After good consultation with the choir, other music leaders, the Board, other UU music professionals, and hearing from many others in the congregation, we have settled in on this 3-phase approach for our next steps in our music ministry at Foothills.
First, the immediate future. For the next 6-8 Sundays we will be working with the great deal of talent and generosity in our congregation to provide song leadership, music coordination and special music. Occasionally, we may have guests from other nearby UU congregations who want to express their support and care for our congregation during this transition. We will also be engaging a variety of accompanists both internal and external. During this time we will be listening for things that work well, and learning from things that don’t. Especially as this will overlap with the launch of our 3rd Service Experiment, we know not everything will go perfectly, but we know that the strength of our congregation and its generosity will sustain us.
We are especially grateful for choir member and retired choir director Bob Molison for stepping in to help lead choir rehearsal for the next few weeks, including preparing the choir to sing this Sunday, and for the upcoming memorial for Nancy Phillips.
Second, the interim next steps. This position is a 3/4 time staff position, and again, we are about to launch three service Sundays – which means that we can’t wait too long before filling the position in a more professional way. As a result, I have asked the choir to nominate people who they would trust to serve on an interim selection committee to help identify someone who can fill in for the next 6 months or so. We already have three applicants for this position, and our target is for this person to start by mid March.
This brings me to the third phase, which is our long term position. Our hope is that our Interim Music Director would help us to develop a vision for where music ministry needs to go next, including to help craft a job description for someone to apply out of a national search. This was a great idea that the choir suggested – that we take this time to look at our strengths and opportunities for growth and craft a vision for our shared future.
Depending on the success of the pledge drive, this would be a position that is anywhere from 3/4 time to full time, and year round. As a large, creative, and energetic congregation in this amazing town, we should be able to attract an exceptional candidate to be a great addition to our staff team, and to our congregation. Our intent would be to have this person start by September, with a brief overlap with our Interim.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I want to thank all of the many who have volunteered to help with our music ministry, and for your partnership as we imagine the next steps for our future.