Spadina Station

Marlena McCarthy

Marlena is the founder and alto of Spadina Station. She's also the writer of their website and takes on the administrative tasks for the group.

Coming from a musical family, Marlena's love of music was sparked by daily joining her mom as her mother joyfully played and sang her favourite songs from the war era.

For years, Marlena's musical talents were channelled through her flute, until church music gradually lured her to step forward and sing out. Being an alto, Marlena has become a master of harmony singing.

Marlena's love of a cappella was sparked by watching concerts of the trailblazer a cappella group The Nylons. Her first a cappella quartet, Whirled Peas, was adopted by The Nylons' founding member Paul Cooper, who took them under his wing. He not only allowed the group to rehearse on a sound system in his living room, he coached them in mic technique, staging, and choreography. Paul then acted as their soundman and lighting technician for their shows. 

Marlena's second group, Tongues in Groove, sung together for four glorious years. For a few years, Marlena took a break from professional singing to care for her mom, who developed Alzheimers. To keep up her singing chops, she also sings in the Miles Nadal JCC Community Choir, and in the past the Toronto Camerata.

Marlena loves singing with Spadina Station, and dedicates her performances to her late parents, Jeanne-Mance & Len, and her husband and best friend, Jack.