Open Position: Church Organist/Pianist



Church Organist: The job description for this position is posted below. You can also download a paper copy by clicking here. 
Position: Church Organist/Pianist for Trinity United Methodist Church of Smithfield, VA
Reports to: Director of Music
Status: Part-time
FLSA: Exempt
Salary Range: $12,000 – $16,000
Responses: Submit resumes to Richard Winfree at


Job Summary:

              The main focus of this job is to serve as a church organist and choir accompanist for the 11:00 AM service. Once a month the organist will fill in at the 8:30 or 9:30 AM services through the year.


Essential Functions:


  • Read and know the details of the monthly and weekly plans that are emailed to you.
  • Select and play an organ prelude, meditation, offertory, and postlude for the 11:00 AM service. Communicate selection titles to the church office via email by 8:00 AM Thursday mornings.
  • Prepare and play assigned church hymns on organ during 11:00 AM service. The director of music will select and communicate hymns in advance.
  • Accompany the choir on piano during Wednesday night rehearsals. Rehearsals run from 7:00-8:30; the accompanist should please be present by 6:45. Choral anthems will be selected by the Director of Music and communicated in advance.
  • Assist in warming the choir up before 11:00 service by reporting to choir room before 10:40 AM on Sunday morning with all of need materials for the day.
  • Having all musical material prepared in advance of each rehearsal/performance.
  • Practice Time: The accompanist should have spent the time needed to practice all music to a high level of accuracy. (hymns, service music, anthems accompaniments and open score)



  • Approximately once a month, sometimes more, the organist will play either the 8:30 AM service or the 9:30 AM service in addition to the 11:00 AM service. (Approximately 5 services a month).
  • The 8:30 AM service will take place on the piano. Then anthem spot can be a piano solo, but often includes a vocalist that is accompanied.
  • The 9:30 AM service will require gradual training of basic sound equipment and computer usage. Praise team rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings, but once trained you could prepare this group on Sunday morning before the service.



  • Accompany and rehearse with soloists. Some soloists will need a little help reading/learning the music.
  • Prepare and play additional services throughout the year.
    • Christmas Concert – typically an evening event and may require and additional rehearsal(s) outside of the normal schedule.
    • Christmas Eve – Trinity has 3 Christmas Eve service: 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 11:00 PM. The organist plays for the 7:00 and 11:00 PM services.
    • Easter – extra musical performances on Palm Sunday and Easter. Easter morning has 4 services – 6:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM, and 11:00 AM. The organist usually plays the 11:00 service, but flexibility is needed this day.  Possible Easter Concert outside of the normally scheduled services.
    • There are also additional services that take place each year. Examples include Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Charge Conferences, and more. Additional services change from year to year, flexibility is needed with these.
  • At Organist’s discretion, play for Weddings. Weddings do earn an additional fee of $150.00.
  • Funerals traditionally been the responsibility of the organist. This is another time when the “Team-Centered Approach” of the music staff comes into focus.  


Working as a Team:

  • The music staff are tight knit team. Open communication between the Director of Music and Church Organist/Accompanist through email and occasional meetings is expected. There are 3 services each Sunday morning played by a volunteer pianist (8:30 service), the Director of Music (9:30 service) and the Church Organist/Pianist (11:00 service).  These three positions cover for one another for absences. This requires working together to coordinate absences and going into other services to play for one another.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • A 4-year degree or higher in music is given preference.
  • Excellent piano playing skills as demonstrated for hiring audition.
  • Organ performance skills are preferred, but not required.
  • 5 years working in church music settings.
  • Christian faith.


Physical Requirements:

  • Able to freely move about the church facility and grounds.
  • Able to lift 50 lbs


Core Competencies:

  • This position requires approximately 10-15 hours a week. Time involvement varies greatly throughout the year and is largely dependent on how quickly you learn to play piano music. Independent playing practice is huge portion of this position.
  • Interpersonal Relationships. Relates well to all kinds of people, inside and outside of the congregation; builds appropriate rapport; builds effective and constructive relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; is regarded as a team player.
  • Trust and Integrity. Is widely trusted; seen as direct and truthful; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; adheres to an appropriate and effective set of core values during good and bad times; acts in line with those values; practices what he or she preaches.
  • Genuinely cares about people; is concerned about their work and nonwork problems; is available and ready to help; is sympathetic to the plight of others not as fortunate; demonstrates real empathy with the joys and pains of others.
  • In all things please be joyfully flexible.