Capella Regalis Report for Chapel AGM
Capella Regalis is ‘in residence’ in both the University of King’s College Chapel and the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax, rehearsing twice weekly and singing special Tuesday services in the King’s Chapel, and also singing Evensongs regularly in the Cathedral as part of the Sundays at Four series.
The 2017-18 season began with our annual, five-day Choir Camp for our Senior Choir choristers and Young Men, in the last week of August at St Anne’s Camp in West Dalhousie. In early September, we began our regular rounds of weekly rehearsals (four each week) for the Senior Choir, Probationers, and Young Men, and singing Evensong services. Janelle Lucyk continues to give individual voice lessons to the boys. We’ve had our usual round of concerts as well, including our annual To Bethlehem with King’s Christmas tour and a special trip out to Sackville, NB in the fall to rehearse, sing services with, give workshops to, and generally encourage their marvelous new St Ann’s Junior Choir. At our annual Service of Investiture in October, four boys were invested into the Senior Choir. Since then, three more boys have been promoted from the Probationers’ Programme. We now have 15 boys in the Senior Choir and it is in better shape than ever.
Much of this building is due to the training the boys receive before being brought up to the Senior Choir. Dominique Saulnier has done a very fine job running the Probationers’ Programme, as well as being Assistant to the Director, for three years now. Dominique is (sadly) leaving us at the end of this month to pursue further studies abroad. Gabriel O’brien (former boy chorister, now a part of the CR bass section, and Sunday Organist for the Chapel) will be taking over and trying to cram his massive feet into Dominique’s inimitably fine shoes. This is a lovely development for the choir – one of its own having received the training it offers to such a degree that he can now train others. Gabriel has already tip-toed a bit through Dominique’s footsteps, taking charge of Senior Choir rehearsals for a week in February when both she and Nick were away (and doing a superb job of it). Capella Regalis will forever be grateful to Dominique for the fabulous job she has done in building up the programme that is our foundation.
In December we released our second recording, titled Greater Love, which features that magnificent work by John Ireland, as well as some of our other favourite repertoire.
In January, our Managing Director produced her second child and the voice of Isaac Nicholas Halley Burkhart has been heard already, perhaps more distantly than his brother’s, in services at the Cathedral and in the Chapel.
Capella Regalis leadership is planning to spend May taking stock and making plans for the near and deep future. But the boys and men will also head out to Lunenburg for a few days of hang time, sport, and music-making over Victoria Day Weekend. At the end of June we are hosting Les Petits Chanteur du Mont-Royale, during which time we aim not only to show them a grand time in the Maritimes, but also to give a joint performance in All Saints Cathedral on June 29th. This is a great opportunity for us to increase our capacity at hospitality - an effort that is being masterminded by Kate Therien, Deo gratias.
Our thanks are due to more wonderful supporters, parents, and volunteers than could possibly be mentioned here. But we would like to thank our Chaplain Fr Thorne for his ceaseless care for Capella Regalis and particularly for his kind influence on the boys.
Scott Beard continues to give immeasurably to the choir in his role as Librarian. Sarah Stevenson is to be thanked profusely for our website. Peter and Irene Wilkinson are indescribably wonderful, as the Chapel community well knows. We are blessed daily by a cloud of witnesses and are honoured to call this place home.
Nick Halley, Artistic Director - April 10, 2018