Listen to a full-length recital by Paul Halley on the Fratelli Ruffatti Organ (1992) in Spivey Hall, Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia (U.S.A.)
Following his departure from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1990, Halley settled in rural northwestern Connecticut and founded Joyful Noise, Inc., the non-profit organization which 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. In 1999, Halley became Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington, CT and established the Joyful Noise choirs there as Artists-In-Residence. At Trinity, Halley conducts a 30-voice, semi-professional choir, mentors an Organ Scholar from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, and creates fresh hymn descants and new settings of liturgical music. Halley has expanded the church’s music ministry to include monthly Vespers services, and the Trinity Arts Series, a forum for the work of professional musicians and artists in a sacred space.
Halley’s 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. Halley receives annual Composer Awards from ASCAP, and his recordings and performances are frequently broadcast on National Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Recently commissioned works include a song cycle for singers Louise Winter and Gerald Finley, and the new choral/orchestral work “In Sideribus Domi: At Home In The Stars” for the Clay Center of Science and Art, Charleston, WV through the auspices of the American Composers Forum.
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 glorious compilation of world music repertoire presented by Chorus Angelicus.
Halley lives with his wife and business partner Margaret Race on a mountaintop farm in Norfolk, Connecticut. With their six children, they make an annual pilgrimage to the islands off the south shore of Nova Scotia to spend summer days messing around in an endearing catboat which rejoices in the name, “Magnificat”. A fondness for the province is the tenable excuse for an imminent job change and relocation. Beginning July 2007, Halley will assume the Music Directorship of three venerable Halifax institutions: St. George’s Anglican Church, the Atlantic School of Theology, and King's College Chapel, where Halley hopes to establish an Organ and Choral Scholars Program, and a School of Sacred Music.