Welcome to the first Music Newsletter! Over the next six months, we will use this newsletter to share the process of hiring a new Music Director and updates about what’s currently happening in the music ministry (keep reading to meet our newly hired interim Music Coordinator!). Sign up to receive all future Music Newsletters here!
We hope to hire a full-time Music Director by August 2022. We prefer to and prioritize hiring a Music Director who also serves as the Choir Director to suport an integrated and comprehensive music ministry at Foothills. To make this hope of a full-time combined Music and Choir Director a reality, we need to raise $30,000 early in 2022 beyond our current budget and receive additional pledges of about another $30,000 (for a total of $60,000) for 2023. The capacity to fund and offer a full-time position is crucial to attracting the strongest candidates who possess the musical skills and personal qualities prioritized by our congregation.
In Fall 2021, we worked with Periscope Theory, a Fort Collins-based firm, to develop a music survey that would help us understand the congregation’s priorities for the Music Director position and Music Ministry at large. Since then we have hosted several listening sessions, each with groups of 3-8 congregants representing every aspect of music at Foothills. Based on what we learned from the survey and listening sessions (summaries of which you can find below), we will convene an inclusive search committee to write the Music Director job description. We will announce members of the search committee in an upcoming newsletter.
Introducing our new Music Coordinator!
We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer Jolly, who many of you may recognize from her guest performances on Christmas Eve and in one of our fall 8:30 services, as our Music Coordinator!
Jennifer is a classically trained singer with a Master of Music degree, a Bachelor of Music, and experience as a performer and teacher. She will provide and coordinate music for worship services through July, while the search for our Music Director is underway. Jennifer is especially excited to involve the talented Foothills community in worship and is continually grateful for music’s ability to bring meaning and connection to our lives.
Learn more about how Jennifer will be supporting music by reading the full Music Coordinator job description.
Music Survey Summary
102 Foothills community members shared their priorities through the music survey.
Survey participants were evenly split on the most important role of the Music Director, with 20% of participants each selecting:
- Helping develop, plan, and execute worship services
- Through many different year-round options for people to engage in music
- Spreading creativity, innovation, and joy
- Collaborating in every possible way
- Through a choir that is both a covenantal practice and a service to the congregation
Music Listening Sessions Summary
We hosted several 75-minute listening sessions, each with groups of 3-8 congregants. Participants in these in-depth conversations represented the full range of involvement in music at Foothills, from choir to congregational singing to children’s programs to participating in online services.
In these sessions, a shared vision emerged for a Music Director who possesses the following qualities:
- Ability to maintain regular, transparent communication.
- Musicality and training to provide high-quality worship music, offer a variety of musical styles, and excel as a choir director.
- Understands music is a ministry and spiritual resource that should be accessible to all – across generations, skill levels, and musical styles.
- Possesses the heart of a teacher who can facilitate varied experiences for engagement with music.
- Understands WE are the church and can develop a program that brings everyone into the fold.
- Can facilitate opportunities for children of all ages.
- Has the professional maturity, self-awareness, and sensitivity to hold clear boundaries.
- Approachable, accessible, and inclusive.
- Ability to organize and showcase talent from the congregation and larger Fort Collins community.
- Invested in learning about and is aligned with the culture and values of our church.
If you have any questions about the Music Director search process so far or moving forward, please hit reply or contact Kelsey DiAstra, our Creative & Communications Manager who is acting as the administrative facilitator for the search process. You can email Kelsey at email@example.com.
Thank you for your investment and collaboration in this exciting process!
Rev. Gretchen Haley, Senior Minister
Kelsey DiAstra, Creative & Communications Manager