Old North Festival Chorus Announces

2019 Holiday Concerts

The 39th annual Old North Festival Chorus Christmas Concerts – presented each year as part of Marblehead’s Christmas Walk – will take place on Saturday, December 7 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 8 at 7:30pm in the sanctuary of the historic Old North Church Meeting House, 35 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA.  Highlights of the December 2019 Festival Chorus Concerts – for chorus and full orchestra – include: Cantata 191, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, BWV 191, by J.S. Bach; Felix Mendelssohn’s Cantata, Vom Himmel Hoch; Christmas Day, by Gustav Holst; and, for the “pops” portion of the program, arrangements of stirring, exciting, and spirited seasonal works by Randol Bass, Dan Forrest, and Mark Hayes. Featured soloists include, Holly Cameron and Barbara Hill, sopranos; Stephanie Scarcella, mezzo-soprano; Antanas Meilus, tenor; and Jonathan Cole, baritone.

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The Old North Festival Orchestra, Soloists, and 100-voice Chorus will be led by Maria van Kalken, Minister of Music at Old North Church, who celebrates her 31st season as Director of the Festival Chorus! In addition to a selection of seasonal carols, the public will be treated to a special appearance by the Festival Youth Chorus, directed by Sarah Del Dotto, as well as an appearance by the Old North Bell Choir, directed by Liz Smith.

Picturesque Marblehead offers the perfect backdrop at holiday time for the popular Festival Chorus concerts.  The entire town is transformed into an enchanted village, with shop owners offering hot cider and cheer, plenty of holiday music to delight shoppers, and, the not-to-be-missed Festival Chorus concerts.


The Festival Chorus gathers Old North’s Senior Choir together with enthusiastic singers – amateur to professional – from many neighboring communities in Marblehead.  Each season, the Festival Chorus welcomes new voices while maintaining a devoted ensemble from previous years; this season’s Chorus totals over one hundred participants.  Encouraged by a love for music and a reputation as the North Shore’s most spirited and talented volunteer choirs, the Festival Chorus & Orchestra has been lauded for its outstanding performances of major choral works each year.


Director Maria van Kalken holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Oberlin and New England Conservatories of Music – primarily under the tutelage of Yuko Hayashi and the late Donald Teeters – and has amassed an education abroad in Amsterdam (Holland) and Pistoia (Italy).


Tickets for Festival Chorus performances are priced at $30 and may be purchased in advance at the following Marblehead business locations: Arnould Gallery, The Spirit of ’76 Bookstore, and Crosby’s Marketplace. 


Tickets may be purchased online, or to reserve tickets in advance by telephone, or for additional information, please call 781-608-2782 or the Old North Church office 781-631-1244.

Old North Church is accessible for the physically challenged


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