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

Jeff Joudrey

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.

Accompanist

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.

lynette-accompanist

Singers

Soprano

Marie-Cait Browning

Originally from the UK, Marie moved to Canada just this year and is settling into life in Halifax. Marie has been singing since she was a child and joined her first choir, Cantate, at...
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Meg Currie

One of the newest and youngest members, Meg Currie is a third-year microbiology student at Dalhousie University, and joined the Camerata Singers in 2019. Coming from a musical family and...
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Barbara Main

A native of Nova Scotia, Barbara Main joined Camerata in 2016 after retiring from teaching with the Toronto District School Board. A graduate of Acadia University School of Music, Barbara...
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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

Growing up singing harmony in the car with her parents and siblings, Carol began her singing career in Winnipeg at age eight with regular performances on the CBC and in...
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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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Alto

MacKenzie Costron-Lee

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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Tenor

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 is thrilled to be joining Camerata this year. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, USA and a graduate of Virginia's University of Lynchburg, he comes from a musical family and...
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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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Simon Hardman

Simon Hardman grew up in Montreal and Ottawa but moved to Halifax in 2002, where he sang with the Camerata Singers for seven seasons. A veteran of the Ontario and...
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Michael James

Hailing from Canada’s smallest province, Michael James (van der Gaag) graduated from UPEI with a Bachelor of Music in 2010, majoring in voice under the direction of Stephen Bouey, while...
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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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Bass

Bryan Crocker

Bryan Crocker has been conducting choirs since 2000, when he was appointed to his current role as Artistic Director of the Dalhousie Health Professions Chorale. This followed a successful pastime...
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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 officially joined Camerata in 2018 after having occasionally sung with them in years prior. Along with many local choirs,...
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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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Kurt Sampson

Originally from Charlottetown, PEI, Kurt has been a professional musician for 21 years. He sang bass and vocal percussion professionally for the three-time JUNO nominated vocal band, Cadence, and has...
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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 2021-22 Board of Directors are: Randall Wilkie (Interim Chair), Tom Black (Treasurer), Gisela O’Brien (Secretary), Andrea Mathis (Fundraising Chair), Taunya Pynn-Crowe (Member-at-Large), Kelly Hart and Steven Dewitt (Choir Representatives), Jeff Joudrey (Ex-Officio), and Peggy Walt (Ex-Officio)

Administration

Peggy Walt

Our General Manager, Peggy Walt, has worked for over 35 years in the arts and culture field in her native Nova Scotia, in the non-profit, government and private sectors. She...
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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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Barbara Main

A native of Nova Scotia, Barbara Main joined Camerata in 2016 after retiring from teaching with the Toronto District School Board. A graduate of Acadia University School of Music, Barbara...
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