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Paul Halley

Paul HalleyPAUL HALLEY (1952 - ) is a keyboardist, vocalist and composer. He is perhaps best known as a member of and composer for the Paul Winter Consort, with which he won five Grammy Awards. He was director of music of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for 13 years. He went on to found and serve as artistic director of Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus. In 2007, Halley assumed the music directorship of three historic and venerable institutions in Halifax, Nova Scotia: the University of King’s College, St. George’s Anglican Church and the Atlantic School of Theology.

Halley frequently is commissioned to write new works in
a range of genres, voicing and instrumentation. His 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/The Works. Halley receives annual composer awards from ASCAP, and his recordings and performances are broadcast frequently on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Born in Romford, England, Halley received his early musical training in Ottawa, Canada, where he studied piano, organ and singing. At the age of 16, he was made an associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. He was awarded an organ scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, under Dr. Richard Marlow, and received his master’s with prizes in composition and performance. He also was made a fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning first prize in the College examinations.

Halley was organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine from 1977 to 1990, a period during which he transformed 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 was a featured writer and performer on many Consort recordings over 18 years. In 1991 Halley founded Joyful Noise, a nonprofit organization that 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. From 1998 to 2007, Halley served as director of music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Torrington, Conn., and established the Joyful Noise choirs there as artists-in-residence.

From 2007 to 2010, Halley served as director of music at St. George’s Anglican Church (known as the Round Church), overseeing a semi-professional choir of 25 performers. Halley continues to serve as director of chapel music at the University of King’s College Halifax, where he has assembled a choir of 24 young choral scholars drawn from among the students of both King’s College and Dalhousie University. He also holds the position of university musician at Atlantic School of Theology, involving musical accompaniment for services for the graduate theological students as well as coaching in liturgical music and vocal production. In conjunction with these appointments, Halley
hopes to develop a School of Sacred Music.

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