His early musical education was in the realm of orchestral percussion, however, Dr. Hailey shifted his attention to African and Caribbean music styles during graduate school. Hailey is a native of Charlotte, NC, he began playing the double second pan in 1990 as an undergraduate music student at East Carolina University. This experience led him to West Virginia University where he studied steel drum construction, tuning and arranging with Trinidad's most well-known steel drum innovator, Ellie Mannette. After receiving a Master's of Music in 1994, Hailey noticed a growing interest in ethnic and world music among music educators in the U.S. This shift of interest prompted Hailey to pursue his doctorate degree in world percussion from West Virginia University, which he received in May 2005.

An active percussionist in Hampton Roads, Hailey has performed locally with many artists including Ben Vereen, the Girls Choir of Harlem, and Dance Theater of Harlem. Internationally Hailey has studied and performed at the University of Ghana, Legon, toured South Korea performing at the Seoul International Drum Festival and the 2002 World Cup Opening Ceremony. Dr. Hailey competed in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Trinidad and Tobago National Steelband Panorama Finals in Port-of-Spain, and San Fernando Trinidad, WI performing with Skiffle Bunch, Starlift and Renegades steel orchestras respectively. Since 1999 Dr. Hailey has been an active educator, performer and lecturer throughout Hampton Roads and is currently a professor of music at Tidewater Community College. 

Dr. Hailey founded Mosaic Steel Orchestra in order to share his passion for the art form and encourage youth to strive for excellence while building within them the discipline and self-confidence necessary to overcome life’s challenges.