The 36th annual Old North Festival Chorus Christmas Concerts – presented each year as part of Marblehead’s Christmas Walk – will take place on Saturday, December 3 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 4 at 7:30pm in the sanctuary of the historic Old North Church Meeting House, 35 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA.  Highlights of the December 2016 Festival Chorus Concerts – for chorus and full orchestra – include: Magnificat in D by Felix Mendelssohn; excerpts from J.S. Bach’s glorious Christmas Oratorio; and John Rutter’s When Icicles Hang – a Festival Chorus favorite – which includes a cycle of choral settings with words by Shakespeare, Campion, and others.  As always, selections presented by the Festival Youth Chorus and Old North Bell Choir, as well as a host of holiday carols with audience participation, will top off this 36th annual celebration.  Featured soloists include, Holly Cameron, soprano; Stephanie Scarcella, mezzo-soprano; Kevin Hayden, tenor; and Jonathan Cole, baritone.

The Old North Festival Orchestra, Soloists, and over one-hundred voices comprising the Festival Chorus, will be led by Maria van Kalken, Minister of Music at Old North Church.  Maria celebrates her 28th year as Director of the Festival Chorus and Orchestra this season.  

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.  

To reserve tickets in advance by telephone, or for additional information, please call (781) 631-4832 or the Old North Church office (781) 631-1244; information is also available on the Old North Festival Chorus website: WWW.FESTIVALCHORUS.COM

Old North Church is accessible for the physically impaired.

For more information, contact Maria vanKalken at vankalken@gmail.com