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Monday, June 17, 2024

Capella Regalis sings songs of the sea

Part sacred, part secular, Music for a Maritime Audience offers a mix of music inspired by the sea and its seafaring people.

The men’s, boys’, and girls’ choirs of Capella Regalis will join forces for its season finale concert, featuring selections from the choirs’ Evensong repertoire, songs of the sea, and new arrangements by multi-Grammy Award-winning composer Paul Halley.

Here is a concert of pieces by composers who masterfully communicate this range of emotion inspired by the great waters, here or afar, through their music. – Nick Halley

“Living as we do in our beautiful province by the sea, we know first-hand how the ocean can fill us with such emotions as awe and longing, as well as fear and worry,” says Capella Regalis founder and artistic director Nick Halley in a media release. “Here is a concert of pieces by composers who masterfully communicate this range of emotion inspired by the great waters, here or afar, through their music. From sea chanties traditionally sung aboard ships, to lilting folk tunes inspired by the sea, each piece expresses in its own way the wonders of the deep and the range of human experiences on the water that will undoubtedly captivate listeners young and old.”

Among the selections for the concert include Allister MacGillivray’s Cape Breton classic Away From The Roll of The Sea, John Rutter’s version of The Water is Wide, the Scandinavian folk song Who Can Sail?, and the classic sea shanty Blow The Man Down.

“You will also hear treasures from the sacred tradition such as Herbert Sumsion’s magnificent setting of the psalm text They That Go Down to The Sea in Ships, which portrays so palpably the bond between those who work on the water with the wonders of the natural world and ultimately a higher power,” says Vanessa Halley, director of the  Capella Regalis Girls Choir, who will co-conduct the concert with her brother Nick. “But what I am most excited about are the new arrangements of traditional Maritime tunes that Nick and I convinced our father, Paul Halley, to write for this project, as well as a new arrangement by Nick himself.”

The two Halley men’s music includes a fresh version of the Nova Scotian anthem, Farewell to Nova Scotia, the Newfoundland song Petty Harbour Bait Skiff from the elder Halley, and an arrangement of the Scottish air Skye Boat Song by the younger Halley.

The Capella Regalis Choirs present Music for a Maritime Audience at the Cathedral Church of All Saints (1330 Cathedral Ln, Halifax) on May 26. Visit capellaregalis.com for tickets and information.

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