The Team

Nick Halley, Artistic Director

Photo by Jesse Blackwood

Photo by Jesse Blackwood

Nick is the founder and Artistic Director of the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir. He is the founder and Director of The King’s Chorus, a choir for members of the King’s and Dalhousie University communities in Halifax. Nick is also the Assistant Director of the acclaimed University of King’s College Chapel Choir directed by his father, Paul Halley. He is Cantor and Director for the King’s College Chapel male Compline choir. Nick  hosis a former host CBC’s Choral Concert, a national, weekly radio show exploring all facets of choral music. In 2012, Nick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to Canada and Nova Scotia through the arts, particularly for his work with Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir. In 2011, Nick was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study in England with some of the world’s finest directors of men and boys choirs. As of August 1, 2015, Nick is the Assistant Music Director at All Saints’ Cathedral in Halifax, NS.

As a jazz drummer and world percussionist, Nick performs and records internationally with a wide range of musicians, including James Taylor, Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha Adnet, David McGuinness, Revenge of the Folk Singers, Concerto Caledonia, Jefferson Hamer, the Chris Norman Ensemble, various Paul Halley ensembles, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Diomira with Dinuk Wijeratne and Joseph Petric, and occasionally the Nick Halley Band. The recording Barnum Hill features Nick and his ensemble playing
some of his original compositions. You can learn more about Nick at www.nickhalley.com.
Contact Nick.




Photo by Jesse Blackwood

Vanessa Halley, Manager

In August 2012, Vanessa joined her brother and father as part of the Capella Regalis team, in the role of manager.  Vanessa has sung in professional and semi-professional chamber and church choirs for over twenty years. Vanessa holds an undergraduate degree with High Distinction from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, and graduated Juris Doctor Magna cum Laude in 2006 from the Western New England University School of Law. Vanessa practiced law in Massachusetts, USA for approximately 5 years before making the move with her husband and young son to Nova Scotia, where she manages the Chapel Choir of the University of King’s College in addition to her work for Capella Regalis. Vanessa has managed music programmes and served on many non-profit boards and committees. She is happy to bring her arts administration skills to Capella Regalis. Contact Vanessa.




Gabriel O’Brien, Probationers Program Assistant

We’re delighted to welcome Gabe O’Brien as the Probationers Program Assistant! Gabe is a former boy chorister, the first Head Boy, and has been with Capella Regalis since it was founded. Gabe has been studying organ with Paul & Nick Halley, and Hendrick Nicolas Veltmeyer, our first Probationers Program assistant. He has been playing for Sunday morning services in the University of King’s College chapel for the last two years. Gabe will be entering grade 12 in Halifax in the fall of 2018.
(photo to come)


Photo by Jesse Blackwood

Paul Halley, Organist

Paul Halley was born in Romford, England in 1952 and received his early musical training in Ottawa, where he studied piano, organ and singing. He received his M.A. with prizes in composition and performance from Trinity College Cambridge, and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning first prize in the College examinations. Halley served for thirteen years as Organist and Choirmaster at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. As a principal member of The Paul Winter Consort, he earned five Grammy Awards for his contributions as featured writer and performer on many Consort recordings. Following his departure from the Cathedral in 1990, Paul 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. Since 2007, Paul has been Director of Chapel Music at the University of King’s College. As of August 1, 2015, Paul is also the Director of Music at All Saints’ Cathedral in Halifax.

Barbara Butler, Board Chair

Barbara Butler is the Director of Music at St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg. A chamber musician, choral conductor, organist and music educator, she is a well-known champion for the arts in Nova Scotia.

Born in Newfoundland, Barbara earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Acadia University with majors in piano and organ. She is also a graduate of Banff School of Fine Arts in Arts Management, The Institute of Choral Arts (Nova Scotia Choral Federation), England’s Royal School of Church Music and the International Organ Academy (Holland). In 1990 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In 2002, Barbara was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal by Lieutenant Governor Myra Freeman for her service to music and the arts in Nova Scotia. She is a 2006 recipient of a Women of Excellence Award in the field of culture from the Canadian Progress Club (Halifax – Cornwallis). In October, 2011 she was honoured to receive an Honourary Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of King’s College. In March, 2012 Barbara was awarded the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal by Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis.

Barbara Butler is the Artistic and Administrative Director of Musique Royale, a Festival of Early Music in Nova Scotia which has its base at St. John’s Church in Lunenburg. She is the Founder and past Artistic Director of the St. Cecilia Concert Series and former Director of the Lieutenant Governor’s Concert Series.

Barbara has strong affiliations with many arts organizations in the province and has sat on various boards including the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, Debut Atlantic, Opera Nova Scotia, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.


Photo by Danny Abriel

Sarah Stevenson, Web Services

Originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Sarah has sung in church choirs in all three Maritime provinces. Her full-time job is with the Dalhousie University Libraries, where she is the Associate University Librarian – Research Services and former publisher for the Libraries’ website. She is pleased to volunteer her information management skills to Capella Regalis where she is the administrator for the choir’s website, and provides advice on other aspects of organizational information management.