Capella Regalis at Cannes International Film Festival

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by Sarah in Blog - (Comments Off on Capella Regalis at Cannes International Film Festival)

Yes, that’s right – Capella Regalis at Cannes. Capella Regalis is the subject of a short documentary by Timothy Blackwood, twin brother of former CR manager, Mike Blackwood, at the Cannes International Film Festival in May. In 2011, Timothy came on the first choir tour to film this documentary.

Timothy writes about the documentary, and being at the premiere in Cannes:

How Can I Keep from Singing? is a collaborative work that came out of my love for choral music and my deep appreciation of that tradition as it flourishes in Nova Scotia. This short documentary film follows the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir on its first tour of Nova Scotia. It premiered recently at the Cannes International Film Festival.

I was honored and delighted to be at the premiere in France. We had a packed screening and it was really well received. Many people commented on what wonderful characters the boys were and found their adventure really exciting. Even one of my Danish colleagues who helped with the filming flew in from Copenhagen for the premiere.

Nick Halley is doing wonders with this choir, giving boys world-class training modeled after the rich English tradition of choral music for men and boys. And as you can see in the film this is an invaluable experience for the boys, not just for becoming skilled musicians but also being nurtured in the world. The choir is now about to record its first album.  So being on their first tour and capturing it was very special.

When you see this film for the first time (hopefully at a film festival in Canada) I believe you will find a universal message of joy as it is revealed through the wonderful experiences of these boys as they discover the power of music and the beauty of the world in which we live.

-Timothy Blackwood

Learn more about this film at www.howcanikeepfromsinging.com

Recording goal – we’re making progress

May 14th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah in Blog - (Comments Off on Recording goal – we’re making progress)

As of May 14, we’re 1/4 of the way to our fundraising goal for our recording project, with 12 days to go in the campaign.

Yesterday, CBC’s Information Morning in Halifax came to our rehearsal. For Mainland Nova Scotia listeners, you’ll be able to hear their story on Monday May 19th, around 8.15am.

For our fans outside of Mainland Nova Scotia, you can listen on the CBC streaming site http://www.cbc.ca/radio/

  1. Use the blue box labelled “Now playing on CBC radio” near the top of the right-hand side of the page.
  2. Set the location to Nova Scotia, Halifax.
  3. Once you have the Halifax location selected, the Halifax programmes will appear. Select Radio One, Information Morning to listen in.


Our first recording!

May 4th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah in Blog - (Comments Off on Our first recording!)

It has been a very busy year – and with deep apologies to our followers, we haven’t been making good use of the blog.

If you haven’t liked us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/capellaregalis) or followed us on Twitter (@CapellaReglis) or kept up with our Events page – here’s a recap of the 2013-2014 season:

  • We’ve welcomed new boys, said goodbye to some others.
  • We’ve been to Lunenburg, Windsor, and Port Williams to sing Evensong.
  • We had an open house in September, and we’re having another on May 23rd (5.30-6.30pm at the King’s Chapel – spread the word!).
  • Our junior chorister programme for our youngest choristers is running every Friday.
  • We performed Benjamin Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata with the King’s Chorus and the wonderful Mark Bleeke as St Nicholas at a packed St Mary’s Basilica in Halifax on December 6th.
  • We took “To Bethlehem with Kings”, our Christmas concert, on the road again to Windsor and Lunenburg, in addition to our Halifax performance.
  • January and February we sang our Tuesday Evensongs at All Saints’ Cathedral because the chapel was closed for repairs. It was fun to sing in a different acoustic, and we had some new friends in the congregations.
  • March we sang Missa Gaia in Halifax & Lunenburg – also with King’s Chorus and the amazing Theresa Thomason (and pretty terrific band).
  • We were back to Lunenburg (and Halifax) in early April for performances of Bach’s St Matthew’ Passion with the University of King’s College Chapel choir and a stellar line-up of soloists.

And now – we’re making a recording!
We’re planning a 4-5 track recording for non-profit promotion and publicity purposes. We’ve lined up All Saints’ Cathedral and a great sound engineer for the end of May and we’re crowd-sourcing the project on Indiegogo. You can read all about it, and contribute, here.

And, we’re working on plans for next season (including more regular blog posts) – stay tuned.

A new season, and lots of news

September 8th, 2013 | Posted by Sarah in Blog - (Comments Off on A new season, and lots of news)

The boys had a great choir camp a couple of weeks ago to get ready for the new season.  We kick things off this Tuesday, September 10th, with the Men and Boys singing the first Choral Evensong of term at 5pm in the University of King’s College Chapel. Featured music includes Thomas Tallis’ O Nata Lux and Herbert Howells’ Like as the Hart.

This past weekend our Artistic Director, Nick Halley, made his debut as the host of CBC Radio 2’s Choral Concert, broadcast on Sunday mornings at 9am. You can also listen via the CBC website.

Open House invite



Do you know a boy ages 6-12 who is interested in singing?  On Saturday, September 14th, we’re having an Open House in the University of King’s College Chapel. It’s an opportunity to watch an open rehearsal, hear Nick talk about the choir, sign up for an audition, meet the choristers, parents and others involved in Capella Regalis. Please tell others about this opportunity to learn more about the choir.


In addition to weekly Tuesday Evensongs in the chapel, we have so many other exciting plans for the year: Choral Evensongs in Lunenburg and Windsor, Benjamin Britten’s St Nicolas cantata with The King’s Chorus, and our annual To Bethlehem with Kings Christmas concert in Lunenburg, Windsor and Halifax, the St Matthew Passion with the Chapel Choir and Ensemble Regale in March, and we’re working a special project for next summer.

It’s going to be a great season, and we look forward to seeing you!

2013-2014 Season!

August 18th, 2013 | Posted by Sarah in Blog - (Comments Off on 2013-2014 Season!)

The days are getting shorter, and the nights have a hint of fall in the air.

In addition to enjoying some summer time off themselves, the Capella Regalis leadership team has been busily preparing for the upcoming season. Here’s a quick look at the upcoming season:

Choir Camp: August 26-30 at St Ann’s Camp on Gibson’s Lake.
Choir camp is hugely popular with the boys and there is nothing like it for boosting camaraderie and getting some quality rehearsal time at the start of the season. We stay at the rustic but lovely St Anne’s Camp in West Dalhousie, Annapolis Valley.
Camp chaperones are staff and volunteers, including a lifeguard.  Read the day-by-day account of our first annual summer camp held in August 2012.

Regular rehearsals and weekly Evensongs begin in the University of King’s College Chapel on Tuesday, September 10th.

Capella Regalis Open House!
Saturday September 14th, 10.00-11.30 am in the Chapel.
Come watch a rehearsal, hear Nick talk about the choir, meet current choristers and parents, and others involved with the organization.
10:00 a.m. – Welcome
10:15 a.m. – Open rehearsal
10:30 a.m. – Director’s remarks
10:45 a.m. – Refreshments and mingling
Questions? Contact manager Vanessa Halley

“Visiting Choir Evensongs”
Sunday September 29th, 4.oopm at St John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg, NS
Friday November 1, 3.00pm at Christ Church Anglican in Windsor, NS.

Investiture Service Tuesday November 5, 5.00pm in the King’s Chapel.

Benjamin Britten’s St Nicolas Friday December 6th, 7.00pm St Mary’s Basilica
A cantata for chorus, boys choir, orchestra (including piano duet), and tenor soloist, and featuring wonderful solo opportunities for the boys. To be performed on the Feast of St Nicolas (December 6) at St Mary’s Basilica, Halifax, with the King’s Chorus, directed by Nick Halley.

To Bethlehem With Kings: Our annual Christmas concert programme, which has developed into an annual mini-tour, with performances in Lunenburg and Windsor in addition to Halifax. These popular concerts feature carols both ancient and modern, and opportunities for audience participation in the hymns. We are joined by Paul Halley on organ and the Maritime Brass Quintet. Concerts this year will be in Windsor on December 20, Lunenburg on December 21, and Halifax on December 22.

Bach’s St Matthew Passion: April 5 &6, 2014 with the King’s College Chapel Choir.
One of Bach’s masterworks – the story of the Passion according to Matthew performed  by soloists, double orchestra, and double choir. The Capella Regalis boys will sing the ripieno part in the opening and closing choruses of the first half, as well as joining the choir on other chorales and choruses. This performance of the St Matthew Passion will be in German. To be performed on April 5 & 6, 2014 (Passion Sunday) with the King’s College Chapel Choir and Ensemble Regale, directed by Paul Halley. This is an unparalleled music-making opportunity for the boys – the last performance three years ago was a transforming experience for the then-choristers.

Summer 2014: The Prince and the Pauper – a musical by Paul Halley
A musical written by Paul Halley based on a novel by Mark Twain, for performance by a cast of children, with some adult roles. The musical is set in Tudor England (1547), and is the story about Tom, a pauper living in Offal Court, and Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII. The prince and the pauper discover they are identical in appearance and secretly change places, causing much drama and upheaval in both the slums and the Royal Court. Of course, significant life lessons are learned along the way.
This exciting project is still being finalized, but we hope for 4 performances, and the opportunity to work with a guest director!