A church organist plays the organ in church services. The organ is an important musical instrument in many religious traditions. In some cases, organists collaborate with the pastor or music director to choose hymns for the worship service. In others, organists are given an overview of the lesson and allowed to choose appropriate music. Often, these selections must be approved by the music department.
Church organists usually play for all of the services held in a given week and may occasionally be called upon to provide music for guest events the church is hosting. Sometimes organists accompany a church choir, and often they provide music for weddings and funerals. In most regular church services, an organist play several pieces, including a prelude, accompaniment to hymns, an offertory, and a postlude. The hours of the job can vary widely depending on how often services are held and the extent to which the organ is part of the service. Preparation time is important for this position, and if organists are unable to attend a service for any reason, they are often required to provide a suitable replacement for the duration of the time they will be absent.
Some churches look for organists with a bachelor's degree in music or a related field. Organists also must be able to demonstrate the necessary musical talent and a knowledge of the type of organ that the church owns. Interested applicants will likely be asked to play a few hymns for the pastor or minister of music.
Church Organist Tasks
Attend meetings and planning sessions.
Direct other instrumentalists.
Play for regularly schedules services and special events.