On That Note… – May 2014

Several years ago I was hired by a fairly large UU congregation in the Metro NY district as the music director for their summer services. I very much enjoyed working there and met a lot of terrific people. They invited me back the following summer, and when the regular music director returned in the fall I attended services and sang in the choir (not as a paid professional but as a congregant), until I received an offer for a permanent position with a much smaller UU congregation in the area.

At the time, the congregation where I had worked for two summers seemed to be everything I had ever dreamed of in a job. It was a vibrant community in a great urban location; its main building was a beautiful old church with stained-glass windows and a big pipe organ; and their music budget was hefty enough for four paid choir section leaders. If ever the position of the music director became available, I knew that I would be first in line to apply.

Recently I was invited to come back and provide the music for a Sunday service at that congregation. It was a delightful opportunity to visit a former stomping ground and reconnect with many good people. And I learned that their regular music director, who had been there for a long time, was planning to retire at the end of the current fiscal year.

This would be a great place to start a series of cliffhangers, but I will give you the spoiler: I did not submit an application for the job, and I have no intention of doing so. The thought did briefly cross my mind, before I realized that the UU Congregation at Montclair is the place and community where I have always wanted to be. Aside from what we have already built together, I have grown awfully fond of you; and the changes ahead are far too exciting for me not to share with you. I hope you too will stick around.

Markus Hauck
Music Director