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Old North Festival Chorus

Old North Church Festival Chorus

Old North Annual Lenten Choral Concert

We are thrilled to announce that over 70 singers – plus our professional soloists – are participating in the upcoming Lenten Choral Concert, and we enthusiastically invite your attendance and support!

Members of the Old North Senior Choir and Old North Festival Chorus are currently rehearsing a truly glorious program featuring Requiem in c minor, by Michael Haydn (Franz Joseph Haydn’s brother), as well a new composition titled Fermata, by Dan Forrest.  Fermata is an a cappella piece set to the text of part of a poem written by Clemens Schoenebeck, a devoted member of the bass section of Old North's Festival Chorus.  As we continue to adapt to the return of live performance, we are so proud to début this hauntingly beautiful piece to our Old North and surrounding community!  Our performance takes place on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024, at 7:30pm in the sanctuary of Old North.

The annual Lenten Choral Concert marks the beginning of Holy Week and a long-held tradition at Old North to offer members of the Marblehead community a program of musical reflection by candlelight.  Our concert is free and open to the public, though a free-will offering will be gratefully accepted.

This very special performance – dedicated in loving memory to John I. Benson, a long-time Festival Chorus member who passed away tragically just a few weeks ago due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning – is supported, in part, by a combination of the Music Patrons and Festival Chorus Funds at Old North Church.  This funding, combined with the free-will offering collected at the door, will cover only part of the expenses to produce this program.  If you would like to help defray the costs of our Lenten Choral Concert, we would be most grateful for your contribution – in any amount.

If you wish to have your name listed as a Sponsor of the program AND if you wish to remember a loved one in the In Loving Memory section, please click here to download and fill out both lines of the Lenten Concert Dedications & Donations.  If you are interested in listing only the name of a loved one, please fill out only that line.  In the unlikely event we have questions, your contact information has been requested; thank you for sharing that as well.  Please note that you do not have to be a member of the Festival Chorus or Old North Church to become a sponsor or list a loved one.  Feel free to invite others to support our concert in this manner, if appropriate.

Donations are due no later than Wednesday, March 20, 2024.  Please mail your check (payable to Old North Church – with “Lenten Concert” in the memo) to arrive no later than Wednesday, March 20, 2024 so that you can be included in the Program.  Thank you for your support!

Maria van Kalken, Director of Music

Old North Church Marblehead MA

Maria van Kalken, Minister of Music at Old North Church and Director of the Festival Chorus, celebrates her thirty-fifth (35th) season in charge of Old North’s flourishing music program. Maria earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Oberlin, Ohio) and Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA). Her studies abroad have included pipe organ performance at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, under the patronage of the Rotary International Scholarship Fund, and the completion of an historical organ performance program in Pistoia, Italy. 

In addition to her work as Minister of Music – playing organ and directing the Senior Choir – Maria is Artistic Director of Concerts at Old North, presenting between two and six chamber music concerts annually, in the acoustically-glorious Old North Church in Marblehead. 


Maria is a senior staff member of the Boston Early Music Festival (; as Assistant to the Executive Director, Maria is liaison to musicians from all over the world for the Festival’s biennial Baroque opera project, as well as the annual Chamber Opera Series, the Boston and New York Concert Series (at the Morgan Library & Museum), and opera touring and recording projects. 

Liz Smith, Bell Choir Director


Liz Smith of Swampscott, MA has been joyfully ringing handbells since 2008, when she joined her church’s bell choir.  She soon began ringing with New England Ringers, one of New England’s finest audition handbell choirs.  Liz has loved making music since childhood, when she studied piano and played clarinet, saxophone, and oboe in many school and community music ensembles.  She is thrilled to be with the Old North Church Hand Bell Choir.  Liz is also a math tutor at Hadley Elementary School in Swampscott.  When she is not taking pictures of the sunset or collecting sea glass, Liz spends her free time with her husband, their daughter, and their three grown sons.

Holly Cameron

Old North Church Marblehead MA

Holly Cameron, soprano, is thrilled to sing with the Festival Chorus and Orchestra for her fourteenth season! She has been hailed a “marvelous femme fatale” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) with “rip-roaring high notes” (The Boston Globe). Some of her favorite operatic roles include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Musetta (La bohème), and Abigail (The Crucible), among others. On the concert stage, Ms. Cameron has appeared as a soloist in works such as Carmina Burana, Brahms’ Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Bach’s St. John’s Passion and St. Matthew’s Passion. A recipient of numerous honors, Ms. Cameron was a New England Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has won awards in the Shreveport Opera Competition, Sarasota Artist Series competition and the National Orpheus Vocal Competition, among others.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance from New England Conservatory and a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Holly also has a growing reputation for her interpretation of the blues and soul genres and can be regularly heard with the Chris Fitz “Bigger Soul” Band.  For more information and other upcoming performances, please visit:

Gabriela Fagen

Old North Church Marblehead MA

Mezzo-soprano Gabriela Fagen is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, having received her Master of Music studying under the tutelage of Mary Ann Hart in 2019, and her Bachelor of Music as a student of Costanza Cuccaro in 2017. Ms. Fagen made her debut with Teatro Nuovo in the summer of 2021 as a chorus member and cover for Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Additionally, she was contracted as the cover for Alceo in Il vero omaggio with Teatro Nuovo (cancelled due to COVID-19). Other recent role credits include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar,  Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Dryade in R. Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Unulfo in Handel’s Rodelinda and Ethel Toffelmeier in The Music Man with Indiana University Opera Theatre; Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Prague Summer Nights Festival; Dame Hannah in Ruddigore with the University Gilbert and Sullivan Society; and Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte with the Savannah Voice Festival. She is also a recipient of the Joshi International Fellowship, and the Viola Wheeler Arts Award. Ms. Fagen is currently based in Brookline, MA, and is a student of Constance Fee.

Kevin Hayden


Kevin Hayden, tenor, performed with The Old North Church Festival Chorus for thirteen seasons. Mr. Hayden is familiar to audiences in New England and beyond having performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Boston Opera Collaborative, Charleston Chamber Opera Company, Cape Cod Opera, Masterworks Chorale, Opera del West, Boston University Opera Institute, Opera by the Bay, The Lynn Concert Singers and Trinity Church among others.  Kevin graduated from Boston University with his Master of Music Degree and The University of Oklahoma with his Bachelor of Music Degree.  Past operatic roles include Tamino (Die Zauberflote), Alfredo (La traviata), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), and The Doctor (A Month in the Country).  Kevin lives in Marblehead with his wife, Jennifer and two children Sully and Lizzy.

Andrew Scoglio

Andrew Scoglio photo (10-10-23).webp

Andrew Scoglio, baritone, is the Lead Teacher for the Performing & Applied Arts at Marblehead High School.  He directs the High School and Middle School choral music programs consisting of three choirs and three contemporary a cappella groups.  He also teaches AP Music Theory, Piano Class, and Theatre Arts.  Mr. Scoglio holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from Gordon College and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

An active choral singer and soloist, Mr. Scoglio has performed with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Tanglewood, Fenway Park, and Carnegie Hall.  In 2023, Mr. Scoglio conducted the MMEA Eastern Jr. District Honor Choir and was a conducting fellow and singer at the Sarteano Choral Conducting Workshop in Tuscany.  Mr. Scoglio also sings in Lyricora, a Boston-based ensemble that is presenting 3 concerts this December.  He has studied voice with Andrew Garland, William Hite, and Jennifer Sgroe.  He is pleased to serve as the Baritone section leader and soloist at Old North Church.

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