About • Nick Halley
Nick Halley is a drummer/percussionist, keyboardist, composer, and
conductor. As a drummer and world percussionist, Nick has performed and
recorded internationally with a wide range of musicians including James
Taylor, Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha Adnet, David McGuinness & Revenge of
the Folk Singers, Concerto Caledonia, Jefferson Hamer & Eamon O’Leary,
Old Man Luedecke & Tim O’Brien, the Chris Norman Ensemble, various Paul
Halley ensembles, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Diomira with Dinuk
Wijeratne & Joseph Petric, Matt Brewer, and occasionally the Nick Halley
Band. The recording Barnum Hill (2008)features
Nick and his ensemble performing some of Nick’s original compositions.
Nick is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Capella Regalis Men
and Boys Choir in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is also the Founder and
Director of The King’s Chorus, a choir for members of the King’s and
Dalhousie University communities in Halifax. Nick is
Assistant Director of the acclaimed University of King’s College Chapel
Choir directed by his father, Paul Halley and is Cantor and
Director for the chapel’s male Compline choir. Recently, Nick
became Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at The Cathedral Church of All
Saints, Halifax, to assist his father in the new appointment of Director
of Music. In 2012, Nick was
awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of
his contribution to Canada and Nova Scotia through the arts,
particularly for his work with Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir.
Nick was the Host of CBC’s Choral Concert for the 2013-14 season.
Born in New
York City, and raised in the grounds of the city's Cathedral of St. John
the Divine (where his father, Paul Halley, was Director of Music), Nick
Halley's earliest memories are of the rich variety of music there, from
sacred choral to contemporary jazz and African dance.
These early influences proved to be lasting. Nick majored in jazz and
classical percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and spent a
year studying and performing in Brazil prior to returning to New York
City to The New School University's jazz and contemporary music program.
There he studied with Amir Ziv, Billy Hart, and Jamey Haddad, and
entered into long-lasting musical friendships with some of the great
young musicians in New York's ever-evolving jazz scene.
tours and records with groups
ranging in style from traditional Scottish and Irish to gospel, jazz,
Brazilian and popular music, including The Chris Norman Ensemble,
various Paul Halley ensembles, and his own recently-formed Nick Halley
Band. Nick has performed with artists such as James Taylor, Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha
Adnet, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Café, and Jamey
Haddad. He also directs workshops in percussion, music theory, and
Brazilian, North African, and South Indian rhythm.
Nick worked for
three years (2005-2008) as Assistant Conductor of Connecticut’s
acclaimed children’s choir Chorus Angelicus. While there he founded and
directed The Gentlemen of Chorus Angelicus, a choir designed to engage
the boys of the senior choir, along with those from its training program
in the experience of singing services and concerts together with their
older peers in the alto, tenor, and bass sections.
In July 2008, Nick
released his debut recording, 'Barnum Hill', featuring the Nick Halley
- Matt Brewer,
Greg Ruggiero and
others - in performances of Nick's own compositions as well as those of
other members of the Band. This album features some of New York's best
young jazz talent on saxophones, guitars, and bass – the traditional jazz
framework then being expanded to include the wild sounds of percussion
from around the world and the great pipe organ (played by Paul Halley).
In the summer of
2008, Nick moved to
Halifax in order to take up an apprenticeship with his father as
organist and choral conductor at King's College, along with St. George's
Anglican Church, and the Atlantic School of Theology, developing great
proficiency in the areas of liturgical music,
and choral direction. He directs the King's Chapel service of Compline, the ancient, candle-lit, mostly sung evening service
for which he also acts as Cantor. This collection of services, combined with
the brilliance of Chaplain Gary Thorne and Director of Music Paul
Halley, provide an unparalleled opportunity for a young musician wishing
to immerse himself in the vast and great tradition of church music and
For more information, link to
featured on our newest recording
In The Wide Awe And Wisdom
Nick Halley, assistant director
The current roster of
Keramion Singers comprises professional musicians and choral scholars
who regularly sing with Paul Halley at All Saints Cathedral and the
University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Halley is
Director of Music. Many of these singers have been working with Paul
Halley since he moved from New England to Nova Scotia in 2007. Some of
the singers, Halley's own children in particular who are now
accomplished musicians in many genres, have been making music with
Halley since they were in Chorus Angelicus during their childhood and
University of King's College Chapel Choir
The King's College Chapel Choir,
modeled on the Chapel Choirs of Cambridge and Oxford,
comprises twenty-four choristers from King's College and Dalhousie
University who are selected through auditions each year. The choir's
primary function is to sing at the weekly evensongs and eucharists, as
well as other major services throughout the academic year. The choir
also sings three major concerts each year in a music series entitled
'King's at the Cathedral',
begun by Paul Halley in the spring of 2008.
In this series, the choir sings a major requiem in November, a Christmas
concert series in December, and a Bach masterwork in March or April.
The choir had its beginnings in the early 1970s when Dr. Robert
Crouse put together a group of singers to lead the worship at the
Thursday Eucharists at King's. Since that time the choir has expanded
its role, having sung under the direction of several notable conductors
including Helen Roby, David Buley, and most recently Dr. Walter Kemp.
In July 2007, Paul Halley was appointed Director of Music of the
Chapel and since then has built the group into a fine ensemble which now
includes touring and recording amongst its activities. Halley says of
the choir: "It is my hope that over time, prospective students will view
the Chapel Choir as one of the reasons to attend university in Halifax.
There's really nothing quite like the training a fine collegiate chapel
choir can offer. You get through so much first-rate music, just in one
week - all the anthems, motets, mass settings, canticles, psalms and
hymns - that your musical literacy increases at a phenomenal rate."
Nick Halley moved to Halifax in order to take up an
apprenticeship with his father as organist and choral conductor at
King's College, and more recently, at The Cathedral Church of All
Saints, to proceed further into the world of liturgical music, studying pipe organ
and choral direction. As well as assisting his father in Wednesday's
Evensong and Thursday's Eucharist, he has taken over the musical
direction of the chapel's service of Compline (Tuesdays, 9:30pm), the
ancient, candle-lit, mostly sung evening service for which he acts as
Cantor. This collection of services, combined with the brilliance of
Chaplain Gary Thorne and Director of Music Paul Halley, provide an
unparalleled opportunity for a young musician wishing to immerse himself
in the vast and great tradition of church music and liturgy.
2013, Paul Halley directed the Chapel Choir in the recording and release
of the album
Let Us Keep The Feast. This spectacular recording follows
the church year from Advent through to All Saints and All Souls,
showcasing a range of liturgical musical masterpieces from the
Renaissance polyphony of Palestrina, Byrd, and Tallis, to the modern
classics of Faure, Howells, and Halley.
has resigned as Director of Music at The University of King's College
Halifax, effective December 1, 2021.
with Paul Halley •