A Delightful Church Gig

This past Sunday, I played a church service for the First Unitarian Society in Newton. Most of the congregation were attending the church retreat or away for the long weekend, so we enjoyed an intimate service with a dozen members or so.

The prelude and postlude for Sunday services often provide a backdrop for comings and goings, friendly greetings, and the pitter-patter of children running between pews. This morning’s small congregation listened in serene stillness, with nary a rustle or cough to be heard. After each piece, I basked in the reflective silence of the sanctuary.

I also had the pleasure of accompanying the church’s regular soprano soloist, Deborah Selig. The caliber of church musicians varies widely, and I was surprised to be working with such an accomplished professional. How lucky the congregation is to hear such beautiful singing every week!

I’ve yet to encounter a church gig that I haven’t enjoyed, but I’m counting this one among my favorites.

Accompanist Fees and Policies

Updated January 16, 2021

When I began working as an accompanist, I was surprised by how informal my employment arrangements were. Some employers required tax forms and/or time sheets, some asked for invoices, and others needed no paperwork at all. The hourly rate varied widely, ranging from babysitter wages to professional musicians’ wages.

To establish my own rates for freelance work, I searched online to find documentation from other universities. I found these excellent resources, which include detailed information on fees, cancellation policies, and guidelines.

Drake University

University of Tennessee School of Music

Western Carolina University School of Music (page 33)

Westminster Choir College (page 36)

Incorporated Society of Musicians (UK)

Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia

If you know of any similar resources, please let me know, and I’ll add it to the list.