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  #1  
Old Feb 9, '11, 2:57 pm
ELLBEE ELLBEE is offline
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Default Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

What is a reasonable fee for an organist to play at a catholic wedding which includes a mass?
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  #2  
Old Feb 9, '11, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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What is a reasonable fee for an organist to play at a catholic wedding which includes a mass?
It really depends on the area where you live, the parish, etc. For instance, where I live, the common fee for organists is between $200-$300. Although, I have since found out that there are a few organists in the area who charge $500-$800 and they get it.

In more of the lower middle-class/working-class parishes, though, the fees are slightly lower, between $100-$200.

Are you able to hire an outside organist? I know that many parishes require the use of their organist, otherwise the couple would have to pay a bench fee. So, you have to pay the amount the parish sets for the organist.
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Old Feb 9, '11, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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What is a reasonable fee for an organist to play at a catholic wedding which includes a mass?

My wife charges $150.
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  #4  
Old Feb 9, '11, 4:14 pm
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

In our working-class parish, it's $125.00. Soloist gets $100.00.
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Old Feb 9, '11, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

Ask at your parish office. They should be able to tell you what the usual fee is.
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  #6  
Old Feb 10, '11, 6:00 am
mswood mswood is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

If you are using the parish organist, most parishes have a set fee that you pay the organist. In our parish the fee for the organist for a wedding (with or without mass) is $200.
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  #7  
Old Feb 10, '11, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

I usually charge between $150 - 200. This includes a session with the bride and groom about their selection of music (must be appropriate for Mass), my being at the rehearsal, and then the service with a 30-minute prelude of music.
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Old Feb 10, '11, 11:27 am
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

Wow, after reading all these, I think our parish needs a raise.
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Old Feb 10, '11, 1:25 pm
elgar elgar is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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Wow, after reading all these, I think our parish needs a raise.
As an organist, I gave up playing for weddings many moons ago. No amount of money was worth the abuse I was going through. Your weekend is basically shot because of the Friday night rehearsal and usually a Saturday evening ceremony. The mothers could be a pain and the pastors could be real condescending jerks. I had to change the terms of payment to more of a pre-pay system because of no check in the loft without having to go through the receiving line and embarassing myself by having to ask for payment, as I would never see these people again.

Hopefully things have improved music-wise as they couldn't get any worse with pop songs ruling the day--mind you this was mostly in the 70s and 80s. Most Catholic priests really didn't care about the appropriateness of the music at that time.

Funerals, OTOH, are just fine as the funeral director usually pays the organist. Once in a while someone in the family asks for something "strange" to be sung or played, but what the heck--they are grieving. I could have written a book...maybe I will.
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  #10  
Old Feb 10, '11, 4:08 pm
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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As an organist, I gave up playing for weddings many moons ago. No amount of money was worth the abuse I was going through. Your weekend is basically shot because of the Friday night rehearsal and usually a Saturday evening ceremony.
LOL!!! I think most of the organists I know say the same things. They would love to give the weddings up, but it makes up a huge amount of their living. As a soloist/cantor, my entire weekends are shot about 8-9 months of the year, as well, with weddings/rehearsals on Fridays, and one or two weddings with music rehearsals between 12:00 and 6:00 on Saturdays and sometimes weddings on Sunday afternoons. On top of that, I will have concerts/shows or rehearsals in the evenings some weekends. I realized a while back that if I was to be a working musician, this was to be my life, unfortunately. (I wish more people got married on weeknights. haha! They do, as I've seen them done to save on money, but they're few and far between.)

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Originally Posted by elgar View Post
The mothers could be a pain and the pastors could be real condescending jerks. I had to change the terms of payment to more of a pre-pay system because of no check in the loft without having to go through the receiving line and embarassing myself by having to ask for payment, as I would never see these people again.
I recently went to a pre-pay system as well. You are right... it is so awkward to go up to a bride and groom or someone else in the wedding party and ask them if they could provide me with my payment. When you don't do that, it can take months to see that check - sometimes never. It happened once at the church I frequent for weddings. The music director insisted on paying me out of his pocket and in the end, he never got his money. I don't think the priest got the money for use of the church either.

I've lucked out with nice mothers for weddings I'm hired through my website. I know there are some doozies as well as some bridezillas. Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with them yet. They usually go through the music director. There have been more problems with wedding planners, rather than the brides and their mothers as of late. The organists I work with seem to complain about them the most because they tend to think they can "run the show" at the church.

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Originally Posted by elgar View Post
Hopefully things have improved music-wise as they couldn't get any worse with pop songs ruling the day--mind you this was mostly in the 70s and 80s. Most Catholic priests really didn't care about the appropriateness of the music at that time.
I think, for the most part it has improved and I do weddings spanning VA through NY - so a lot of different dioceses and parishes. You do still run into a church that is pretty laissez-faire about the music. One particular state, I see it a lot in more than a handful of parishes. But for most I've been able to convince the bridal couple to choose sacred/religious music even if the music director says it's ok to have played, for example, "Grow Old With Me" by John Lennon. But that might also be because of my clientele. I advertise myself as a classical singer, which means I do mostly only classical style of music. So the couple already knows what my repertoire would be like and what my voice sounds best in. So for mass, I'll only do hymns and other classical sacred/religious music

Quote:
Originally Posted by elgar View Post
Funerals, OTOH, are just fine as the funeral director usually pays the organist. Once in a while someone in the family asks for something "strange" to be sung or played, but what the heck--they are grieving. I could have written a book...maybe I will.
Yes, although I often have to control myself from crying, so I can't even pay close attention, you are right about funerals - much easier logistically.

I think all church musicians should get together and write a book about their experiences with brides, mothers of the bride/groom, music requests, etc. I've heard so many good ones as well as experienced them (A bride once emailed me, asking if the Taco bell (Pachebel) canon was good to use for the bridesmaid processional) through the few years that I've been doing this job hard core, I truly think there is more than enough info to put one together.
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  #11  
Old Feb 10, '11, 4:17 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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Originally Posted by baltobetsy View Post
Wow, after reading all these, I think our parish needs a raise.
this fee goes to the artist, not the parish, and assumes organists etc. are not also parish employees.
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  #12  
Old Feb 10, '11, 4:35 pm
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
this fee goes to the artist, not the parish, and assumes organists etc. are not also parish employees.
True. That said, most organists I work with are parish employees. They are paid separately for their Sunday work, rehearsals, etc. Then, they have to rely on the couples or their families to provide the fee for the wedding. Now, some parishes will have an all-inclusive fee for the church, cantor/soloist, organist, etc. and I believe then the parish will pay all the people involved. Otherwise, it's like the former.

The OP may need to look into that, if he hasn't already, since the fee may already be included in the entire amount needed to get married at the church.
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  #13  
Old Feb 10, '11, 7:28 pm
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

I have to share this. This is dead. on. accurate.

There is one low class word in it.

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7330137/
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  #14  
Old Feb 10, '11, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
this fee goes to the artist, not the parish, and assumes organists etc. are not also parish employees.
I know - I'm the soloist.

When I speak to a bride about her music, I include prepayment instructions for her. I tell her that unless I receive a check in the mail the week before the wedding, I will assume she and her intended have had a terrible fight and called off the wedding. They always pay.
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  #15  
Old Feb 10, '11, 8:11 pm
OrganistRob OrganistRob is offline
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Default Re: Fee for organist at catholic wedding/mass

What I normally charge is $150 for just a Ceremony and $200 for a Wedding Mass. From this starting point the fee only goes up depending upon what music selections the couple request, the date (if it is a major Holiday like New Years Eve or right before a major Church feast) and which soloist I have to deal with (a "family" member as opposed to the Parish soloist). This is relatively low for the area we are in because when I play weddings at any of our neighboring Parishes the minimum I've received is $250 usually its $300.
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