• City: Rochester, MN
  • Full Time
  • MN
  • Church body: Non-Lutheran
Hours per week: 35-40
Month position available: June
Job Compensation: Salary $40 - $50K/year plus Health, PTO - additional benefits to be discussed
Contact Name: Karen Sessler - Member of DOM Search Committee

Website First Presbyterian Church of Rochester, MN

Director of Music/Organist

First Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Rochester, MN is seeking a caring, multi-talented musician to fill the Director of Music/Organist position.  In addition to the requested musical skills, the successful candidate must have a willingness to engage with congregation members and volunteers on a personal level.  The music program at FPC is a key component in the ministry of the church.

Responsibilities of this position include, but may not be limited to:

Planning the church’s music program – including regular and special worship services, in consultation with the pastor, the Music Assistants, and the Worship & Music Committee.  First Presbyterian delivers a traditional worship experience following the liturgical calendar with two Sunday services from Labor Day to Memorial Day and one Sunday service during the summer months.

Musical groups meet and rehearse during the school year, but take the summer months off.  These groups currently include:

  • Adult/Chancel Choir
  • Youth Choir
  • Two Children’s choirs – directed by a part-time music assistant
  • Adult Handbell Choir
  • Youth/Intergenerational Handbell Choir
  • Children’s Handbell Choir
  • First Players Youth Band – directed by a part-time music assistant

The Director of Music

  • Directs Adult/Chancel & Youth Choirs and all Handbell Choirs
  • Oversees the work of the Music Assistants and any temporary or volunteer workers.
  • Directs the ordering of all music and supplies needed to carry out the music programs.
  • Plans the program for all choral and handbell choirs, organizes new choirs as needed; oversees staffing and implementation of all choir direction and recruiting.
  • Plans the children’s music education program with the Music Assistants and staff.
  • Supervises the use and maintenance of all musical instruments owned by the church.
  • Sees to the care of choir robes and a music filing system.
  • Arranges for vocal and instrumental music as needed for Sunday services and for special services and programs.
  • Directs orchestra and choir(s) for special services (i.e. Lessons & Carols &/or an Easter Cantata)

Playing organ music for all worship services including weddings and funerals, or provide a competent substitute in case of absence (vacation, leave, or schedule conflict).

Serving as an advisor to

  • The Worship and Music Committee
  • The First Players Youth Band program and board
  • The Festival of Music Concert series committee

Position Requirements

  • Advanced degree preferred
  • Bachelors Degree w/5 years experience in liturgical music accepted

Additional Information:

  • Lee Afdahl, our current Director of Music/Organist, will retire from the position on May 31, 2019.
  • The preferred start date for the new person would be the last week of May – however, we realize that completing a church music program in a current position, and/or making a permanent move to Rochester might make this difficult.  Temporary organist fill-ins (possibly including Lee) can be found if needed to bridge the gap to a confirmed start date.

Compensation for the position is negotiable but will include:

  • $40K – $50K per year salary commensurate with a flexible 35 – 40-hour work week.
  • Health Insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Continuing education allowance (for workshops, conferences etc.)
  • Access to organ and other church instruments & spaces for private lessons.

Additional compensation items for discussion might be:

  • Church contribution to an IRA or another retirement account
  • Church contribution for additional insurance coverage (family, disability, life)
  • Leave (paid or unpaid) available for family or professional needs

Additional tools & volunteers include:

  • Music librarian – handles the choral and orchestral music distribution & collection
  • A large existing music library
  • Private office and computer
  • Access to church office equipment
  • An adequate budget for instrument maintenance, music purchase and when needed the hiring of guest/professional musicians to supplement those who volunteer.
  • Church membership in the future would be preferred but is not required for the position.

For more information about First Presbyterian Church please find us at – https://fpcrochester.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FPCRochMN/

Application Package Requirements – submit via email to web@fpcrochester.org or mail to the address below.   Application for this position may also be made on the American Guild of Organists website at www.agohq.org.

  • Completed FPC Job Application
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter to further explain:
  • Why you would be a fit for this position?
  • What you would bring to and what you would hope to find in the position?
  • What your available start date would be?
  • Audio recordings (organ, organ with choir/congregation) can be submitted here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/mGC3BpCLsxCpIyyd2gpv
  • Video clips – if you have a link to a YouTube or Vimeo account please include it.  If not, please only upload one video file here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/7ZAE7uvQUuU6dg6KllFy
  • File names should begin with your Last Name for easier sorting & searching on our end.


Please forward any questions to the search committee via the web@fpcrochester.org email address.  We will attempt to answer them as quickly as possible.  Thank you!

Information about Rochester, MN:

Rochester is a vibrant southeastern Minnesota city that offers a small town feel with big city amenities.  We have something for everybody with over 165 locally owned restaurants that offer cuisine from all over the world, events ranging from concerts to comedy to sports, and a rich shopping scene.  The recently expanded Civic Center hosts hundreds of musical and theatre productions each year.


With affordable housing, excellent schools, miles of hiking/biking trails, livability.com ranks Rochester as number 1 on its 2017 ranking of Top 100 Best Places to Live.

Rochester is the home of the Mayo Clinic, known around the world for its legacy of excellence through innovation and compassionate care.  To learn more please check out https://www.experiencerochestermn.com/

Organ Information:  Casavant Opus 3767 installed in 1998 – for detailed information please see https://fpcrochester.org/casavant-organ-specs

Street Address: 512 3rd St. SW
Zip Code/Postal Code: 55902

To apply for this job email your details to web@fpcrochester.org