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British-born organist performs in Barrie

By Susan Doolan, Special to Postmedia Network

Simon Walker performs at Barrie’s St. Andrews concert series next Wednesday. SUBMITTED

Simon Walker performs at Barrie’s St. Andrews concert series next Wednesday. SUBMITTED

Simon Walker returns to Barrie’s St. Andrews concert series with a program that includes a four-movement sonata by Rheinberger as well as shorter works by Back and Buxtehude.

The director of music at Jude’s Church in Oakville, in addition to performing as an organist, is also in demand as a freelance accompanist, teacher and conductor.

In addition to his role at the church, he is the assistant conductor of the Oakville Choral Society, and artistic director of the Oakville Celebration of the Arts concert series.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Walker became enamoured with the organ when he was turning pages for an organist at Durham Cathedral.

He studied for three years as an organ scholar of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral while serving as accompanist to Edinburgh University Music Society Chorus.

He has diplomas in organ and choral conducting from the Royal College of Organists (UK) and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Walker’s interest in music began at the age of seven when his mother had him audition for the cathedral choir school in the United Kingdom. He also lived at the school until his voice changed at the age of 13.

At his next boarding school, akin to our high school, he started organized lessons and moved on to study music at the University of Edinburgh until he graduated in 2009.

One year after graduating from university, he moved to Toronto where he served as assistant organist at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene for 18 months. He is the only professional musician in his family. He also has an interest in organ building.

His passion, aside from music is European classic cars, in particular old Citroens. After owning a yellow and maroon 2CV, he left it left it in the UK when he came to Canada.

Two years ago, he found a 1982 blue Citroen 2CV which he enjoys driving and maintaining.

Walker performs on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 47 Owen at Worsley St., beginning at noon.

Admission is $5 for adults is $5, free for students. 

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