Website St. Joseph Catholic Church

About the Sacred Music Program

St. Joseph Catholic Church has a rich history of sacred music for more than 70 years beginning with an all-male schola cantorum in 1949. We strive to foster communal sung prayer and glorify God through the rich history of sacred chant, polyphony, hymnody with inspiring organ support, and choral, organ, and instrumental literature of the highest possible caliber. The choir has toured and performed in Europe. This past year the choir performed Handel’s Messiah as part of the 75th Anniversary Celebration and continues to sing works that are staples of choral literature weekly including works by Palestrina, Monteverdi, MacMillan, Raczynski, Powell, Stanford, Isaac, Farrant, and di Lasso. The choir is made up of both paid choral scholars and an incredibly talented group of parish volunteers, many of whom have decades of music and singing experience, or degrees in music.  The Propers of the Mass are sung in either English or Latin at every liturgy. The entire choir sings at the Sunday 10:30 am Mass and a smaller group of staff singers and some volunteers repeat the same repertoire at the 12:15 pm Sunday Mass September through Corpus Christi.



The director of sacred music reports directly to the pastor and/or pastoral administrator.



This is a part time position. 30 hours.


Job Duties and Responsibilities 

The director of music is responsible for the overall vision, planning, implementation, and growth of all musical elements in parish liturgies.

  1. Oversees all administrative duties of the parish music ministry
  2. Is responsible for all hymnody, propers, psalms, choral anthems, and Mass settings at all parish liturgies
  3. Oversees the scheduling and recruitment of musicians for the entire music ministry, including recruiting and training cantors in chant, and procuring and rehearsing guest musicians
  4. Proposes and manages all sacred music office operational budgets and salaries for staff musicians
  5. Provides the pastor, director of liturgy, and cantors with music for weekly worship aids
  6. Directs, recruits, rehearses parish choir. Schedules and directs weekly rehearsals, as well as additional rehearsals when needed
  7. Hires musicians as may be required to meet the musical needs of the parish, including but not limited to substitute organists and /or conductors, instrumentalists, assistant musicians or vocal scholars.  Responsible for musical coverage for all masses and rehearsals to include choir, cantors, and organist.
  8. Coordinates with Bel Canto director and assist as needed with special children’s choir programs.
  9. Collaborates with pastor, organist, director of liturgy and all members of liturgical team for quarterly liturgical planning. Attend meetings pertinent to church music, including staff meetings, liturgy meetings, meetings called by pastor to review special Masses.
  10. Director of music collaborates with the organist to establish a vision for the St. Joseph parish to grow as a model for liturgical music in the Diocese of Charleston.  Promote our choirs in the community and the Diocese.
  11. The director of music also collaborates with the organist to enhance congregational singing at all Masses. Works to educate and enhance the parish’s singing of hymns and plainchant.  Develop strategies, with the organist, to encourage congregational participation.
  12. Keep current in regard to trends and directions of sacred church music in the Catholic Church to assure all music used in liturgical services and special activities is appropriate in accordance with the Church traditions as well as current practices and dictates of Church authorities.
  13. Organizes musical elements for liturgies outside of Masses including prayer services and vespers during Advent or Lent.
  14. Assists with the planning for all musical elements and choir participation if needed for weddings and funerals.
  15. Weekly time commitment includes all administrative duties, music planning, research and study, planning meetings, practice time, rehearsals, regular and special Masses, and special programs related to parish-sponsored ministries e.g. annual senior adult Mass and program with music entertainment.
  16. Is responsible for the maintenance of all pianos at St Joseph. In collaboration with the organist, is responsible for the maintenance of the church organ. Is responsible for the procuring of new instruments as needed and approved by the pastor.
  17. Manage payroll for supervisees
  18. Additional Masses: Ash Wednesday, The Paschal Triduum, The Great Easter Vigil, Gym overflow Christmas and Easter Masses, Ordinations, Rite of Election, Immaculate Conception, All Saints, All Souls, First Communion, May Processional, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day Mass, Mass of Assumption, and additional masses that may be scheduled.
  19. Organize, enhance, and maintain the music library and music ministry resources, including the dissemination of choral music to choir members in a timely manner, and re-filing music in its proper place upon completion of performance
  20. Rehearse choral anthems 7-9 weeks in advance of performance in Mass
  21. Choir members are accustomed to rehearsing 7-10 anthems in one Wednesday night rehearsal
  22. Perform any other related duties to the position as designated by the pastor.



All staff musicians including but not limited to, parish organist, vocal scholars, guest organists, substitute organists, Bel Canto director, and guest musicians.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Practicing Catholic in good standing or extensive experience in Catholic liturgy
  • A master’s degree in choral conducting, sacred music, with significant choral conducting experience
  • Organ/piano/key board experience
  • Experience leading both amateur and professional level choral ensembles
  • Minimum of two years of director or associate director experience in a large Catholic parish





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