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  Recording  • Sound Over All Waters  
  "Thomason's vibrant and powerful voice rings with sincere devotion. She is a versatile performer, interpreting everything from Bible verses to gospel to the poetry of Wendell Berry and John Greenleaf Whittier with just the right degree of exquisite expression. " - Rambles

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Sound clips below

Total Album Time 58:08

All but two compositions are by Paul Halley
© Back Alley Music

The Rain Is Over And Gone
Words: Song of Solomon
and P. Halley
Music: P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2009  

Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand
Words & Music:
F. L. Eiland, Jennie Wilson
arr. P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2028

Jubilate Deo
Words: Psalm 100,
R. Robinson 1735-1790,
Music: Nettleton melody (1813),
P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2029

Words: Wendell Berry
P. Halley
Vocal Music PEL3003

Sound Over All Waters
Words: J.G. Whittier
P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2081

Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen
Words & Music: Spiritual
arr. R. Pack

Marvellous Error
Words: A. Machado
P. Halley
Vocal Music PEL3002  

Come Away To The Skies
Words: C. Wesley,
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2037

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 
Words & Music: Spiritual
arr. D. Adelmann

10.  ◙♫
I’ll Trust 
Words & Music: Trad. Gospel
arr. P. Halley, T. Thomason
Vocal Music PEL3004

Freedom Trilogy
Words & Music:
Missa de Angelis, 16th c.,
South African songs,
John Newton, 'Virginia Harmony'
arr. P. Halley
Sheet Music PEL2004

Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
Words: R. Robinson 1735-1790
Nettleton melody (1813)
arr. P. Halley, T. Thomason
Vocal Music PEL3001

No 6 arr. R. Pack
Published by
Gordon V. Thompson (SOCAN)

No 9 arr. D. Adelmann
Published by Paraclete Press

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

All compositions by Paul Halley
or by P. Halley and T. Thomason
© Back Alley Music (ASCAP)
Administered by Pelagos Incorporated

Catalogue No. PEL1001  $12.99

for recordings

Sheet Music
for sheet music


Sound Over All Waters

Theresa Thomason and Paul Halley

Keramion band and choir
Directed by Paul Halley

Vocalist Theresa Thomason and choral ensemble Keramion
perform with top instrumentalists in Halley compositions.

Catalogue No. PEL1001 - PHYSICAL CD



"Theresa Thomason and Paul Halley cook up new flavors for contemporary choral and gospel music."

Sound Over All Waters” is a CD with roots in gospel, contemporary jazz and world music wherein the serendipitous pairing of two diverse talents, Theresa Thomason, vocalist, and Paul Halley, keyboardist and composer, results in a musical synergy that is as exciting as it is engaging. Although from radically different musical backgrounds, Thomason from the gospel tradition, Halley from classical choral and Anglican traditions, the feeling of spontaneity and freshness, joy and spirit that emanates from this album bespeaks a perfect collaboration. 

With texts poetic and sublime, from such luminaries as Antonio Machado, John Greenleaf  Whittier and Wendell Berry, Paul Halley has created new music that is both lyrical and innovative, rich in harmony, ethnic texture, and contrapuntal rhythm.  “Come Away to the Skies” and “Jubilate Deo” are brilliant new “blended” songs created by Halley especially for this recording.  In “Freedom Trilogy”, Halley combines South African folksong, Gregorian chant, and the American hymn “Amazing Grace” over an instrumental background of world rhythms.  “Circles”, an ever spiraling ascent through the musical “circle of fifths”, is a vocal solo of penetrating sophistication with jazz subtleties.  In “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand”, a Halley arrangement of a traditional gospel tune, Thomason takes Halley into her territory albeit on his terms, while “Marvellous Error” is a poignant drama in melody, clearly Halley.  The final cut, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, a duet for Thomason and Halley, is a parting gift that brings the album full circle to the lyric solo voice of Thomason, offering up a delicate, reverential prayer on a cloud of organ harmonies by Halley.   

The supporting voices on the CD are those of Keramion, a choir of professionals hand-picked by Halley, augmented by senior members of Chorus Angelicus, Halley’s children’s choir, and a quintet from Thomason’s gospel tour team, Sacred Sounds.  The band also comprises a top line-up of musicians, from newcomers such as the vibrant young Nate Smith on drums to the well-established and much sought-after studio guitarist, Chuck Loeb.  Of course, all keyboards, (piano, pipe organ and synth) are in Halley’s hands as is the overall direction and production of the album. All this comes together under the hands of Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Tom Bates, who has recorded and mixed a diverse array of instruments and voices and woven them into tapestries that highlight the subtlest nuances and brightest twists of every voice.


from Rambles – an online cultural arts magazine

"Renowned organist and choirmaster Paul Halley teams up with singer Theresa Thomason to produce “Sound Over All Waters”, a stunning CD of sacred and gospel music. The CD also features the professional vocal ensemble Kerámion, whose name comes from the Greek word meaning 'the clay jar". 

The serendipitous pairing of these two diverse talents, Thomason’s vocal artistry and Halley’s compositional brilliance, results in new music that is as exciting as it is engaging. Although from radically different musical backgrounds, she from the gospel tradition, he from classical choral and Anglican traditions, the feeling of joy and spontaneity that emanates from this album bespeaks a perfect collaboration.

Halley performs on various keyboards and composed much of the music on the CD, setting poetry and other selections to majestic, graceful melodies and arrangements. From the first exuberant track, “The Rain Is Over and Gone” based on verses from the Song of Solomon, to the starkly simple arrangment of th final song, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Halley and Thomason present a seamless unity of passion and praise, blending the old and the new in a CD replete with respect for the content.
Thomason's vibrant and powerful voice rings with sincere devotion. She is a versatile performer, interpreting everything from Bible verses to gospel to the poetry of Wendell Berry and John Greenleaf Whittier with just the right degree of exquisite expression. 

"Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" is a lively gospel style song with a jazzy undertone while "Sound Over All Waters" has a traditional feel. "Circles," a poem by Wendell Berry, is moodier, more contemporary, yet it is not out of place, remaining true to the overall spirit of the CD. "Come Away to the Skies" has a swinging rolling melody with great rhythmic appeal. The mood shifts and changes with each song, but there is overall cohesiveness to the arrangements. 

Kerámion's performance meshes beautifully with Thomason' s singing; they have a clean, clear sound that supports and complements the solo voice flawlessly. They also get a chance to shine on their own with two familiar spirituals: "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." 

The penultimate track, "Freedom Trilogy," combines the talents of Thomason, Kerámion, the Choir of Sacred Sounds and members of Chorus Angelicus, the children's choir Halley founded. The track begins with the 16th century "Kyrie," sung in crystal clear harmony, which leads into to rousing South African hymns "Haleluya! Pelo Tsa Rona" and "Siyahambu." The hymns break off to a lively percussion bridge, after which Thomason launches into a silk smooth up-tempo rendition of "Amazing Grace." The choruses and Thomason combine to bring the selection to a dramatic conclusion, and one might expect that to be the finale of the album. But the final track of solo voice and organ reminds us that no matter how we share our worship, faith is something that comes from each of us alone. 

This CD is an enriching experience regardless of your belief system; there is a universality in the musical expression that transcends denomination. Thomason's sincerity and enthusiasm shines though on each track. "

- Donna Scanlon

from The American Organist Magazine

"Sound Over All Waters”, while a complete change of stylistic pace from “Sacred Feast”, fulfills the preceding disc’s promise of sonic “perfection”. Here the Cambridge-trained Anglican face of Paul Halley gives way to his persona of New Age jazz man and international eclectic. Teamed up with gospel diva Theresa Thomason and a supporting cast that would do Cecil B. DeMille proud, Halley commands a unique medium remarkable for its fluidity and emotional power. The performances are superb, with Thomason wielding the wattage of a pop diva, the sincerity of the best of the old-time gospel singers, and a diction that many opera stars could well emulate. Choral and solo deliveries are so clean, in fact, as to be perfectly intelligible from start to finish against the background hum of rush hour traffic – a serious test for any artist’s or engineer’s ability. 

On a disc where all the selections are standouts, “Freedom Trilogy” merits special note. “Trilogy” here refers not to the individual tunes that are so magically blended, first sequentially and then simultaneously, but rather to the three sonic worlds that the tunes represent: Gregorian chant yields to the sounds of Africa before both are gloriously embraced by “Amazing Grace”. Halley’s vision of a world without boundaries is powerfully conveyed in a work that will continue to delight, inspire, and amaze after many repeated auditions.”

- Jennifer Kolmes


Theresa Thomason

and Paul Halley 

with Keramion
directed by Paul Halley

Theresa Thomason – vocals
Paul Halley – keyboards
Keramion – chorus

Chuck Loeb – guitar
Brian Morgan – guitar
Carl El – bass
Nate Smith – drums
Jamey Haddad – percussion

The Choir of Sacred Sounds
Members of Chorus Angelicus

Produced by Paul Halley, Tom Bates & Joe Marno

Margaret Race, Executive Producer
Tom Bates, Recording Engineer
Nathaniel Rogers and Kate Leigh, Assistant Engineers
Samantha Halley and Vanessa Halley, Production Coordinators
Bruce Fifer, Personnel Coordinator for Keramion
The Reverend J.J. Thomason, Personnel Coordinator for The Choir of Sacred Sounds
Band recorded at Ambient Studios, Stamford, CT
Choral and vocal tracks recorded at Battell Chapel, Norfolk, CT
Kerry Gavin Studio, Art Design and Production
Margaret Race, Creative Supervision
hotographs by Edward Acker Photography, Great Barrington, MA
with additional material by Katherine Griswold, Norfolk, CT


Maribeth Diggle

Vanessa Halley
Margaret Race
Rachel Rosales
Martha Sullivan
Emily Werne

Johnson Flucker
Katie Geissinger
Samantha Halley
Mary Ann Hart

Peter Coulianos
John Shankweiler
James Archie Worley

Kevin Andersen
Bruce Fifer
Nicholas Halley
Robert Osborne

Members of Chorus Angelicus

Elena Barrett
Maribeth Diggle
Samantha Halley
Vanessa Halley
Marie Laser
Celeste Lodevole
Julia Torrant
Emily Werne

The Choir of Sacred Sounds

Brenda Cline
Donna Clyne-Thomas
Carol Cyrus
Mary Davis
Sheila Slappy
Dorinda Thomason

© 1998 Pelagos Incorporated
All Rights Reserved
Made in USA


  Recording  • Sound Over All Waters