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The Unity Temple Music Program

Music is recognized as an integral part of worship here at Unity Temple. It serves to inspire and connect with our listeners, enhancing the worship experience through sincere artistic expression. We seek to develop and nurture talent from within our congregation and in addition are also committed to bringing professional musicians to worship on a regular basis.

The Unity Temple Choir
This 50-member non-auditioned ensemble sings for services twice a month from September through June. The Unity Temple choir sings music in a wide range of musical styles and a variety of languages. Rehearsals are held every Wednesday night from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in Unity House.  New members with choral singing experience are welcome on an ongoing basis. Please contact Music Director Marty Swisher for further information.

The Unity Temple Singers
This auditioned, a cappella ensemble draws its membership from the dedicated members of the Unity Temple Choir. Singing once a month for services, the Unity Temple Singers sing songs from renaissance motets to vocal jazz. They strive to present challenging repertoire for the most experienced choral singers with the advantage of a close-knit sound.

The Unity Temple Bells
This experience welcomes friends and members of all ages to rehearse once a week for six to eight weeks in preparation for presentation at services three Sundays a season. Bells is designed to encourage inter-generational musical collaboration among performers who may not read music or have any previous musical experience.

Unity Temple Players
The UT Players are instrumental and vocal musicians from the congregation who have been finding the liturgical themes in popular music for UT worship and other occasions since they began performing together in 1996. The ensemble's current core is comprised of Audrey Cole, Doug Cole, Ray Holdsworth, Jim Parks, Larry Pilon and Mark Robinson.

Chalice Singers
Children in kindergarten through 4th grade gather in-between Sunday services for six weeks in January and February preparing presentation at services one Sunday in February of each year. This theatrical/choral experience integrates singing, dance, and acting for all its singers. This is a highlight of our music program as the popularity of this program grows.  Registration begins the first week of January of each year.

Rise Up Singing
Sing for the pure joy of it! Rise Up Singing is an informal evening of group singing where the only requirement is to love to sing. We continue the age-old tradition of getting together to sing informally, passing on the love of old and new songs to our young people. Gathering in Gale House every other month on Friday at 7 p.m., friends and members share the joy of singing together, round-robin style, usually with guitar accompaniment and plenty of percussion instruments for the kids. All ages and abilities are welcome.

Schubert Festival
Austrian composer Frank Peter Schubert (1797-1828) lived a brief but musically prolific life. His compositions continue to be among the most admired and performed in the world. A Schubert + festival, a time honored-tradition designed to celebrate his music, is being planned for February 29, 2020, in the newly restored and recent recipient of a UNESCO world heritage site, Unity Temple. Professional musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Orchestra will perform as well as dynamic concert artist, and winner of the the Honens International Competition and Orleans Concourse International Piano Competition pianist, Winston Choi. The four-recital festival day featuring the timeless splendor of this composer”s works will include a song recital, chamber works featuring the CSO octet, and will finish with a recital given by international operatic sensation, Lawrence Brownlee. Viennese-themed  refreshments and a dinner will be offered. Festival tickets at $150. With 20 free tickets available for students.

Unity Temple Vocal Music Scholarship Competition
The Unity Temple Music Program annually offers a Vocal Music Scholarship Competition for students in ninth through eleventh grades in Chicago Public Schools. Students participate in an open audition process presenting two selections of music from classical, gospel or music theater genres. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded for the pursuit of private vocal music study with the scholarship funds administered by the Unity Temple Vocal Music Scholarship Committee. Award recipients are invited to sing at a Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation Worship Service. Proceeds from the annual Spring Music Festival support this important outreach program.

Women Inspired by Song Ensemble
Women Inspired by Song (WISE) is a unique opportunity for women of all ages in our congregation to sing for a Fall, Winter, and Spring Sunday service. WISE welcomes ALL women who like to sing, and who are looking for a less traditional ensemble experience or who can't participate in choir on a regular basis. You don't need to know how to read music. Singers rehearse during three sessions around service times on Sunday. Just bring your beautiful self and voice so that we can create inspiring music singing songs that resonate with women of all ages.