The Halifax Camerata Singers is Atlantic Canada’s premier chamber choir. Founded in 1986 by Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey, the Nova Scotia ensemble has distinguished itself by performing exciting choral repertoire that covers all periods and styles, with special attention to Canadian music. The auditioned choir is known for its high performance standards, claiming national recognition and the Healy Willan Grand Prize in the 2010 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs.
Members of the Halifax Camerata Singers come from many communities for the opportunity to perform demanding choral repertoire. The choir often appears in collaboration with chamber ensembles, Symphony Nova Scotia, other musicians, and since 2001 has been the core choir of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. The ensemble performs in regional concert series such as Music at the Three Churches, Musique Royale, Music at Trinity, Dartmouth Community Concert Series, and Indian River Festival, P.E.I.
The Halifax Camerata Singers organization has an active program of commissioning choral music from Canadian and international composers and is proud to encourage young singers through its Youth Mentoring Program, bursaries for the Nova Scotia Youth Choir, and commissioning of emerging and established composers. The organization was also instrumental in the success of Xara Choral Theatre, a choral theatre ensemble for young women aged 18–30 years, which was founded as a youth initiative of the Halifax Camerata Singers in 2008.
The choir has made five recordings: A Time for All Things (2015), Solace: Songs of Remembrance (2009), Songs of the Stable: Christmas Music from Canada (2006), Songs of Home (1997), and Celtic Mass for the Sea (1993). A Time for All Things was nominated for a 2017 East Coast Music Award for Classical Recording of the year, and won Classical Recording of the Year in the 2016 Music Nova Scotia Awards. Recordings are distributed through Leaf Records Inc. and Naxos Canada.
The Halifax Camerata Singers is a not-for-profit society managed by a volunteer board of directors. Funding comes from performances, donations, and fundraising, with supporting grants from the Canada Council for the Arts; Arts Nova Scotia; Halifax Regional Municipality; and the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation.
Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey is highly regarded for his vision, musical leadership, and standards of excellence in choral music. He founded the Halifax Camerata Singers in 1986, and under his leadership the choir has developed an enviable reputation for performance excellence and innovative programming, as well as for promoting choral music throughout the Maritimes.
Jeff is Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Amherst, and Chorus Master of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. He is past president of Choral Canada and a former president of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. In addition to serving on juries for the Juno and East Coast Music Awards, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and Choral Canada, he is in demand nationwide as a choral clinician, teacher, adjudicator, and guest conductor. Jeff was the recipient of Sing Canada Harmony's 2017 Dr. Paul E. Tamblyn Music Educator Award, and in August 2018 was honoured to serve as the conductor of the National Youth Choir of Canada which performed in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Jeff is an enthusiastic supporter of Canadian choral music and frequently commissions works from both established and promising composers. Committed to the development of young singers, he has been guest conductor of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir, the Montreal CBC/McGill Youth Choir Festival, and Ottawa’s Unisong. In addition he has served on the faculties of Dalhousie University and Acadia University, and the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Institute of Choral Conducting.
A native of Nova Scotia, Jeff studied organ at Acadia University and the Haarlem International Academy in the Netherlands before attending McGill University to study with organists John Grew and Raymond Daveluy. His choral mentors include Canadian conductors Elmer Iseler and Wayne Riddell, and German conductor Helmuth Rilling.
Collaborative Pianist, Lynette Wahlstrom, having joined the Halifax Camerata Singers in September of 2013, is presently a Vocal Coach at Dalhousie Department of Music,as well as Music Director at First Baptist Church Halifax. She plays regularly with both Opera Nova Scotia and Halifax Summer Opera Festival, as well as special projects with Nova Scotia Choir Federation. Lynette has worked as Collaborative Pianist under the batons of Jeff Joudrey, Jakub Martinec, Caron Daley, Julian Wachner, Robert Ingari, and Patricia Abbot, as well as the studio classes of Sanford Sylvan, Lucy Hayes Davis, Greg Servant and Marcia Swanston, placing her in demand as repetiteur, coach and accompanist. Lynette holds a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University, a Master's of Piano Performance from Université de Montréal, as well as Master`s of Accompaniment from McGill University and is active on the Boards of Opera Nova Scotia, Halifax Summer Opera Nova Scotia Festival, Early Music Society of Nova Scotia, and RCCO Halifax.
Board of Directors
The Halifax Camerata Singers is a not-for-profit society incorporated under the laws of the Province of Nova Scotia and is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for the day-to-day activities of Camerata, including concert arrangements, grant applications, fundraising, publicity, contracts and public relations.
Members of the 2021-22 Board of Directors are: Diane Zwicker (Chair), Tom Black (Treasurer), Gisela O’Brien (Secretary), Andrea Mathis (Fundraising Chair), Blois Hennigar (Member-at-large), Kelly Hart and Steven Dewitt (Choir Representatives), Jeff Joudrey (Ex-Officio), Peggy Walt (Ex-Officio), Sarah Emery and Randy Wilkie.