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  About • Paul Halley    
 

  "A perfect storm of energy and creativity in the person of Paul Halley."
- Chronicle Herald, Halifax 12/14/2009 


CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE REVIEW.

For information on artists associated with Paul Halley, click: OTHER ARTISTS
 
   

Paul Halley
M.A. Cantab., FRCO, ARCT

Winner of multiple Grammy Awards for his collaborations with saxophonist Paul Winter in the 1980's and 1990's, Paul Halley is increasingly well known for his active career as a composer and choral conductor. Halley's choral, keyboard, and ensemble works, for both church and concert setting, have earned him a place among the most gifted of today's classical composers. 

A passionate and deeply-talented choral conductor, Halley is currently inspiring the minds of an acclaimed group of Choral Scholars and Lay Clerks at the University of King's College Halifax. S
ervices of Choral Evensong and Holy Communion are celebrated weekly throughout the academic term, and performance tours, recordings, and the celebrated concert series entitled “King’s at the Cathedral, round out the Choir’s activities.  The Choir of twenty-four, drawn from among the students and graduates of both King's College and Dalhousie University, has gained a reputation under Halley’s direction as one of the best choral ensembles in Canada. The choir's performances are frequently broadcast nationally across Canada on CBC Radio 2, and are consistently included in CBC's top picks for choral concerts to attend. The Choir's 2013 release, “Let Us Keep The Feast: Music for the Church Year”, won the 2014 Outstanding Choral Recording Award from Choral Canada. In 2015, Halley was appointed Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, where he conducts a semi-professional choir in weekly services of Holy Eucharist, monthly Evensongs, and various celebrations of Lessons and Carols during the church year, in a cathedral building that could claim the most beautiful architecture and acoustics in Canada.

Halley is frequently commissioned to write new works in a range of genres, voicing, and instrumentation.    Compositions have been commissioned, performed and licensed by many notable artists and organizations including Sony Entertainment, Windham Hill/BMG Music, Hal Leonard, the New Jersey Symphony, John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra, The Louisville Symphony, Canadian Brass, Margie Gillis, and Jennifer Muller and The Works, and CBC. Halley receives annual Composer Awards from ASCAP, and his recordings and performances are frequently broadcast on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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Paul Halley was born in Romford, England in 1952 and received his early musical training in Ottawa, Canada, where he studied piano and organ.  A member of Ottawa’s St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Choir of Men and Boys, he studied with Gerald Wheeler and later Brian Law, whom Halley describes as his most important musical mentor.  At the age of sixteen, Halley was made an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto.  Having been awarded the organ scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge under Dr. Richard Marlow, he received his M.A. with prizes in composition and performance, and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning first prize in the College examinations.  Via a circuitous route involving two years teaching in Jamaica, W.I., and the study of Development Economics at the University of Victoria, BC, Halley became Organist and Choirmaster at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City where he served for thirteen years, 1977 to 1990, transforming the Cathedral’s music program into a rich combination of classical and contemporary music. Concurrent with his tenure at the Cathedral, Halley became a principal member of The Paul Winter Consort and earned five Grammy Awards for his contributions as featured writer and performer on many Consort recordings.   

Following his departure from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1990, Halley settled in rural northwestern Connecticut and founded Joyful Noise, Inc., the non-profit organization which administers the children’s choir, Chorus Angelicus and the adult ensemble, Gaudeamus. These choirs continue to bring their celebrated sound to audiences throughout North America and Europe through an annual concert series of classical masterworks and contemporary repertoire, tours and recordings. In 1999, Halley became Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington, CT and established the Joyful Noise choirs there as Artists-In-Residence. At Trinity, Halley conducted a 30-voice, semi-professional choir, mentored Organ Scholars from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, and created fresh hymn descants and new settings of liturgical music. Halley expanded the church’s music ministry to include monthly Vespers services, and the Trinity Arts Series, a forum for the work of professional musicians and artists in a sacred space. 

In July 2007, Halley relocated to Nova Scotia and assumed the music directorship of three historic and venerable institutions in the city of Halifax.  While at St. George’s Anglican Church (known as the Round Church) from 2007 to 2010, Halley directed a semi-professional choir of twenty-five at weekly Holy Eucharist as well as monthly Choral Evensong and services for numerous Feast Days. From 2007 until 2015, Halley also held the position of University Musician at the Atlantic School of Theology, providing musical accompaniment for services and direction in the foundations of liturgical music and vocal production for graduate theological students.

Halley’s compositions and recordings are produced and distributed by Pelagos Incorporated for which Halley acts as Creative Director.  Among Pelagos’ celebrated recordings are:  
Nightwatch, a reissue of Halley’s landmark 1982 improvisation album, recorded on the Great Organ of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine;  Sound Over All Watersa compilation of Halley’s choral works and arrangements for gospel singer Theresa Thomason and the professional choral ensemble, Keramion; Triptych, Halley’s keyboard works for the unique trio of piano, pipe organ, and harpsichord, recorded at Spivey Hall in Atlanta; and Untraveled Worlds, a compilation of world music repertoire presented by Chorus Angelicus; What Child Is This?, a comprising a curated selection of new and less familiar Christmas repertoire.  

Halley and his wife and business partner Meg Race moved from the mountaintop farm in northwestern Connecticut, where they raised their combined family of six children, to the South Shore of Nova Scotia in 2007.  Summer days, which now extend from late April to late November, continue to be spent messing around in a growing fleet of boats: an endearing Cape Cod catboat which rejoices in the name, 'Magnificat', a lovely Rangeley Lakes guide boat called ‘Dragonfly’, a rowing dinghy affectionately known as ‘Nunc Dimittis', and two canoes. 

 

 

 


 

 
 




Paul Halley playing Rufatti organ
at Spivey Hall, Atlanta

   
 




Conducting choirs and orchestra
at St. Anne Church, Waterbury

   
 




Directing Chorus Angelicus
from the keyboard

   
 




In rehearsal
King's College Chapel, Halifax

   
 




Enjoying a sail
 

   
   



St. Matthew's Choir of Men and Boys circa 1963
Paul Halley is fourth from left, second row of boys standing,
with ruff but no medallion (yet)

The Boys of St. Matthew's
St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Ottawa, ON


Paul Halley as Chorister and Assistant Organist
at St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Ottawa

For 50 years, St. Matthew's Anglican Church has been singing praises of its choristers who have  grown up to be leaders in music, literature, sciences and the ministry.

The secret of their success? Margret Brady of the Ottawa Citizen finds out.
Click for more on these remarkable choristers. Remarks by Paul Halley, Gerald Finley, Rev. James Beall, Peter Mansbridge,
Daniel Taylor, Matthew Larkin and others.
 

 
 




Sporting Tilley hat
 

   
 




Writing music
sitting on a stone wall
 

   
   
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  About • Paul Halley