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Recording  • In The Wide Awe and Wisdom • Paul Halley

Click our CD cover above to link to our Hearnow page on this album with links to Spotify, Facebook and more. You can tell your friends what you think.

Grammy Award-winner Paul Halley presents sixteen new choral works from among his commissions of the past decade. Halley's signature style, of vibrant harmonies, lyrical melodies, and intricate rhythms, underlays a range of beautiful texts.

Elegantly performed by Keramion Singers, with Paul Halley at organ and piano.
A quartet of other players on trumpet, French horn, saxophone, timpani, and cymbals.


Listen here on YouTube
All Sixteen Tracks



Choral Sheet Music
All compositions are copyrighted to
Paul Halley/Back Alley Music (ASCAP) available as choral sheet music from Pelagos
. Links to sheet music for each title are below.

CD One
Total Album Time 47:09

1. 6:40
We Will Rejoice For Evermore
Words: from Gates of Prayer 1975
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2050

2. 8:31
In The Wide Awe and Wisdom Of The Night 
Words: Charles G.D. Roberts
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2097

3. 5:48
Beati Omnes Qui Timent Dominum  
Psalm 127
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2094

4. 4:01 
Nobile Claret Opus 

Words: Abbot Suger, Psalm 127: 1
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2091

5. 6:47
A Brighter Garden     

Words: Isaac Watts, Emily Dickinson
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2064

6. 4:46
Move Eastward, Happy Earth

Words: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92)
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2093

7. 4:15  
The Pulley    
George Herbert
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2016

8. 6:21
God's Grandeur   
Gerard Manley Hopkins
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2080

CD Two
Total Album Time 38:19

9. 6:29   
Sanctus and Benedictus    
Words: Ordinary of the Mass
: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2024

10. 4:15
You Gather Things To You
Words: Pablo Neruda
Trans. W.S. Merwin
: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2092

11. 5:48
I Cannot Dance, O Love   
Words: Jean Weibe Janzen,
Charles Wesley
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2049

12. 2:16
Oculi Omnium     
Words: Psalm 145: 16&17
: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL2014

13. 6:00
Magnificat: Tone II      

Words: Gospel of St. Luke
: P. Halley

Sheet Music PEL5028

14. 5:47
My Beloved Spake 
Song Of Solomon
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2032

15. 3:03
We Wait For Thy Loving Kindness, O God   
Selected Scripture
by Rev’d C. M. Armitage
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2067

16. 4:41
Psalm 150: Laudate Dominum   
Psalm 150
: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2062


Items with catalogue numbers are linked to music available on this site. Click on link.

All compositions by Paul Halley
© Back Alley Music (ASCAP)



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CLICK for SATB choral sheet music

In The Wide Awe And Wisdom
Choral Works by Paul Halley

KERAMION SINGERS directed by Paul Halley
Nick Halley, assistant conductor
Paul Halley, organist

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Catalogue No. PEL1006 UPC 672590100622
$23.99 USD for two-CD digipak and booklet with all texts


Finalist for the 2018 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Award and Nominee Best Classical Recording ECMA 2019.

Choral sheet music is available for all tracks on this album - see link list lower left.

Links for Youtube tracks at lower portion of this page.


In this stunning double CD set, with a repertoire sequence that is thoughtfully balanced and considered, Paul Halley features sixteen new choral works from among his catalogue of commissions of recent years. Halley's well-known style of combining threads of vibrant harmonies, lyrical melodies, and intricate rhythms, abounds in these songs set to underlay a diverse range of texts, from George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins to Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda. Common themes emerge from the selection of texts on the album, the forward movement of the Earth in Tennyson's "Move Eastward, Happy Earth" and Roberts' "In The Wide Awe And Wisdom Of The Night", man in relation to God in Herbert's "The Pulley" and Hopkins' "God's Grandeur", and declarations of love in such works as Dickinson's "A Brighter Garden" and Neruda's "You Gather Things To You." In fact, Halley composed five of the works on the recording as gifts for the weddings of his children and step-children.

Keramion Singers, comprised professional singers and choral scholars who work with Paul Halley in Halifax, present these works at Halley's direction with a vocal and sensemble sound that is alternatively bright and present or rounded and atmospheric, depending on the mood being conveyed. Four a cappella pieces showcase the choir's impeccable tuning and phrasing, while the twelve accompanied works, with Halley on organ and piano, and instrumentalists on trumpet, saxophone, or French horn, and timpani, reveal the singer's mastery of thythmic range and contextual expression.

This long-awaited release on the Pelagosmusic label is sure to please those who admire Paul Halley's work as a composer, as well as by those who are familiar with his mastery of keyboard performance and the pure choral sound he elicits from his renowned choirs.

Composer Notes

The sixteen compositions on this recording are selected from among works commissioned of Paul Halley during the past decade. Each commission came with certain parameters, as well as a specific text proposed by the comissioning organization or individuals. These texts cover a wide range, from the poetry of George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda, to the psalter and the Song of Mary. Paul Halley notes, "It is significant that each text was chosen not by me, but by those for whom the musical setting was to be created. The words themselves pushed me into areas of musical expression that I might otherwise have left unexplored. For example, the poem “In The Wide Awe And Wisdom Of The Night” called for a setting based on an octatonic scale and Hopkins’ sonnet generated a passacaglia of irregular (‘sprung’) rhythms and broken phrases. At times, I felt I wasn’t so much composing as translating, just as the poets themselves had translated brief glimpses of universal mysteries. These poems are clearly sufficient unto themselves, but perhaps, being sung, aspects of their inner power and beauty are made more manifest."


For anyone with the slightest propensity to be moved by music, Paul Halley's work may at once leave you breathless, excited and/or in tears. Such is his latest ineffable outing on the Pelagos label: In The Wide Awe And Wisdom - a tasteful mix of the sacred and secular, commissioned works and those composed for special occasions for family. After countless recordings of the music of others, (often characteristically and colorfully arranged by him), this modest genius, highly decorated in the world of jazz (five Grammy Awards, no less) and internationally respected in the world of choral and organ music, needed more than a little nudging to finally commit a collection of his own choral works to disc.

The music on this new CD is fresh and new with a hint of innocence and obvious joy provided by the youthful choristers, the Keramion Singers. They are in the company of some sensitive and thoughtful musicians.

Ever present in Halley's music is the palpable thread of pure jazz and this new recording is no exception. His jazz leanings render his music instantly recognizable. The attention to detail is ever-present in Halley's sensitive writing - inventive and colourful, sometimes unnerving, the dissonance sometimes sustained yet almost always resolved. From the dark but beautifully ethereal title track, 'In The Wide Awe And Wisdom', we journey through colourful hamonic changes in 'The Pulley', to the delicate serenity of 'My Beloved Spake' and finally, to the triumphant 'Laudate Dominum', perfectly placed as the final treack and prompting, on my part at least, spontaneous applause.

- Irene G. Wilkinson, Novemeber 2017.




Meg Race, Executive Producer
Produced by Paul Halley & Meg Race
Engineered by John D. S. Adams, Stonehouse Sound
Art design and production by Kate Sinclair-Sowerby, Co. & Co.
Art supervision by Meg Race

Recorded at The Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, NS


Paul Halley, director
Nick Halley, assistant director

The current roster of Keramion Singers comprises professional musicians and choral scholars who regularly sing with Paul Halley at the institutions in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he serves as Director of Music.

Jen Hall
Elizabeth Halley
Vanessa Halley
Janelle Lucyk
Marielle Nicol
Dominique Saulnier

Anne Bell
Katie Merwin
Sarah Myatt
Alan Rempel
Karis Tees

Nick Halley
Paul Rogers
Nicolas Veltmeyer
Ben Von Bredow
Jamie Whitley

Simon Blake
Shaylan Burkhart
Steve Roe
Leo Timmins
David Wallis

Paul Halley organ and piano
Nicolas Veltmeyer organ, “A Brighter Garden”
Tristan De Borba soprano saxophone
Curtis Dietz trumpet
Erin Donovan timpani and cymbals
Gina Patterson french horn

The painting used in the design of this package is “Voice of Joy” © 2017 by Marina Malvada, www.marinamalvada.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

All of the musical compositions on this recording are by Paul Halley and are
available from Pelagos Incorporated at www.pelagosmusic.com.

The Very Reverend Paul Smith, Dean of the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, NS
The Reverend Dr. Gary Thorne, Chaplain of the University of King’s College, Halifax, NS.

Meg and Paul dedicate this recording to the memory of their dear friend, Tom Bates (d. 2017), who was sound engineer for the previous nine recordings on the Pelagosmusic (and Joyful Noise) label.

© 2017 Pelagos Incorporated
All Rights Reserved
Made in USA