Recommended if You Like
Tallis Scholars, UK The Sixteen, London, UK Trinity College, Cambridge, UK

Genres You Will Love
Classical: Choral Music Classical: Impressionism Classical: Organ Spiritual: Scriptures Classical: New Age

By Location
United States - Connecticut CANADA - Nova Scotia

Paul Halley at Pelagosmusic Paul Halley - Composer, Conductor, Organist

Paul Halley

About Paul Halley:
Paul Halley is a Grammy Award-winning composer, choral conductor, and organist. He is currently Director of Music of The University of King’s College Chapel Choir and of The Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Creative Director and co-founder of Pelagosmusic.

The 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.

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.

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 in 1989, Halley settled in rural Connecticut and founded the children’s choir, Chorus Angelicus, and the adult ensemble, Gaudeamus. In 1999, Halley became Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington, CT where he inaugurated a Choral and Organ Scholars program in conjunction with Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music. In 2007, Halley relocated to Halifax, Nova Scotia to become Director of Music at both the University of King’s College, and St. George’s Anglican Church (to 2011), as well as University Musician at Atlantic School of Theology (to 2015). In 2015 Halley became Director of Music at The Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax, a position which he holds in conjunction with his work at King’s, providing many opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions.

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 Waters, a 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. In The Wide Awe And Wisdom (November 2017) is the celebrated release of Paul Halley’s choral works based on a decade’s worth of choral commissions, the musical setting of texts, psalms, and poetry from the great writers of the Western canon. Performed by Keramion Singers comprising professional vocalists and choral scholars under Halley’s training and direction, this newest release from Paul Halley is a stunning and vibrant addition to modern choral 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.