Meet Halifax Camerata Singers’ Jeff Joudrey, who, after 36 years, is retiring as the choir’s artistic director following its upcoming 2022-2023 season.
20 Questions with Jeff Joudrey
1. Your first job.
I was working at a fast-food restaurant when I was in high school.
2. The job you always wanted as a child?
A veterinarian (my oldest kid fulfilled that dream!)
3. Your pet peeve.
People who are constantly late! Five minutes early is on time!
4. Your hero.
My four-year-old grandson. The kid is fearless and funny but has this really sensitive side. He also thinks I’m hilarious, much to his mother’s chagrin!
5. Your biggest indulgence.
A donair and a beer after a good concert.
6. One thing no one knows about you.
I’m a big Bruce Springsteen fan.
7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.
A score and a great recording of the Bach Mass in b minor … and maybe a good single malt scotch.
8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.
I hope “caring.”
9. If they made a movie about your life, who would it star?
Likely Jack Nicholson.
10. Hero or villain?
Depends on the rehearsal.
11. Your life’s motto/mantra.
Success in music is 20% talent and 80% hard work. Do the work!
12. The last book you read.
I think a detective novel this summer.
13. The song getting the most play on your Spotify playlist right now.
No Surrender by Springsteen.
14. If you were a cartoon character, what cartoon character would you be?
My grandson would say Goofy!
15. What will it say on your grave marker?
He did it his way!
16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Gordon Ramsey, but he has to cook.
17. Your idea of happiness.
Having the family all together for the holidays. It’s chaos but tons of fun.
18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty-year-old self?
The music doesn’t have to be perfect, but it always has to be your best work and most of all, it has to have heart.
19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.
The people I have had the privilege to work with throughout my career and the music we have created together.
20. To be or not to be?
That really is the question, right?!
Meet 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. 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 the Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Amherst, and Chorus Master of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. He is the 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 received Sing Canada Harmony’s 2017 Dr. Paul E. Tamblyn Music Educator Award. 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 established and promising composers. Committed to developing 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, 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.