Music Staff

Ryan Lee Turner

Ryan Lee Turner assumed the position of Music Director of the Newburyport Choral Society in June, 2020.

Widely regarded as a passionate, expressive and powerful vocal and orchestral conductor, Ryan Turner is also an accomplished tenor soloist and music educator.  A resident of Haverhill, he is also the artistic director of Emmanuel Music in Boston, and is on the voice and early music faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge. 

Assiduously fluent in the music of Bach, Turner has conducted over 170 Bach cantatas and the complete masterworks of Bach: the St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, his own reconstruction of the St. Mark Passion, Mass in B Minor and Christmas Oratorio, and the complete Orchestral Suites. In addition, he has led major works by Stravinsky, Mozart, Handel, and John Harbison. A champion of new music, Ryan Turner has programmed and premiered the works of composers John Harbison, Matthew Aucoin, James Primosch, Brett Johnson, and Ben Houge.

As an opera conductor, Turner recently led acclaimed performances with the Boston Lyric Opera of Frank Martin’s Le Vin Herbé and Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony.

Turner was the Director of Choral Activities at Phillips Exeter Academy from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 to 2010 Mr. Turner presided as Music Director of the Concord Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. He has also served as Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the University of Rhode Island, as Interim Director of Choral Activities at Plymouth State University, and as Music Director of the Concord Chorus.

Raised in El Paso, Texas, Turner holds degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and The Boston Conservatory. Ryan Turner lives north of Boston with his wife, soprano Susan Consoli, and their two children, Aidan and Caroline.

Dr. Kirsten Helgeland, Accompanist

Since 2005, Dr. Kirsten Helgeland has served as accompanist to the Newburyport Choral Society and as Music Director and Organist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Beverly, Massachusetts. Dr. Helgeland has also performed recitals in Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Illinois, in addition to appearing as a guest artist on WGBH-Radio’s Chamberworks. She has presented lecture-recitals to the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music. She has also worked as Organist and Choirmaster in Cincinnati and as a public school music teacher in Massachusetts.

Dr. Helgeland 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. During her seven-year tenure at Gordon College, she was an active faculty member, instructing a lecture course in music history, a course in music theory, teaching piano, coaching instrumentalists and vocalists, and serving as accompanist for Gordon’s Children’s Choir and Symphonic Chorale. After leaving Gordon, she opened Studio K, a private teaching studio in her home in Danvers.