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Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church

Music Director

Music – Pasadena, California
Department Music
Employment Type 3/4 Time
Minimum Experience Experienced
Compensation $50,000

Director of Music

Position Overview:

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, California seeks a creative, progressive new Director of Music to lead our music program.  

The mission of Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist church is to create and grow an inclusive and diverse religious community connected by love, spirit and service. Founded in 1885, the church has a reputation for showcasing a strong and vibrant music program, which is vital to the spiritual lives of our members. Our Sunday services draw from many different traditions and sources, which reflect the theological and cultural diversity of our community.  For more information about the church, click here.

Our current Music Director, Stephen Grimm, will soon retire after nearly 20 years of service. The new Director of Music will collaborate with the Senior Minister to implement a music program, which both honors the church’s classical musical tradition and expands the vision of the music program to include a broad range of diverse musical genres and inspiration.  Our new Director of Music will help us explore the many ways in which musical expression and spirituality intersect, build connections within the community, and involve all generations. It’s an exciting time of change and possibility at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist church and we welcome a new Director of Music to help lead us into the future!


Areas of Responsibility:

Develop and implement a vibrant music program for Sunday worship that expresses our Unitarian Universalist principles and sources in collaboration with Senior Minister

Support and develop the experience of congregational singing and community building through music

Recruit and supervise other campus musical groups and staff including choral section leaders, bell choir, part-time accompanist (to be hired) and guest musicians

Recruit, rehearse, and conduct a non-auditioned adult choir for two services on Sunday mornings and holidays including Christmas Eve and other special services. Currently the program runs September through June.

Manage summer music program June through August in collaboration with Senior Minister and lay leaders

Develop musical opportunities for children and youth including musical support for annual holiday pageant

Administrate the music program following weekly deadlines for order of worship service

Communicate regularly by email with Senior Minister, church staff and membership

Assure that the church’s musical instruments and library are well maintained

Manage the music program budget, including staff and guest musician recruitment, music library development, and any other special resources for preparation and performance

Meet for weekly supervision and worship planning with Senior Minister

Attend weekly staff meeting on campus

Join the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network, attend annual conference and participate in other denominational activities as appropriate


Core Competencies / Qualifications:

Support for Unitarian Universalist Principles;

5 -7 years of experience as a church musician, choral conductor or music director in a liberal or progressive setting;

Fluency in a variety of musical styles (classical, gospel, jazz, folk, rock, pop and world music);

Willingness to experiment, take risks and explore new music;

Excellent organizational, administrative and communication skills;

Utilizes a collaborative approach with Senior Minister, church staff, members, and guest musicians;

Exemplary integrity and professional accountability; and,

Ability to build warm connections with the congregation and inspire music program participants of all ages and musical abilities.

Desirable Professional Qualities

A degree in music at the bachelor level or higher

Extensive successful experience and formal education in choral conducting

Significant training as a choral singer

Experience as a coach of individual singers of varying abilities

Experience as a church musician

Experience as a leader

Ability on piano sufficient for preparing choral pieces


Our offerings have included:

A vocal choir of approximately 40 members that performs both sacred and secular music ranging from the Baroque period to current compositions, including works by contemporary composers such as Morten Lauridsen and Frank Ticheli.

UUA recognized Singing the Living Tradition and contemporary Singing the Journey hymnals for congregational singing

A bell choir performing sacred and secular music from all periods

Contemporary jazz performed by members and guests including a cutting edge jazz series called Jazz N Paz

Folk music performed by guests artists and resident folk singers/guitarists

Guest performers have also included an a cappella spirituals singer/songleader, a women’s African drumming group, an LGBTQ string quartet called Queertet, a female mariachi band, Hawaiian drummers, and a progressive chamber orchestra

Opportunities for children and youth to perform include children and youth focused services and a holiday pageant with traditional Christmas music

Performances by Pasadena Pro Musica, a large independent choir originally founded by the church that performs music from all periods with a focus on early music and rarely performed compositions

Musical reviews sponsored and performed by members have included a history of musical theater

An organ series spotlighting our exceptional organ, and a piano service highlighting five members who are pianists in different musical traditions (jazz, classical, Broadway, original)


How to apply:

Please submit your curriculum vitae including education and work history, AND

Please submit a document which includes all of the following:

  1. A cover letter describing what excites you about the position and your vision for a progressive church music program
  2. Two letters of reference and two additional references whom we may contact
  3. A link to at least one audio/video sample which demonstrates your professional abilities and personal qualities  ​

Applications are due May 1, 2018 and will be reviewed as they arrive. The church hopes to conduct the interview process in May to settle the new Director by mid-June. The search will remain open until the position is filled.

If you have any questions prior to applying, please send an email to


This is a ¾ time or 30 hours per week position. Weekday evening and weekend hours required. Starting salary: $50,000. Includes generous benefits package, including medical and retirement.


Neighborhood Church is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not discriminate against any person because of age, religion, race, ancestry, culture, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, or socio-economic level. Neighborhood Church values diversity and actively seeks applicants of all identities and ages. People of Color/ Indigenous and members of other historically marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.

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  • Location
    Pasadena, California
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    3/4 Time
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
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