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Double Dipping as a Music Director

We have a part time Music Director who is also serves as the piano accompanist for choir, solos and ensembles.  We also have an organist who plays each Sunday morning.  Our Music Director is now demanding that when the organist if absent and if she plays the organ, or the piano for the whole service which would include a prelude (short) offertory and hymn that she should be entitled to the substitute organist compensation.  Our church is small (60 or less members)  I maintain that if we had to get an outside substitute they should be compensated but when we have someone who could easily fill in for the 4 Sundays of the year that the organist is gone, no additional compensation should be warranted.  The Music Director is fairly compensated in her job as Music Director which includes the responsibility of playing for congregational singing and ensuring that other music is provided.  Thoughts?  Comments?
Replies (21): Threaded | Chronological
on January 9, 2014 7:03am
All -  Thank you for your insights, thoughts, and comments.  To clarify, again a few points.
The job description of the MD clearly specifies that MD play for the morning services, whether or not the organist is there.  The job description was written specifically for the person upon hiring.  There is no question as to whether or not the MD should or should not play.  They have done so and it IS in the job description.  Nobody is asking the MD to VOLUNTEER to play as it is part and parcel of the job.
The question was whether or not to compensate her as the volunteer substitute.  The Church's council maintained that there was NO neeed for the organ to be played on the 4 Sundays that the organist is absent.  The church was willing to have just the piano which, again, is in the job description to which the MD signed off and agreed to upon hire.  
The church has said we don't need an organ on the Sundays the organist is absent.  IF the MD CHOOSES to play the organ that is her choice.  We are not asking the MD to do so and are quite happy with only piano accompaniment. 
When and IF we have had an OUTSIDE SUBSTITUTE,  we have indeed compensated.
Also, please understand, we are a church of, on a good day, 50 people.  This is NOT a huge church in the middle of NY or San FRancisco.  It's a little country church with a small budget.  
Thanks, again for your input.  I think we have put the issue to rest at our church.
on January 9, 2014 7:38am
I wonder why you even bothered starting this thread, because it seems to me that you'd already made up your mind on this issue before you first posted, and that nothing said here has affected your thinking.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on January 10, 2014 6:50am
I would also add to Simon's comment that had you included the information from your last post in your first one, much of the discussion above would have been unneccessary.  Why ask for advice if the parameters of the situation are entirely clear to you?  
on January 10, 2014 12:55pm
I went back and read the original post.  I'm not sure it WAS entirely clear, but after reading the replies it appears that folks didn't read in entirety the orignal post where this person wrote "Music Director which includes the responsibility of playing for congregational singing and ensuring that other music is provided. "  If I understand it correctly, the person was trying to see if the Music Director, whose job apparently covered playing during a service had a legitimate argument that she be paid more, simply because she was going to play the organ, which apparently wasn't required.   I think musicians need to be paid for a job done.  I understand that this music director was and her request for more money to do what she was already doing was Ann called "double dipping"  It appears to me that she was trying to clarify for herself that the decision of the church was correct, but maybe she had missed something.  Just sayin......   
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 8, 2014 8:48pm
I have always lived by this motto, and have yeilded a lot of work.... too much at times. If a church hires me as a pianist, I will do whatever they need me to do on a Sunday morning. I might be hired to just play for praise choruses with the band, but am happy to also play a prelude, offertory, postlude,or  sing along with my playing should the need arise. All this without expecting any other compensation. I apply the same thinking to jobs as a wedding pianist and vocalist. At one recent wedding my prelude was extended by almost 45 minutes while we waited for a member of the wedding party to arrive.  Does this mean that I should have charged more money?  Perhaps. But life happens. If someone is serving in a position at a church, I would think that some extra "serving" (especially in a church the size of yours) without pay would be commonplace. 
I currently "serve" as the Vocal Music Director at a public high school. On occasion, I step in to help out a music or drama colleague when a need arises for one of their performances. I am not paid extra for coming to school when I am not scheduled, nor do I expect extra compensation for it. I consider these occasional events part and parcel to the job. 
Glad to see you have worked out the situation. 
Applauded by an audience of 3
on January 10, 2014 4:18am
Simon -  just because someone asks for input does not necessarily mean they will change their mind. One who is wise will ask for counsel to hear all sides to help clarify. No, I did not change my original decision however that does NOT mean I did not hear and weigh what I heard.  Weighing ALL the factors of our situation and considering the insights and input from the  folks here brought me to the do closure our church needed.  Disagreeing or taking a different approach doesn't mea I did not value the input or consider what people here offered. I'm sorry you think differently. 
Applauded by an audience of 2
on August 10, 2014 11:21pm
I'm happy to hear you and your church worked out the issue Ann.  Always know you can count on us to weigh in and help each other out through the tough choices.  That's what a community is for! :)
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