Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Halifax Camerata Singers announces new artistic director

Dr. Joel Tranquilla replaces the ensemble's founder Jeff Joudrey who retires at the end of its 2022-2023 season.

In a media release, Halifax Camerata Singers has announced Dr. Joel Tranquilla as its new artistic director, replacing the ensemble’s founder Jeff Joudrey who retires at the end of its 2022-2023 season. In addition, Tranquilla also becomes Symphony Nova Scotia’s new chorus master in its 2023-2024 season.

I’m a Maritimer at heart and am thrilled to be returning home to serve as the conductor of one of the finest chamber choirs in Canada… – Dr. Joel Tranquilla

One of fifteen applicants for the role, Tranquilla was ultimately chosen from three finalists.

“We had many talented candidates to consider, but Joel really impressed the committee and worked well with the singers on his visit to Halifax,” says Camerata’s board chair Randall Willkie. “We’re thrilled he’s accepted our offer.”

Originally from New Brunswick, Tranquilla will relocate to Nova Scotia next year after serving nine years as director of choral activities at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia.

A singing member of the Canadian Chamber Choir since 2007, Tranquilla was named that ensemble’s associate conductor in 2013. Other career highlights include serving as the conductor for several ensembles in Windsor, Ontario and as an adjudicator and clinician across the country.

Before taking up the baton in Halifax, Tranquilla will conduct the premiere of a new oratorio by David Squires and make his Carnegie Hall debut in a program featuring Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs.

A believer in the power of choral music to build and strengthen community, Tranquilla will continue expanding on Camerata’s educational outreach initiatives.

“I’m a Maritimer at heart and am thrilled to be returning home to serve as the conductor of one of the finest chamber choirs in Canada as well as the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus,” says Tranquilla. “I have the deepest respect for Jeff Joudrey and wish him all the best in his retirement. He has been an inspiration to many, and I can’t wait to work with these wonderful singers and build on his legacy.”

Amelia McMahon (photo above) will assume the role of Halifax Camerata Singers' assistant conductor.
Amelia McMahon (photo above) will assume the role of Halifax Camerata Singers’ assistant conductor.

Camerata also announced Amelia McMahon would assume the role of assistant conductor. McMahon recently returned to her native Nova Scotia from Montreal, where she was co-artistic director of Choeur Adleisia. McMahon, who also sings in the soprano section of Camerata, is on the Maritime Conservatory of the Performing Arts vocal faculty and co-conductor of the Eastern Horizon chamber choir.

In his final year as artistic director, Joudrey will lead Symphony Nova Scotia in its production of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in early April.

Camerata’s 2022-2023 season concludes in mid-June with two performances of Considering Matthew Shepard, described as a transformational artistic response to anti-gay hate crime.

Visit halifaxcamerata.org for more information.

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