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James Walker begins as Organist; Associate Choirmaster

James Walker begins as Organist; Associate Choirmaster
Sunday, February 27, 1983 web-editor

It was the summer of 1982, and I was 25 years old — fresh out of grad school and content with my work as Organist at Westwood Presbyterian Church and College Organist at Occidental College — when I received a phone call from the Director of Music at All Saints. He told me about an open Associate Organist position, wondering if I might be interested.

I wasn’t.

A few months later, the Associate position again became open, and the job description was now more enticing. Through a rigorous audition process, I was hired and began work at All Saints in February 1983, while continuing with my position at Occidental.

During my 15-​minute interview with Rector George Regas, he expressed his belief that staff members who really make a difference stay at least three years, and I responded that I really like to establish roots where I work. 34 years later, I believe it is fair to say that I have honored that commitment.

It was an awesome feeling, coming into such an established and highly respected church music program, and those eight years as the associate musician were fantastic years of personal growth — musically and spiritually. While maintaining my cradle-​Presbyterian identity and membership, I was being nurtured and formed by the liturgy and theology of All Saints.

The associate position, with a job description focused almost entirely of practicing and performing at All Saints, was a perfect companion position to the Occidental faculty post. The clear focus of both positions also affording flexibility to build my concert career, give concerts and tour.

My first Coventry Choir rehearsal