Music Director; Saint Ambrose Cathedral, Diocese of Des Moines

St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines, Iowa, is seeking a full-time and well-qualified Director of Music and Worship. The Cathedral parish, a multi-cultural community, would welcome applicants who could blend the talents of many lands. Applicants are required to demonstrate high keyboard proficiency, working knowledge of Sacred Music, both choral and congregational, and experience in coordinating worship for the Church’s Liturgical Year.


  • Plans all music—hymns, chants, Psalms, Propers, Ordinaries, choir, and instrumental repertoire, etc. –for all parish liturgies at St. Ambrose Cathedral
  • Executes liturgical music in accordance with Diocesan guidelines provided by the Office of Worship
  • Recruits, trains, and schedules all Musicians (Cantors, Accompanists, Instrumentalists, etc.)
  • Communicates clearly, effectively, and regularly with clergy, staff, and musicians
  • Appropriately introduces new music
  • Develops and directs choirs, instrumental ensembles, and small groups
  • Engages with and involves multi-cultural parishioners and refugees in the Music and Liturgy program
  • Manages and maintains the music library, ordering music as necessary
  • Orders pew resources (Missalette, Music Issue, hymnbooks, and additional resources as necessary)
  • Secures appropriate copyright licensing (OneLicense), and follows all protocols and procedures to maintain proper adherence to such
  • Assists Rector, Associate Pastor, and Deacons with musical and liturgical needs for all St. Ambrose liturgies at the Cathedral
  • Provides guidance and implements changes in liturgical changes in liturgical music protocol for the Seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time, and selects appropriate music as needed
  • Works with Diocesan Worship Director, as needed, to coordinate diocesan music and liturgy needs from Cathedral
  • Oversees regular maintenance of all Cathedral instruments (pipe organ, piano, etc.)
  • Manages budget and stipends for paid musicians in accordance with the Cathedral Rector and the Finance Council


  • First contact point for wedding enquiries
  • Check availability of the church and the parish hall and schedule date for the wedding with the bridal couple
  • Schedule bridal couple to meet the priest/deacons for wedding orientation and prenuptial investigation
  • Ensure all documents necessary for the bridal couple to marry in the Catholic church, including the marriage license, are in order
  • Coordinate and conduct wedding rehearsals
  • Being present at the wedding ceremony in its entirety to ensure smooth and proper execution
  • Work closely with the Administrative Assistant and Parish Office Manager to ensure all relevant details are promptly recorded in the sacramental file
  • Ensure all fees are paid in time and accounted for


  • Assists with funeral liturgy and music planning from start to finish
  • Contacts funeral home director and works extensively with family, setting up ministries and liturgy needs
  • Contacts Cantor and Accompanist and chooses music with family, seeking approval of clergy presiding

Other Duties

  • Oversees operation, maintenance, and training of the Cathedral sound system
  • Oversees Cathedral use, operation, training, and maintenance of live-streaming equipment, in collaboration with the Diocese
  • Acts as point-person and highly involved in Concert/Event scheduling and technical needs, securing needed entities and personnel

Qualifications Include:

  • Undergraduate degree in music with proficiency in keyboard skills/organ skills/improvisation skills. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Some experience in liturgical music preferred.
  • Practicing Catholic preferred, with demonstrated knowledge of Roman Catholic liturgy, role of music within the liturgy, familiarity with liturgical documents, the various rites and music resources, the Roman Missal and Lectionary.
  • Strong organizational skills; strong interpersonal skills; ability to work without supervision; ability to coordinate and collaborate with other ministers and members of the staff.
  • Strong background in choral direction and vocal pedagogy. Some experience in Music Education is preferred.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume and references, as well as an audio or video recording of yourself playing and singing a hymn of your choice to: [email protected]

Published by FDLC

Since 1970, the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has served the clergy and faithful of the dioceses of the United States by providing leadership, scholarship, and resources to aid in the authentic implementation and celebration of the liturgy.