Director Maria van Kalken
Old North Festival Chorus
2023 Holiday Concerts!
Old North Festival Chorus & Orchestra
Annual Christmas Concerts
The 43rd annual Old North Festival Chorus Christmas Concerts—presented each year as part of Marblehead’s Christmas Walk—will take place on Saturday, December 2 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 3 at 7:30pm in the sanctuary of the historic Old North Church Meeting House, 35 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA. Highlights of the December 2023 Festival Chorus Concerts—for chorus and full orchestra—include: Magnificat in D and Christus, Part 1, by Felix Mendelssohn; Fantasia on Christmas Carols, by Ralph Vaughan Williams; World of Joy, by Gary Fry; O Little Town of Bethlehem, arranged by Dan Forrest; and arrangements of seasonal music for chorus and orchestra with audience participation. Featured soloists include: Holly Cameron, soprano; Gabriela Fagen, mezzo-soprano; Kevin Hayden, tenor; Andrew Scoglio, baritone; and Michael Galvin, bass. The Old North Festival Orchestra, Soloists, and 90-voice Chorus will be led by Maria van Kalken, Minister of Music at Old North Church, who celebrates her 35th season as Director of the Festival Chorus!
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 eighty participants. Encouraged by a love for music and a reputation as the North Shore’s most spirited and talented volunteer choir, 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 the late Yuko Hayashi and Donald Teeters—and has amassed an education abroad in Amsterdam (Holland) and Pistoia (Italy).
Tickets are priced at $35 and may be purchased at the door on the night of the concert or in advance at the following Marblehead business locations: Arnould Gallery and Crosby’s Marketplace; tickets may also be purchased on line at www.onchurch.org/festivalchorus. To reserve tickets in advance by telephone, or for additional information, please call 781-608-2782; information is also available on the Old North Festival Chorus website: www.oldnorthfestivalchorus.org
While ticket buyers are encouraged to wear masks at these public performances, masks are not required. Anyone wishing to wear a mask should feel free to do so without judgement. The performances will be approximately 90 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission. Old North Church is accessible for the physically impaired.
The Old North Festival Chorus is supported, in part, by a grant from the Marblehead Cultural Council as administered through the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
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