Sample Contract for Self-Employed Musicians
This contract should be used only as a guide. All contracts between musicians and churches should be prepared in
consultation with a lawyer to ensure that all legal requirements in the province of residence are met.
This agreement is made [date]
The Board of Trustees of [Church]
(hereinafter referred to as “the Board”)
[name of Organist]
(hereinafter referred to as “the Organist”)
WHEREAS the Board agrees to engage the professional services of the Organist as organist and choir director of [name of
church] (hereinafter referred to as “the church”),
IN CONSIDERATION OF the mutual covenants and agreements made by the parties, Board and the Organist hereby
agree as follows:
1. The Board engages the professional services of the Organist for a twelve month period commencing [date] and ending
[date], until and unless either party provides the other with at least one month’s notice in writing of the termination of
2. The fee for the professional services of the Organist shall be [$amount], plus GST and any other applicable Provincial
or Federal Taxes, which fee is to be paid in twenty-four installments of [$amount] on the fifteenth day and the last day
of each month [or weekly or monthly].
3. With the exception of hymns, the choice of music for Sunday services shall be at the Organist’s discretion.
4. It is understood that the Organist shall not be available for weekday events before 6:00 p.m.
5. If on any occasion the Organist finds it necessary to be absent on a Sunday, it is the Organist’s responsibility to ensure
that a substitute is secured and reimbursed. The Senior Minister of the Church (hereinafter referred to as “the
Minister”) and the Music Committee of the Church should be advised of such substitution as far in advance as
6. The Organist may engage paid vocal or instrumental musicians on an occasional or continuing basis at [his/her]
discretion, subject to budgetary limitations and the approval of the Music committee. The Organist may, at [his/her]
discretion, engage any other unpaid musicians.
7. It is the responsibility of the Board to obtain the services of musicians for the month of [month], including a substitute
organist and vocal or instrumental musicians.
8. The Organist is, during the term of this contract, a member ex officio of the Music Committee. It is understood that
meetings of the Music Committee shall be held at times that are convenient to the Organist and the other members of
the Music Committee.
9. In consideration of the fee stipulated above, and under the direction of the Music Committee, the Organist shall
provide the following services:
playing the organ and directing the choir at all regular Sunday morning services of the Church, except
during the month of [month], and also on Good Friday and Christmas Eve;
selecting suitable choir music for the church services and providing leadership for congregational
singing of the hymns and responses on the basis of consultation with the Minister;
conducting weekly choir rehearsals, beginning the first week in January, continuing to the end of
[month], recommencing the week following Labour Day and continuing to the end of December at times
mutually acceptable to the Organist and choir members.
providing to the church Treasurer invoices of music and supplies purchased, soloists’ attendances and
advice regarding fees payable to supply musicians;
selecting and purchasing choral and instrumental music for the use of the choir and instrumentalists,
subject to the budgetary limitations as established by the Board;
playing the organ at weddings and funerals in the Church, provided that the Organist shall be paid the
usual fees for such services, over and above the fee stated in paragraph 2;