Choral Scholars/Section Leader - Share Information?
Date: June 20, 2014
Hi, everyone. I'm seeking to share information regarding job descriptions and contracts for choral scholars or section leaders. Context: I'm finishing my first year of Music Ministry with my church, which has six choral scholars. They had no written guidelines as to qualifications, responsibilities or time limits in the position when I came here. I whipped up something simple explaining my expectations, compensation and scheduling for the just-ended season, and I'd like to improve what I have.
If you have such a document and would be willing to share it, it would be very helpful, especially if you can comment about what works well within the document, and what doesn't. Mine is pasted below. Thanks in advance!
Patrick Coyle, DMA
Minister of Music
First (Park) Congregational Church
Grand, Rapids, MI 49503
Accountability: Choral Scholars are accountable to the Minister of Music.
1. Primary duty is to give volunteer singers in the Chancel Choir a strong sense of musical security and consistency.
2. In addition, it is our hope that this position can act as a learning opportunity that inspires and invigorates a Choral Scholar’s own growth.
3. We also hope that this position helps the Choral Scholar to have a spiritual home and family while pursuing his/her musical education.
1. Attend all scheduled rehearsals of Chancel Choir during the normal choir year, usually starting the Thursday after Labor Day, and usually ending on Pentecost Sunday or end of May, whichever falls later.
2. Attend all worship services which the Chancel Choir serves, and other performances by the Chancel Choir, e.g. December Candlelight concert, Holy Week Services, and any other special concerts.
3. Sing solos in worship and Chancel Choir performances if and as requested by
Musical and Personal Requirements:
1. Excellent musicianship: good music reader, pitch sense, and ensemble singer.
2. Strong sense of musical leadership.
3. To be the first in the section to know music well.
3. Exceptional leadership in behavior and professionalism
4. Be present, prompt, prepared and professional in rehearsals and
1. Evaluation of Choral Scholars by Minister of Music is ongoing; he will discuss Scholar’s performance at any point the scholar wishes, or if scholar’s performance is unacceptable.
2. Musical initiative, attitude and singer's vocal leadership of his/her section will be important evaluation factors, as will general professionalism and spirit of helpfulness, including punctuality and attendance.
3. Appointment of Choral Scholars is at the will of the Minister of Music, and decisions on continuation of service will consider performance and availability
1. Phones and tablets are ABSOLUTELY forbidden in rehearsal and services. Even when you are not singing, you are not permitted to use them.
2. Excused absence will be granted when requested sufficiently in advance from the Director; however, an absence incurs a proportionate deduction from the next payment.
3. Absences are permitted when a substitute is secured at the singer’s expense, and with the Director's prior approval.
4. Unexcused or excessive absences at rehearsals or performances will result in dismissal of the Choral Scholar.
5. Absence for illness or emergency will normally be excused by the Director, but communicating promptly with the Director is required. Excessive absence due to illness may result in dismissal.
6. This Job Description is a part of the Letter of Agreement provided to the Choral
Scholar which defines specific terms and time of employment.
1. Attend weekly Thursday evening choir rehearsals (90 minutes).
2. Attend the Sunday morning service (10:30 service and pre-service warmup).
3. This may include singing an occasional solo or offering any other musical talents you might wish to share with the congregation.
4. On average, the time commitment will equal about 3 hours a week, but is
subject to change based on the Music Ministry schedule.
1. Pay is $xx per service, normally one rehearsal and one worship service per week.
2. A schedule of Thursday rehearsals, Sunday services and additional rehearsals and performances will be prepared at least one month in advance, continuing until the end of May.
3. If the Choral Scholar is going to miss an upcoming rehearsal or service, he/she is asked to let the Music Director know as soon as possible, no later than one week prior to the absence and preferably at least one month ahead of time.
4. If the Choral Scholar will miss a Sunday service, he/she must recruit a substitue of comparable skill, and scholar is responsible for compensation to the substitute. If no substitute can be found or if the Choral Scholar is sick and unable to give enough notice, the Choral Scholar will only be paid for services rendered. In other words, no pay will be given for missed rehearsals or Sunday morning services.
5. A Choral Scholar may occasionally be allowed to miss a Thursday rehearsal and sing the following Sunday, but a Choral Scholar who will miss an upcoming Sunday may be asked to bring the substitute to rehearsal as well.
6. Multiple absences, chronic tardiness, or significant difficulty singing the assigned part may lead to dismissal of the Choral Scholar.