Music Ministry

Chicago Temple Music Ministry and Fine Arts Staff

Erik Nussbaum, Director of Music and the Arts
Since 2004, Erik has witnessed and helped to lead the Temple’s music and arts programs through one of the richest artistic times in the Temple’s vast and diverse history.  It is an amazing honor and blessing for him to make music with so many talented and dedicated Christians.  The Temple Choir has premiered five of his choral works, including a Lenten setting of “The Lord’s Prayer,” Christmas works “Crib Hymn” and an “Ave Maria,” and most recently “Blessed Are,” a setting of The Beatitudes.  Erik is a graduate of Knox College (’93) and Westminster Choir College (’96).

Adrian Dunn, Gospel Choir Director
Adrian Dunn is an accomplished singer, composer, & vocal coach. Native of Cleveland Ohio, Mr. Dunn is the recipient of the 2015 Producer of the year award from the Rhythm Of Gospel Awards for his work on the AME Church International Mass Choir album “AME Live”. He was also a Mac Arthur Foundation and Richard Dreihaus Foundation award recipient for his work, HOPERA: A Hip Hop Opera. He holds Bachelor of Music & Master of Music (In progress) in Voice from Roosevelt University Chicago with addition vocal studies at Sibelius Academy of Music, Finland.

Dr. Phillip Kloeckner, Principal Organist
Phillip Kloeckner's musical soul has found deep resonance in a wide variety of contexts in many places around the globe. His mission is to bring positive, transformative, and inspiring energy to his audiences through the beauty and thoughtfulness of his interpretations of both standard and less-recognized literature, and through instinctive and intuitive improvisations.

Although his primary focus is performing as an organist, harpsichordist, piano accompanist, and conductor, Dr. Kloeckner maintains a profound commitment to teaching and mentoring developing musicians. He completed ten years on the faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, teaching applied organ, music theory, aural skills, figured bass and continuo, keyboard skills, score reading, and courses in church music. In 2013 he joined the music faculty of the University of Chicago and the staff of Rockefeller Chapel in a similar position and now serves as the Principal Organist at The First United Methodist Church at The Chicago Temple. He is also the accompanist for ResonaTe , Chicago's first choir serving the transgender community.

He has broad experience as an organist and choir director in numerous church and synagogue denominations that spans more than thirty years. An adjudicator in organ competitions and a sought-after leader of workshops and retreats on subjects ranging from organs, organ playing, and organ literature to a wide variety of topics in church music and liturgies, Dr. Kloeckner served for almost twenty years on the Music Commission of the Diocese of Texas and recently completed two years on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

Dr. Kloeckner is the artistic director of the Chicago International Organ Academy, a new educational initiative centered at The Chicago Temple that provides specialized training for organists of all ages and skill levels around the world. Additional information about Phillip Kloeckner's professional activities and performance schedule may be found on his website:

Rev. Kelly Tiebout, Saturday Evening Worship Accompanist

Chicago Temple Choir

Led by eight section leaders, the 35-voice Temple Choir continues to grow. The choir learns and sings music from all eras of music history and from many of the world’s cultures that is appropriate for both the season and the liturgy of the day. Our repertoire is vast and worldly, and we sing in many languages. The choir enhances our worship greatly by leading in hymn singing, presenting anthems, and often solos every Sunday during the 11:00am service. Rehearsals are every Wednesday evening from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in the 3rd Floor Choir Room.

The Choir's section leaders are:
Karen Nussbaum, soprano 1
Katherine Bruton, soprano 2
Kate McDuffie, alto 1
Brenna Boncosky, alto 2
Jim Parsons, tenor 1
Adam Doe, tenor 2
Daniel Grambow, baritone
Bob Trautvetter, bass

Gospel Choir

The 12-voice Gospel Choir sings the authentic music of the African-American tradition, past and present. The ensemble sings during the 8:30 a.m. worship service on the first and third Sunday of each month. They rehearse every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Choir Room.

The Gospel Choir's section leaders are:
Melanie Loren Ragland, soprano
Darnetta Jones, alto/tenor

Temple Strings

The Temple Strings are led by violinist David Myford, and sustained by amateurs of various age and skill level. They provide excellent music for worship in a variety of ways throughout the year: as soloists, as an ensemble, and as a chamber ensemble supporting a soloist or the choir. They rehearse regularly either at 9:30am or at 12:15pm in the 3rd Floor Choir Room on Sundays, as arranged by their director.

Handbell Ensemble

The majority of the Temple’s eleven-member Handbell Ensemble have been playing together for eight years. They play a wide variety of sacred music with a 3 octave set of Schulmerich Brass bells and 3 octaves of Suzuki hand chimes. They rehearse on Monday evening from 6:00pm to 7:00pm and play in worship for the 11:00am service on the second Sunday of each month. Erik Nussbaum is the director.