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Cantor Erik Contzius

Cantor Erik Contzius is honored to join the Temple Tikvah family as its Interim Cantor. Cantor Contzius grew up in Parsippany, New Jersey, where he was very active at his home congregation of Temple Beth Am, as well as NFTY-GER (then "JFTY"). He graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in psychology, followed by his attendance at Hebrew Union College, where he earned his degree in Sacred Music and ordination as Cantor.

Cantor Contzius had the honor of serving three full-time pulpits since his ordination: Temple Israel of Omaha, Nebraska, Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and Temple Israel of New Rochelle, New York. For several years he also was an instructor at Hebrew Union College.

Besides his primary work as Cantor, Cantor Contzius is also a composer of liturgical music for the synagogue. Many of his pieces have been published by Transcontinental Music, including Shalom Rav, Hineh Mah Tov, and The Traveler's Prayer. One of his works, a setting of Psalm 116, was premiered by the American Conference of Cantors at The Vatican as a part of a Jewish-Catholic dialog. He has also performed around the world as a baritone soloist, most notably singing Ernest Bloch's "Avodat Hakodesh" in Israel, Bulgaria, and Canada.

After an 18 year career, Cantor Contzius stepped off the pulpit in order to have more time with his family. He continued to serve congregations on the High Holy Days and perform lifecycle events. He presently lives in Peekskill, New York, with his wife, Monica Flaherty and son, Jacob Contzius, who is a sophomore at SUNY New Paltz.

When not working as a Cantor, Erik also enjoys acting, barbershop singing, and the occasional video game!

Wed, February 1 2023 10 Sh'vat 5783