Music Director

Dr. Gerald Weale, Music Director

The Newburyport Choral Society is conducted by Dr. Gerald Weale, a native of New York City. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University and his doctorate in music from Boston University. He has taught at Columbia and Fairleigh Dickinson Universities and Manhattanville College.

He recently retired from Boston University, where he served as chair of the Department of Music Education and director of the Boston University Musical Organizations at the College of Fine Arts. He taught choral conducting, choral repertoire, and music theory. He has been named Professor Emeritus of Music.

Dr. Weale holds the certificates of Fellow and Choirmaster from the American Guild of Organists. He has served as organist and choirmaster for a number of New York, New Jersey and New England churches and has led several community choral societies in the New York area. He presently serves as the organist and choirmaster of St. Thomas Church in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Music Director of the Newburyport Choral Society since 1987, Dr. Weale shapes the emotional and dramatic content of our performances, enriching audiences and choral members alike.


Dr. Kirsten Helgeland, Accompanist

Kirsten holds degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music and the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. She also holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Cincinnati. A very active faculty member at Gordon College, Kirsten instructs a lecture course in music history, teaches piano, coaches instrumentalists and vocalists, and accompanies Gordon’s Children’s Choir and Symphonic Chorale.

In addition to her work at Gordon and with the NCS, she serves as Music Director and Organist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Beverly, Massachusetts. Kirsten has performed many recitals in Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Illinois. She has presented lecture-recitals to the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, and the Society for American Music. She has appeared as a guest artist on WGBH-Radio’s Chamberworks. Before joining the Gordon College faculty, she worked as Organist and Choirmaster in Cincinnati and as a public school music teacher in Massachusetts.