Paul Carey studied composition with Alfred Blatter, Herbert Bruen, Ben Johnston, and Eugene Kurtz, and harp with Shirley Blankenship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Carey's graduate studies were at Yale University where he studied with David Mott. From 1988 to 2000, he was accompanist for the Downers Grove (IL) Choral Society.
Mr. Carey’s compositions have been performed by choirs worldwide and at ACDA, MENC, OAKE, and AGO conventions across America. His Rise Up, Emma Lazarus was the winner of The New York Treble Singers 2003 composition competition and was premiered in New York City by that group in March of 2003. Esta Tarde, mi bien (This Evening, my love) was the winner of the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Composition Competition and was premiered at the McDowell Colony in May 2004.
During the summers of 2002- 2004, Mr. Carey was invited to participate in the Oxford University Press Summer Institute at Lehigh University, working with fellow Oxford Press composers Libby Larsen, Bob Chilcott, Steven Sametz, conductor Nicholas Cleobury, and The Princeton Singers to develop new choral repertoire. In 2000 Mr. Carey founded Vox Caelestis, a Chicago based professional women’s chamber choir. During the five years he led the ensemble, they were hailed as a model of beautifully blended sound, and were also known for adventurous programming, outreach in the community, and a college scholarship fund established to help young singers. In 2005 Mr. Carey resigned his position with the group in order to compose full-time.
In 2009 Mr. Carey was appointed lead choral teacher/conductor of the famed North Carolina Governor's School, held each summer in Raleigh, NC for 800 of the state's finest students in ten different disciplines. In 2009, he was commissioned by world-class choir, the Incheon City Chorale, for a mass setting. The resulting bravura work, Missa Brevis Incheon, was premiered in October 2009 in Incheon City and Seoul, South Korea, to great acclaim, with the composer present. In 2011 Mr. Carey was the featured composer/conductor for a week-long festival of children's choir music in Hong Kong.
Mr. Carey's music is published by Oxford University Press, Walton, Roger Dean, Santa Barbara, Colla Voce, and Kjos. He has received ASCAP special awards each year beginning in 2004. He was Composer in Residence for The Festival Singers (Madison, Wisconsin) for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.