Jeff Joudrey is highly regarded for his vision, musical leadership, and standards of excellence in choral music. He was the founding Artistic Director of the Halifax Camerata Singers, formed in 1986. Under his direction, the choir developed an enviable reputation for performance excellence and innovative programming, as well as for promoting choral music throughout the Maritimes.
Halifax Camerata has four recordings that are regularly featured on CBC Radio, and the choir was the winner of the prestigious Healey Willan Grand Prize as well as first place in the Chamber Choir category in the 2010 National Competition for Amateur Choirs. Camerata was also privileged to be one of the showcase choirs in the first biennial Edmonton International Choral Festival in 2017.
Jeff is presently the Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Amherst. Upon his retirement he was honoured to be named Chorus Master Emeritus of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus and Artistic Director Emeritus of Halifax Camerata Singers. He is 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 is an enthusiastic supporter of Canadian choral music and frequently commissions works from established and emerging young composers. Committed to the development of 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 2018, he was honoured to have been chosen as the conductor of the National Youth Choir of Canada. He also has served on the faculties of Dalhousie University and Acadia University as well as 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.
Prior to the formation of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus, Jeff would combine his two chamber choirs (Cantabile Singers of Truro and Halifax Camerata Singers) as needed for the larger symphonic works. In the early 2000s, Jeff and the Symphony’s General Manager at the time, Katherine Carleton, devised the idea of a highly motivated, well-prepared Symphony Chorus dedicated to performances with Symphony Nova Scotia. They pitched the idea to the new Music Director, Bernhard Gueller, who enthusiastically championed the plan.
The first performance of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus was on November 11, 2002 – Mozart’s Requiem, conducted by David Fallis. Jeff then conducted Handel’s Messiah himself the following month. Since its formation, Jeff has prepared the Chorus and/or conducted for one performance each of Barber’s Adagio, Faure’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Ave Verum, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Howard Cable’s Christmas Pops; two performances each of Brahms’ German Requiem, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, and Beethoven’s Fantasia; three performances of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor; five performances of Beethoven’s Ninth; six performances of Mozart’s Requiem; and an incredible 38 performances of the Symphony’s annual Handel’s Messiah concert.