Director of Music + Organist

This job has now expired
Garth House, The Precinct, Rochester

We are looking for an outstanding musician to play a key role in the music and liturgy department, developing standards of musical excellence at Rochester, directing the choirs, playing the organ, and ensuring the effective administration of the department.

The successful candidate will be an outstanding musician, choir trainer and organist, with a track record in cathedral music or a similar setting. They will be able to demonstrate their passion for the choral tradition of the Church of England and a commitment to explore new and innovative ways of developing that tradition for future generations. They may have experience beyond cathedral music, for example, in education.

They will be able to work with all members of the staff and volunteer teams and be willing to engage with Chapter and our partners and stakeholders. They will place the highest priority on rigorous safeguarding practice. They will be committed to their own professional and musical development. They will engage in the mission of the Cathedral and be in sympathy with the Christian faith.

Choral music

  • Lead in the provision of choral music at Rochester Cathedral and work in collaboration with the Canon Precentor, Assistant Director of Music and other cathedral staff
  • Lead in rehearsing the boy and girl choristers and adult singers, working with the Assistant Director of Music in taking and accompanying rehearsals.
  • Conduct for services in the Cathedral and play the organ when the Assistant Director of Music is conducting.
  • Contribute to accompanying the Voluntary Choir, Children’s Choir and other accompanying.
  • Supervise and contribute to the delivery of music theory teaching, vocal coaching and organ tuition.
  • Work with the Chorister Supervisor/Tutor (to be appointed), Kings School and volunteer chaperones to ensure sufficient chaperones are available for all events involving choristers.
  • Recruit choristers and adult singers.

Departmental administration and support

  • Contribute to the effective administration of the department.
  • Compile choir schedules, repertoire lists and music sheets and assist in the maintenance and organisation of the music library.
  • Supervise the booking, financial administration, recruiting, auditioning and training of adult singers.


  • Understanding of and enthusiasm for the Cathedral’s overall mission and the ability to engender enthusiasm and commitment in others
  • In sympathy with the Christian faith
  • Communicant member of the Church of England

Education & Training

  • Education to degree level or equivalent
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Organists or equivalent diploma level qualification
  • Undergraduate degree or postgraduate study in music
  • Diploma level qualification in choral conducting
  • Qualification or formal training in teaching

Knowledge & Experience

  • Substantial experience of training and directing children and adult singers in a cathedral or equivalent setting.
  • Substantial experience of organ performance in a cathedral or equivalent setting.
  • Proven experience of supervision and music administration in relation to choirs.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills, as well as meticulous attention to detail.

The Cathedral was founded in 604 and is the second oldest Cathedral in England. Much of the current building is Norman and the earliest parts were built by Bishop Gundulf (who was also responsible for the construction of Rochester Castle and the White Tower of London) in the late 11th century. After a serious fire in 1137, it was rebuilt in the Romanesque style and it is this part (from 1140-60) that is the Nave today. Further building began in the 1180’s, when the Eastern end was remodelled in the Gothic style. In the 1340’s Bishop Hamo de Hythe added a central tower and spire and redecorated the Quire. He also added the Library doorway, with its superb carved surround. From this date, no further major building was added but there was substantial underpinning to the South Quire transept between 1825-1840, by Lewis Cottingham, which stabilised the building.