About Us

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

Joel Tranquilla (he/him/his)

Dr. Joel Tranquilla is a conductor and music educator noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming. A Maritimer at heart, Joel is thrilled to have returned home to assume the position of Artistic Director of the Halifax Camerata Singers and Chorus Master of Symphony Nova Scotia. Formative choral experiences include touring with the American Boychoir as a boy soprano and singing as a member of the Nova Scotia and National Youth Choirs. He holds degrees from Mount Allison University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University where his doctoral research was in the area of Canadian choral-orchestral works.

Joel relocated to Nova Scotia in 2023 after spending nine years as the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, where he oversaw a program of six choirs and taught various other courses within the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. Joel led the TWU Chamber Choir on tours to Ottawa, New York City, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. In addition to his work at TWU, Joel served as the Artistic Director of the Valley Festival Singers in Abbotsford and was the conductor of the award-winning Coastal Sound Youth Choir in Coquitlam. A singing member of the Canadian Chamber Choir since 2007, he was named the ensemble’s Associate Conductor in 2013. As such, he contributes to the programming and long-term artistic visioning of that organization. Prior to his time on the West Coast, Joel lived and worked in Windsor, Ontario, serving as the conductor of several local ensembles including the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus. In high demand as an adjudicator and clinician across the country, Joel is a past Guest Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Choir and the Manitoba Provincial Honour Choir and was the Assistant Conductor of the 2012 National Youth Choir.

Major works conducted include Poulenc’s Gloria, Vaughan Williams’ Hodie, Ramirez’s Navidad nuestra (TWU’s Christmas at the Chan Centre), Mendelssohn’s St. Paul (Sea to Sky Symphony and TWU Choirs), Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Requiems by Fauré and Duruflé (Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Chorus), Bach’s St. John Passion, and Allan Bevan’s oratorio Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode (TWU Choirs and Orchestra). In spring 2023, Joel conducted the premiere of a new oratorio by David Squires and made his Carnegie Hall debut in a program featuring Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. Choirs prepared by Joel have appeared under the batons of Robert Franz, Kevin Mallon, John Morris Russell, Ivars Taurins, and Jon Washburn.

Joel believes in the power of choral music to build and strengthen community. His wife, Meghan is an audiologist, and they have three precocious children – Everett, Penelope, and Felix.


Lynette Wahlstrom

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.




Julia Jordan

Julia Jordan (she/her) is an avid lover of Handel's operas and the baroque genre. She has been a chorister since the age of eight, when she joined the Ottawa Children's...
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Toinette Martin

Toinette loves to sing and dance. Much of her youth was spent singing in choirs in New Brunswick before moving to Halifax for university. For the past twenty years, she...
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Amelia McMahon

Amelia McMahon Biography 2022-23 Season Amelia McMahon (she/her/Elle) grew up in the Annapolis Valley and recently returned to Nova Scotia from Montreal. Since returning to the East Coast, she has...
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Carol Westdal

Carol is delighted to sing with the Halifax Camerata Singers, with diverse and exciting repertoire, wonderful voices, and the sharing of music with our audiences. Carol has enjoyed a lifetime...
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Kallie White

A member of Halifax Camerata since 2014, Kallie White has always felt most at home singing in a choir. She has studied voice and vocal pedagogy, international development studies, and...
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Amanda Zadeh

A member of Camerata since 2016, Amanda Zadeh grew up in Middleton, Nova Scotia, where she was surrounded with music from an early age, taking piano and voice lessons for...
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MacKenzie Costron-Li

Mackenzie Costron-Li is a Certified Music Therapist and Registered Counselling Therapist specializing in mental health, grief, loss and bereavement, mindfulness and wellness. She is the Owner and Founder of Find...
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Rosalie Dowling

Mezzo-soprano Rosalie Dowling is a graduate of Bishop’s University (2017) where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Voice Performance. She grew up in Kingston, Nova Scotia, and is now...
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Alex Meinzinger

From Waterloo Ontario, Alex Meinzinger has been singing in choirs since a young age. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with a Bachelor of Mathematics and a...
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Jill Rafuse

Jill Hemeon Rafuse (Alto 2) joined the Halifax Camerata Singers in 2003. A native of Liverpool and a graduate of Mount Allison University, she had a rewarding career in journalism,...
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Jessica Sharp

Jessica Sharp is excited to be joining Camerata’s Alto section. Music has been a big part of her life and is her passion; she’s been singing since childhood and involved...
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Kate Spencer

Kate Spencer comes from a family of professional musicians and has been singing since she could talk. Along the way, she's been fortunate enough to learn from some of Canada's...
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William Austin

After studying music at Memorial University of Newfoundland for a year (2021), William Austin is excited to return to Nova Scotia and join the renowned Halifax Camerata. William has been...
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David Caldwell

David Caldwell joined HCS in spring 2019. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, USA and a graduate of Virginia’s University of Lynchburg, he comes from a musical family and has sung with...
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Geoff Gillespie

Tenor Geoff Gillespie first joined Camerata for the 1997/98 season, then returned to the group for good in 2005 after working abroad for several years. A graduate of Acadia University’s...
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Frederick Li

Frederick Li is a recent member of Camerata's tenor section (2017). He was originally an instrumentalist and played lead trombone with the Queen's and Dalhousie University Jazz ensembles. He got...
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Bryan Crocker

Bryan Crocker has been conducting choirs since 2000, when he was appointed Artistic Director of the Dalhousie Health Professions Chorale. This followed a successful pastime gig for many years as...
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Steven DeWitt

A former New Brunswicker who sang in several community, classical and special-event choirs in that province, Steven DeWitt joined Camerata in 2018. When not working as an independent French-to-English translator,...
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Joseph Goodwin

Hailing originally from Toronto, Ontario and Sussex, New Brunswick, Joseph Goodwin began officially singing with Camerata in 2018. A soloist and educator, Joseph has done tours with the National Youth...
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Spencer Gough

Spencer Gough hails from Kitchener, Ontario. His choral experience began at a young age, with the Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir (directed by Nancy Tanguay and Howard Dyck), with highlighted performances...
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Bertrum MacDonald

Bertrum MacDonald has been a member of Camerata since 1991. Over 29 seasons he has enjoyed singing a wide variety of repertoire, recording the choir’s CDs, contributing to award winning...
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Robert Pecknold

Robert Pecknold hails from Halifax and joined Camerata in 2018. In addition to singing, Robert plays piano, cello and flute. Previously he has sung with the Nova Scotia Youth Choir...
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Sean Pecknold

Hailing originally from Montreal, where he completed a PhD in Physics at McGill University, Sean Pecknold has lived in Halifax since 1996. Sean has been singing in choirs all his...
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Bill Perrot

After graduating from Westminster Choir College in 1975, Bill Perrot left Petersburg, Virginia, and headed to Auburn, Nova Scotia to teach music at West Kings. Eventually that job morphed into...
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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.

The society maintains close relationships with such organizations as Symphony Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, Musique Royale, and with choirs and directors throughout the country.

Members of the 2022-23 Board of Directors are: Randall Wilkie (Chair); Tom Black (Treasurer); Danielle Andres (Secretary); Andrea Mathis (Fundraising Chair); Patricia De Meo, Taunya Pynn-Crowe, Nicole Jordan and Corinne Cox (Members at Large); Kelly Hart and Steven DeWitt (Choir Representatives); and Jeff Joudrey (Ex-Officio).


Reid Spencer

A singer, actor and director, bass-baritone Reid Spencer holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Opera Performance and Pedagogy from the University of British Columbia and has taught voice...
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Kelly Hart

Originally from Kingston, Ontario, Kelly Hart is a graduate of Mount Allison University where she obtained her Bachelor of Music degree. Kelly moved to Halifax in 1998 where she has...
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