. There is a newly established “Festival Choir” which draws from the larger congregation to sing for special liturgies such as the Feast of St. Michael, Christmas Midnight Mass, Holy Week, and Corpus Christi. There is also a desire for more choral opportunities for the older Middle and High School students to sing more difficult music apart from the larger children’s choir. 

Minimum Requirements:

  • Practicing Catholic with thorough knowledge of the Church’s traditions, teachings, and documents on sacred music and liturgy.
  • Undergraduate degree in organ, sacred music, or other related field. In lieu of degree, comparable experience and skill will be considered.
  • Demonstrated excellence in service playing, including organ repertoire suitable for preludes and postludes, as well as improvisation skills.
  • Demonstrated excellence in Gregorian and English chant, choral technique, and conducting.
  • Proficiency with word processing programs and basic design and layout skills for leaflets.

Position Start Date: 7/1/2024, open until filled