Recorded and released in 2013 in celebration of the 225th anniversary of the founding of the University of King’s College in 1789, Let Us Keep the Feast: Music for the Church Year is the choir’s first CD under director Paul Halley. The CD won the Outstanding Choral Recording award from Choral Canada. The CD features music for the church year, from Advent through All Souls, and extensive and beautiful liner notes by our Chaplain, the Rev’d Canon Dr. Gary Thorne. Some of the repertoire on the recording was specially requested by members of the Chapel community; other selections were chosen because they are not often recorded. The music ranges from the 9th-century Hymn of Kassia (a favorite from Wednesday in Holy Week) to 20th-century French works.
Paul Halley hopes this recording will be the first in an extensive catalog of recordings by the Chapel Choir. Having launched the catalogue with a broad sampling of the Chapel Choir’s repertoire, Paul envisions future recordings focusing on a particular season or or feast day within the church year – for example, a recording of music for Advent, for Lent, or a particular Saint’s Day.
“The chapel Choir at King’s is unusual in Canada since all of its members sing at least three services a week and many of them sing at the candlelit Compline services as well. This generates among the students an understanding of the rhythm of the Church Year and informs their singing of the magnificent repertoire of our tradition. This recording is essentially a snapshot of the day-to-day engagement of these choristers in the great tradition.”
The choir recorded the CD over the course of three days in April 2013 at the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax. The Cathedral is a home away from home for the choir – it is a key venue for the annual concert series, King’s at the Cathedral. At the time of the recording, the Cathedral organ was being cleaned following extensive renovation work in the Cathedral, and was not in good enough condition to be used for the recording. Paul therefore decided to overdub the organ accompaniment using the organ in the King’s College Chapel – a Rodgers digital organ that sounds for all the world like a Cathedral pipe organ. Sound engineer John Adams, a world-class engineer who happens to live in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, expertly wove the two sessions together to create the effect of the choir and organ performing at the same time in the same acoustic.
To hear some of the pieces from the recording, visit the choir’s YouTube page: www.youtube.com/kingschapelchoir
You can purchase the CD through the King’s Co-op Bookstore (902.422.1270 ext. 261) or online at www.cdbaby.com, and on iTunes.