About Angelica

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Marie Caruso (Artistic Director) is a native New Yorker and lives in Hastings-on Hudson. She teaches music and art history at St. Vincent Ferrer High School in New York City and directs an all-girl choir there, as well as three handbell choirs. Marie has performed with many vocal groups, including the New Calliope Singers and the New York University Collegium Musicum, with Director Alex Blachly. She is currently in the doctoral program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is one of the founding members of Angelica.

Melanie Anderson grew up in Los Angeles. She studied classical voice at UCLA, where she won the Gladys Turk Vocal Competition. She has also studied renaissance ensemble singing in England with the Tallis Scholars.  Melanie currently sings with the Hudson Valley Singers and is the president of their board of directors. She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and has worked as a freelance editor and writer. She currently works for Edward M. Weinstein Architecture. Melanie lives in Hastings-on-Hudson with her husband, daughter, three cats, and a cocker spaniel.


Claire Collins began her vocal career as a middle school student with the Cathedral Choristers of St John the Divine in New York City.  When her family moved to Croton, she joined the Westchester Girls' Choir and the Croton Chorale, frequently soloing with both groups. While obtaining her BA in music (2008) at Colby College, she toured Europe with the Colby College Chorale and soloed with Collegium Musicum, an early music ensemble.  In addition to singing with Angelica, she is currently a member of Charis, assistant director of the Croton Chorale, and conductor of the Bethel Bells at Asbury Methodist Church in Croton.  She plans to pursue a career in music education.

Ann Foster has degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Massachusetts and the Eastman School of Music, and now teaches music at RiversideHigh School in Yonkers, New York.  Ann has been professionally involved in choral music as a singer, conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for over thirty years.  She is currently serving as president of the Westchester County School Music Association.


Virginia Kaycoff an East Village denizen and native Manhattanite, first became acquainted with Angelica as a vielle player for the group's 2005 Christmas concert. Mildly multi-instrumental, she has studied viola da gamba primarily with Martha McGaughey, recorders primarily with Nina Stern, percussion primarily with Raquy Danziger, and lute with Patrick O’Brien. She has performed music from medieval to Baroque as singer and/or instrumentalist with such groups as the Renaissance Street Singers, Music Divine, Polyhymnia, the New York Continuo Collective, I Giuliari di Piazza, and the trio Choraulos, of which she is a founding member. When not making music, Virginia is a medical writer and editor.


Colleen Kiel hails from Wisconsin and is from a musical family. She has performed many types of music, including folk, rock, musical comedy, operetta, and classical. Recently she has acquired a love for singing jazz.  She has performed with the American Heritage Ensemble, Skylight Comic Opera, Waterford Ensemble, Westchester Chorale, as well as with various folk, rock, and jazz musicians. Colleen currently works as an interior designer and lives in Hastings-on-Hudson with her husband and two children.


Anita Massengill grew up in New Orleans.  She studied piano and music theory at LSU and  Loyola University N.O. before moving to New York and studying at  Manhattan School of Music.  She once taught piano and now works at Metro Baptist Church in Manhattan where she directs the choir.  Anita lives in Queens with husband David and occasionally their college-aged son and older daughter.


Kathleen McClafferty worked as a biomedical engineer in Boston before moving to Manhattan to focus on music. She has performed in many genres, including classical, opera, musical theatre, jazz, folk, pop, and cabaret.  Favorite musical theatre and operetta roles include Anne (A Little Night Music, Boston Stage Troupe), Casilda (The Gondoliers, Festival Theatre),Rosa Bud (Mystery of Edwin Drood, Blue Hill Troupe, NYC), and Gwendolyn (Ernest, New Punctuation Army, NYC premiere). She has sung with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops and with Blue Hill Troupe for the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. She has sung with Cerdorrion in NYC and was also a soloist at Italy’s Orvieto Musica Chamber Music Festival. She has performed in cabaret at the Duplex in NYC.

Wilma Messenger teaches music in the Briarcliff Manor School District and sings regularly with the Croton Chorale, the female vocal quartet “A Few Good Women,” and Collegium Westchester   She has also sung with Charis, the Westchester Renaissance Singers, St. George’s Choral Society in Manhattan, and the Greenwich Choral Society in CT. Wilma has a bachelors degree in music education and a masters degree in theology.  She lives in Croton-on-Hudson with her husband, Troy, and her son, Ari.


Susan Saslow has performed with several vocal groups, including the New Calliope Singers and Charis. A retired tenant attorney, she currently works as a publisher of English-as-a-foreign-language primary courses at Pearson Longman in White Plains. Susan lives in Katonah, New York, with her husband and daughters, Kate and Lauren.




Carolyn Summers has many “professional” singing credits, including a Grammy-award winning performance at Carnegie Hall and several Mostly Mozart festival appearances, all of which occurred after she retired from professional singing and joined the all-volunteer Dessoff Choirs.  Carolyn is a landscape architect and ardent conservationist. Carolyn lives in Hastings-on-Hudson with her husband and daughter. She is one of the founding members of Angelica.


Mary Varchaver, a longtime resident of Hastings-on-Hudson, has sung with the Hudson Valley Singers, for whom she also served as piano accompanist. She divides her time between chamber music and work as author, researcher, and editor of reference books, and compiler of indices. She is coauthor of the Dictionary of the Performing Arts and author of A Browser’s Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases. She is one of the founding members of Angelica.