Organist and Choirmaster – Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Highlands, NC


Highlands, North Carolina

Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina

Organist and Choirmaster

The Church of the Incarnation is seeking a talented and dedicated Organist and Choirmaster. The position is currently covered by an interim organist and choirmaster and will be permanently filled when the appropriate candidate is found.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the start date to be set by mutual agreement.

Incarnation is a welcoming, vibrant and warm-hearted parish in the heart of the picturesque town of Highlands in western North Carolina, where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Southern Appalachians. During the winter months the weekly congregation averages 115 people.   During the summer season, as the population of Highlands swells, two Sunday morning services are held and weekly attendance increases to 240 people.

Incarnation began in 1879 and in 1896 the original church, now the chapel, was completed.  Built in the Carpenter Gothic architectural style, our church is a beautiful landmark on Main Street and is on the National Registry of Historical Landmarks.   It is a vital part of the community of Highlands which is home to a vibrant arts scene including a rich variety of performing and visual arts.  The Highlands plateau is equally rich in outdoor opportunities such as gardening, hiking, and fly fishing.

Music is an integral part of worship at Incarnation and represents the single largest budgetary item outside of salaries.  The music program currently consists of the interim organist and choirmaster, an assisting choir director, and approximately 12 choir members including 6 or more paid singers.  A goal is to grow the choir and encourage participation of more parishioners by adding a weekday practice in addition to the current Sunday morning rehearsal.

The church has two organs, one in the chapel and the main organ in the nave.  The nave organ is slated for replacement in the very near future, as a high priority in the current master plan and capital campaign.  The church also has a very nice Schimmel grand piano that can be played in the nave or in the adjacent parish hall.

Interested candidates should be:  familiar with Episcopal musical and liturgical traditions; able to work comfortably and creatively within the traditional Anglican-style program that the parish favors; a skilled musician, teacher and conductor; well-organized and able to administer a varied music program; and able to manage staff including an assistant choral director.  Duties include planning and playing the organ  for all services, conducting the choir or providing direction for the assistant choral director to do so, scheduling and conducting rehearsals, planning music for all liturgies, attending regular staff meetings and other meetings as needed.  Additional duties include planning and playing for feast days and occasional additional services, as well as organizing a community concert series.  The role also encompasses planning and playing for weddings and funerals for additional remuneration.

This position is contemplated to be between 20 and 32 hours per week, to be determined as part of the interview process, with a competitive salary and appropriate benefits based on proficiency, experience, and work hours.  Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in organ performance with a preferred minimum of 2 years of church music experience.  We seek someone who deeply values his or her Christian faith and for whom music is a vital expression of her or his worship.  The Organist & Choirmaster will lead the musical life of our parish and facilitate the congregation’s understanding of the role of music in liturgy.  Close cooperation and coordination with the Rector, Assistant Rector, and staff are expected.

More information on Incarnation, our programs and parish can be found at :


More information on the cultural and musical opportunities in our Highlands home can be found at:; and

Please send a CV, cover letter, references, and links to on-line recordings to:

[Posted 16 MAY 2019]