As is the case with most choral musicians, especially those whose first degrees were in Organ performance, one might expect that a good portion of my income comes from a church position. When I first moved from my home province, I wasn't sure if I was going to look for a church position, as I was starting a new Masters program, and had enough scholarship and teaching assignments to sustain a fairly comfortable standard of living, without the need for a Thursday night choir practice, or early Sunday mornings - that was, unless the "perfect" job presented itself.
About 10 years ago (in fact, exactly 10 years ago this coming January) a colleague at the University asked me if I was interested in a job at a small Anglican parish (did I mention that the "perfect" job had to be Anglican?) I had expressed some interest, and before I knew it, I was meeting at an A&W (or as he called it "The A 'n Dub") near the church, discussing my church music and liturgical philosophies with the organist and director of music of the parish. I began the new post at the church the first choir Sunday back after Christmas, January 11th 1998, and besides the requisite four weeks holiday per year, have been there just about every Sunday since. First as the church's choir director, to my current position as organist, choirmaster and director of music (the sole music employee of the parish).
From time to time, I will blog some of the frustrations that occur in working with a completely volunteer church choir, all of whom lead professional lives (many of them teachers, a few lawyers, a couple of government employees, and at least one shoe salesman). But all this aside, I want to be clear from the onset of this blog that I love my job. I have incredible support from clergy, congregation and choir; and have the resources and space that make my church job the "dream" church job for any musician - which is not a luxury that others who work in my field have.
I should probably also mention - - if it were not for the church, and its choir - - I would have never found my wonderful wife.