Music Director Search

We are very excited to launch our search for our next Music Director! Below is our job description. Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to the Rev. Elizabeth Riley at

If you have questions about the search please contact Rev. Elizabeth. Applications will be received until the position is filled.

Emmanuel Music Director Job Description


Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Mercer Island is seeking an accomplished musician and choir leader to serve as Music Director. The Music Director, in partnership with our rector, Rev. Elizabeth Riley, is responsible for creating an inclusive and inspirational music program that enhances liturgy and worship and engages the congregation, choir and community. This individual will lead us in a variety of music, helping us honor our traditional Anglican music while also exploring and introducing us to new expressions of music. The Music Director is the enthusiastic leader of the Emmanuel choir who energetically pursues new opportunities to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to participate. The Music Director is a community leader, using music to reach out into the greater Mercer Island community and establish Emmanuel as a welcoming place of worship.


About Emmanuel

Emmanuel is a vibrant, welcoming, intergenerational community. We strive to create worship that invites us into deeper relationships with God. We seek to authentically include and welcome all ages and people into our worship life and community. During normal times, oOur community gathers for two services each Sunday. Our 8:00AM service is a traditional rite I service without music. Our 9:30AM service is more contemporary, drawing from rite II and other alternative liturgies. The music at this service is a blend of traditional, contemporary, organ, and piano. Our choir sings at this service during the program year. During Covid-19 we have been meeting once every Sunday at 9:30AM via Zoom. We have been incorporating music through offerings by parishioners, as well as professional music from our section leaders from the sanctuary. Our Zoom worship services are Morning Prayer, Rite II. We generally have a prelude, offertory, and postlude. Recently we have been experimenting with congregational singing on Zoom as well. The choir continues to meet periodically on Thursday evenings via Zoom.


Key Responsibilities:


  • Lead Online Music During Covid-19

    • provide creative and varied music for Sunday Morning worship


  • explore ways to enhance the quality and diversity of musical offerings online.


  • prepare for music to be hybrid when we return - making it accessible for those online and for those in the pews.


  • continue to find ways to engage and support the choir while the choir cannot meet in person.



  • Lead and Strengthen Emmanuel’s Music Program

o   Partner with the Rector to plan and coordinate the overall music schedule for the liturgical year and select all service music.

o   Offer spiritually meaningful high-qualitymusic (organ, choral, & piano) music at all principal services of the church including, but not limited to, Sunday worship services, Christmas, Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Blue Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter. Additional compensation provided for weddings and funerals.

o   Plan, schedule and lead weekly rehearsals for the Emmanuel Choir.

o   Create offerings and programs for musical growth for children and youth..

o   Nurture the musical community of the Emmanuel Choir, band, and musicians of all ages.

o   Engage the whole congregation in the musical offerings at Emmanuel. 

o   Motivate, guide and challenge music participants of varied skill levels; pursue opportunities to encourage participation by people of all ages.

o   Explore, create and implement new and diverse musical offerings to energize and inspire existing and new congregants, youth and children. 

o   Collaborate and engage with the community outside of Emmanuel to create opportunities for ministries and spirituality offerings through music.Engage with the community to develop contacts and relationships with regional musicians and groups and encourage the use of Emmanuel as a venue for musical and cultural events.

o   Other duties as assigned by the Rector.


  • Administer Emmanuel’s Music Program 


  • Strong communicator who is organized and reliable 


  • Work with the staff at Emmanuel as part of team 

o   Provide music program details electronically for preparation of service bulletins.

o   Prepare the annual budget for the overall music program to include all music and supplies, musical instrument maintenance, vestments, training, substitute pianists/organists, lead singers and guest musician expenses.

o   Hire professional musicians within the parameters of the parish music budget. Secure substitute musicians during the absence of the Music Director. Recruit and manage all paid section leaders.

o   Manage the care, maintenance and tuning of Emmanuel’s musical instruments including the organs, the pianos, and the harpsichord.

o   Maintain and curate Emmanuel’s music library and database of anthems.


Preferred Education and Professional Experience:

Education – Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Arts in Music

Experience with choral direction

Proficiency playing both the organ and piano

Experience in the Episcopal/Anglican liturgical tradition


Required Skills and Attributes:

Engaging, personable and highly motivated self-starter

Spiritual leader with a natural ability to direct rehearsals, worship, and education programs

Inspiring leader for choir members of all ages and skills

Excellent communication skills; ability to work well with all members of the parish and staff

Team player in a collaborative work environment

Excellent organization, administrative and time management skills


Instruments used in Liturgy at Emmanuel

Organ (Nave) - Rudolf von Beckerath (1970), 2 Manuals, 36 Ranks

Organ (Chapel) - John West (date unknown), 2 Manuals, 4 Ranks

Piano (Nave) - Bösendorfer 6'7" Grand

Piano (Chapel) - Kawai (KG-1E) 5'4" Baby Grand

Piano (Narthex) - Mason & Hamlin Spinet

Piano (Parish Hall) - Yamaha (P22) Studio

Handbells - 4 1/2 octaves (1-61) Petit and Fritsen

Harpsichord - William Newman (ca. 1980), 2 Manuals


The Music Director position is a half-time (20 hours a week) exempt position. Compensation is based on experience. Full health-insurance and benefits are provided.