Contact us at +1 626-840-4532 or james@jameswalkermusic.com

Add Your Appreciation

For James' 34-Year Tenure at All Saints

Add Your Appreciation
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 James Walker
photo of Coventry ChoirCoventry Choir in rehearsal
  • Dear James,
    There are no adequate words! but here goes anyway!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, with every fibre of my being, for the amazing person, musician, staff colleague, inspiration you have been for so long. I am in awe of your ongoing journey over the years, how you opened yourself to growth, often with great courage, and translated your growth into your music and shared that with hundreds and thousands of people.
    Your work and music brought an aching joy, tenderness, delight, tears, laughter, quivers down my spine and raised the hairs on my neck, at different times in different ways.
    I loved to watch you conduct and loved being on the chancel to hear and see you up close. I loved to go into church to listen to you practice and bring peace to my sometimes troubled soul …
    Your spirituality engaged your whole being and flowed out into the choirs, music and fabric of All Saints. I am forever richer and enriched by all I experienced from you. May your next season be as amazingly gifted, inspired and growthful! I look forward to it!
    Abundant blessings, much love, Wilma.

    Wilma Jacobsenvia letter
  • I love you James Walker!!!!
    You have blessed my life and taught me things you will never know. Peace, love and sunshine in all your new endeavors,
    Love, Cathy

    Cathy Keigvia email
  • James!
    After watching and reading that awesome homily I have only one thing to relate. That is, without fear of contradiction, there are 1000s of souls and saints who stood with each of those in your congregation and behind you in ministry who rejoice because you were there.
    Amen!
    David

    David Dehnervia Facebook
  • Thanks for sharing this. I especially enjoyed reading your farewell
    message. But I also wanted to tell you of something of which you might not
    be aware.

    I am aware that ASC streams its services. This was brought to my attention
    by a very dear friend, whom you may know. Bev has been suffering from
    cancer for the past several years. So many of us have held her up in prayer
    and she acknowledges how much those prayers have helped her in the dark
    days of treatment.

    But ASC streaming services have been her lifeline. She downloads the
    worship bulletin each week and watches/​worships with you in her home. Your
    music has lifted her elevating her spirits from week to week. When you
    announced your retirement, she was understandably shaken, because your
    music has meant so much to her. I know she will continue to watch and be
    moved by the music.

    I know many have expressed their appreciation to you in these past few
    months, but I wanted to thank you for what your work has meant to my dear
    friend. Your music has touched people in ways you are not even aware.

    God bless you with many more years and ways to serve.

    Peter Batesvia email
  • James, you’ve been such an important part of my life, I don’t want to lose you. However, I won’t cry because it’s over, but smile. 

    Lu Wennekervia email
  • Dear, dear James,

    And so here I am, all these years later, a more complete Elizabeth for having come to sing at All Saints. Your genuine care, support, encouragement, desire to make each note better and more musical than the last — all in an amazingly supportive and positive fashion has led me to places and performances I had never dreamed possible!
    From the Gospel repertoire to the Renaissance pieces at Tenebrae, each has been so very special in its own wonderful way.
    Tonight I am so thankful for the gift of music you have so generously shared with me, tearful that it has come to an end after all these years, and so very hopeful that our paths will continue to cross in so many ways… I do “get” it and know that you will take this next step knowing you have me, and I am certain the rest of us in Coventry at All Saints cheering, supporting and watching with great anticipation all you are going to do!
    Dear friend, THANK YOU, both through music and conversation that you’ve shared with me over these 26 years. It has been a blessing in my life, and I am a better person because of it!
    With love and appreciation,
    Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Championvia letters
  • James,
    Words cannot express how incredibly grateful I am for this past year together. I am saddened to see you leave, but so extremely happy for you. This has been such an extraordinary year and so much of that is because of your wonderful leadership and faith in me. I have accomplished so much this year and attempted so many new things, and for that I will be forever thankful.
    You will be deeply missed, but your presence clearly resonates with so many people at AS. I will do my all to help uphold the standard of excellence and specificity you demand.
    Thank you again, and I look forward to when we can work together more in the future! Best of luck and best wishes.

    Kelci Hahnvia letters
  • Dear James,
    We are saddened by your departure and can’t imagine Sunday mornings without your leadership. Your music has inspired us, comforted us and held us up for all the years we have attended. Many Sunday mornings, it was the music I didn’t want to miss. You are exceptional and I can’t imagine All Saints without you — it just won’t be the same.
    Thank you for your many years of dedicated service, leadership and inspiration. I regret not showing my appreciation more often over the years.
    We wish you all the best on the next step of your journey … please hold our gratitude with you always.
    With every good wish,
    Marianne, Daniel, Christopher and Carrie Ryan

    Marianne Ryanvia letter
  • It’s been an honor to sing under you and learn from you. Thanks for sharing your talent. Best of luck on your next adventures!

    Gloria Beverst DeCostevia Facebook
  • Thank you for your soul-​piercing, life-​giving, grace-​filled music ministry. You have been the only priest who has been at ASC since I have. I will miss your impact on my life!

    Deborah Lynne Ogden via Facebook
  • James, I can’t believe it’s been 26 years that I’ve had the privilege of working with you! I remember my audition as a very green bass-​baritone singing a Vivaldi alto solo piece. I wasn’t the most able sight-​reader at the time and brand new to California. You encouraged Ray Egan to hire me and my life was forever changed in so many ways. Your inspired leadership, loving guidance, impeccable musicianship, humor and friendship have made me the musician I am today. I’ve been so blessed to share in your ministry and learn by your example. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and I know you’ll bring your grace, patience and boundless spirit to the road ahead. I love you.

    Jim Campbellvia Facebook
  • …The job you have done over the last 34 years years is nothing short of amazing. It seemed to me that you got better EVERY year. Not many people in a job for over 30 years could say that. In the last few years you have focused on trying always to get us to another level, one where all the singers perform “as one.” I thought that the concert this year was spectacular and deeply satisfying (even though the men’s part in the Bernstein was devilishly difficult!).
    I have never been one of your star choristers and I had a hard time with memorization in recent years. But I have enjoyed my 39 years in the choir so much and it has been such an important part of my life…
    So, James, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! George used to say that life is a journey and not a destination. You have made my journey to this point so rich and fulfilling and contributed so much to making it that way, that saying “thank you” seems so insufficient and inadequate. Nothing I can say really will do the job, so all I can say is thanks.
    I hope the rest of your musical career is as outstanding as I expect it to be, and I wish you great happiness and joy.
    Much love from a thankful choir member,
    Ralph

    Ralph Perryvia letter
  • Dear James,
    When we think of All Saints and when we tell people about All Saints, we always say something about how great the music is. We know enough choir members so that we have another “read” on how much effort and preparation goes into what you and all the choirs undertake and the results achieved.
    We have stayed behind to listen to the postlude, even though we might skip out if the forum is Kenny Turan. We have enjoyed dining with you at least twice at the fundraising galas. We are very sad to see you go, but can appreciate that it is a time for you to take on a new kind of control and freedom in your life in, of, and around music.
    We hope that we will hear about opportunities to hear you play and/​or direct in the future. We feel privileged to have gotten to know you a bit and to have had the blessings of your work for something like 18 years.
    All our love and respect to you and Godspeed.
    Hugh and Marleen

    Hugh and Marleen Scheffyvia letter
  • Dear James,
    I have been with you from the very beginning. I have watched you grow in all ways. Your music has always been superb.
    I don’t know what I will tell people about All Saints. Before I would say you will find the holy spirit and music out of this world.
    Our music is all kinds, but excellent musicianship. You will be sorely missed.
    Yet, life is short and you do need to live your life to the fullest. We do need change.
    Go forth with my love and blessings. Wishing you all the best on your new journey.
    Much love,
    Alma

    Alma Stokesvia letter
  • Dear James,
    You have been such a blessing to us! I am grateful for your sharing your considerable musical talents, which have deeply enriched our worship these many years. I want to particularly thank you for continuing to bring new multicultural pieces to All Saints.
    I wish you many blessings in this next path in your journey. Congratulations on your retirement.
    Love and prayers,
    Karen

    Karen Hayesvia letter
  • Dear James,
    We wanted to leave you with a small note of gratitude for all the magnificent singing we have heard here over the past (almost) 30 years. You bring a joy to the congregants, and for many, the singing is the height of the service. To say that we will miss you is a sad understatement. To say that we wish you magic and joy as you leave is far truer.
    Thank you,
    The Gouldings

    The Goulding familyvia letter
  • Dear James,
    For 34 years you have spoken eloquently and from the heart with music and song. Today you spoke eloquently and from the heart with words, words as moving and as meaningful as anything we hear. Thank you.
    For all those years you have given us or in some sense allowed us to hear the glory of God in so many ways: in solo and blended voices, in soft and gentle melody, in unexpected rhythm and language, and in soaring and joyous music. In music and song you have elevated worship, and in doing so elevated us.
    You have a rare talent, a marvelous gift, something that like love can be shared freely without ever losing what you have. I am very grateful that you have chosen to share it with us for so long.
    Now you are moving on. We will miss you; I will miss you. You have my fond regards, and best wishes for your new path. Thank you for everything — and you had better believe that yes, your are loved.

    Blaine Cavenavia letter
  • Wow! What incredible gifts you have given us with passion and love!
    Thank you, James.
    Thank you! Thank you!
    Incredible to think of 34 years … I did not take it for granted.
    Now you can go into the world … and they will LOVE you as we do!!

    Sandy Bieryvia letter
  • James,
    Thank you for years of joy! Your arrival was such a wonderful gift to all of us. Tracy and I have enjoyed and appreciated every offering — here in Pasadena and New Orleans.
    May your retirement bring you wonderful adventures, passion and great joy … just as you’ve given us so generously.
    With love and great respect,
    Sally and Tracy

    Sally Yingling and Tracy Webbvia letter
  • Dear James,
    Well, I guess I can no longer remain in denial. You truly are leaving us, aren’t you? Here are a few of my thoughts as this reality sinks in.
    Let me begin by saying that this year’s Spring Concert was even more glorious than usual. It presented a brilliant illustration of the gifts you have shared with us these past thirty-​four years — your broad musical knowledge, your unfailing sense of what “fits” each situation, and your skill at bringing forth the best from your singers. Even Gloria’s remarks, although definitely hers, were a tribute to your marvelous sense of humor.
    It is your pastoral heart, however, that has made a special place for you in my own heart. I will always remember your caring support for me after I lost Richard and was struggling with coming back to the Sunday morning service. (Richard, by the way, was one of your most enthusiastic admirers.)
    So … thank you. Thank you for every well-​chosen hymn and anthem, for all the evensongs and Lessons and Carols, for “Lux aeterna” and “A Ceremony of Carols,” and for everything you ever did by Bach. Thank you, too, for “Maple Leaf Rag.” Independence Day Sunday will not be the same without it. I will miss you more than these words can express.
    With love and gratitude,
    Linda

    Linda Shirbrounvia letter
  • Hi, James.
    Yesterday morning, when you shared the difference between pursuing perfection and pursuing excellence, is a beautiful example of what I tell many of my friends about my time in choir. Not only do we commune as a group, and make music, and become better musicians, but you also show me how to be a better teacher. This perfection/​excellence lesson is one I continue to learn, and which I will try to teach my students as well as you teach us.
    So grateful for YOU,
    David

    David Plattvia email
  • Dearest James,
    There are truly no words to express the feeling I experienced this morning during the 9am offertory anthem [Dan Forrest, The Music of Living]. So I came back for more at the 11:15 service. The beauty of the music in the glorious voices and your embodied directing was stunning. I don’t want to say goodbye so I will just say farewell and thank you, thank you, thank you for blessing us with your gifts all of these years. I will cherish this always. Go and be well. With so much love and gratitude.

    Jen Hayesvia Facebook
  • Dear James,
    I started to write a very long letter of how much singing in both choirs has meant to me, but the bottom line is that it has been Great! Such an important part of my life. I am so fortunate to have had this experience with you as our ASC choirmaster.
    It’s been a great 20 years of growth for me both as a musician and equally in the spirituality you brought to the music we sing.
    I love the people in both choirs and in some ways your leaving feels like it is bringing us all so close together in the loss of your leadership our hearts become entwined. I will miss you so deeply, but I will be looking at jameswalkermusic.com to keep up with your new life.
    With so much love, thankfulness and joy!
    Teresa

    Teresa Dvoracekvia email
  • Thank you, James, for a sublime concert under your masterful leadership and conducting. You are borne on a tidal wave of admiration and gratitude from All the Saints for your years of educating and transporting us through various kinds of music. You are a seal upon our hearts.

    Nancy Mackyvia email
  • You’re the best and I miss you and the magnificent music I always enjoyed at ASC. Happy trails and fond wishes.

    Jim Wattersonvia Facebook
  • It was indeed a wonderful feeling yesterday getting back in touch with James Walker. Congratulations on your awesome finale at All Saints! Thank you for being my organ instructor in college back thirty some years ago. To this day, I still remember and use those seven rhythm technique you taught me in my practice. Hope you knew that you had etched a permanent imprint in my life with your mellow intensity. Hollin Liu (Ying)

    Hollin Liuvia Facebook
  • OK, here is my review. What an amazing concert. How a church choir with only a sprinkling of professional voices (and they are damn fine) can make that sound is a miracle. And they actually watched James … 

    The Britten Rejoice in the Lamb is a tricky piece, but no problem for the forces of the All Saints Canterbury Choir, ably assisted by Organist Weicheng Zhao. Britten is, in my uninformed view, the Bach of the 20th century (taking the musical language of his time to final sublime heights) and the choir navigated the tricky meters and dynamic change with aplomb. The Bernstein Chichester Psalms is one of my favorite 20th century choral works, again devilishly difficult in meter, dynamics and Hebrew text (at least for non-​High Holy Days choirs). But so rewarding; the Coventry Choir sang it with both power and delicacy and the arrangement for organ, harp and percussion worked beautifully.

    The second half of the concert were more pieces especially important to James, leading off with Beethoven’s channeling of his hero, Handel, in the Hallelujah from Christ on the Mount of Olives (sung in English). Major vocal chops from the now combined choirs but also under intense control — more of that James Walker mystical orb power stuff. The next piece, Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren by Brahms was maybe my personal favorite. Sung well in German, it was performed with amazing sensitivity and nearly reduced me to tears. Brahms does that, and James understood perfectly the calm beauty of the piece.

    The last three pieces were very different but all amazingly effective. A Kenyan folk song, Wana Baraka, arranged by Southern California’s Shawn Kirchner, was a rousing crowd pleaser sung in the original language and which brought the crowd to its feet. Following a wonderful offbeat tribute by choir member Gloria Pitzer, the concert ended with two pieces sung together, Rene Clausen’s setting of Set Me As a Seal Upon Your Heart and Gwyneth Walker’s setting of Love Unfolding, to a text by Dame Julian of Norwich. The final line: “Love everlasting, without beginning, with out end. Amen!” Indeed.

    David Burhennvia Facebook
  • A love letter to you dear James. Yesterday was transcendent. A culmination of all the years of total commitment and love. Thank you for leaving a legacy of the spirit…now it’s time to take flight and share your gifts with the world. We love you and thank you. 

    Joanne DiVitovia Facebook
  • Dear James,
    I am taking a moment to let you know how very many times I heard the words of the sermons @ ASC, but it was the music that touched and opened my heart to inspiration … and I wept.
    So many times I have said, “Wow! I sure wish I had a recording of what you have created with the choirs to hear over and over again during the week.”
    Your music ministry has been such a gift! Thank you! God bless you on your future journey. With gratitude, Candace

    Candace Elliottvia email
  • Dear James,
    We guess it’s time to come to terms! You are leaving ASC, but not our hearts. It is hard to put into words our gratitude for all you have given not only to the church, but to our family. You were a significant influence in the formative years of our children’s lives.
    Who knew a creative musician could also be sane?
    Our children adore you and so do we! Please continue to keep them real through your Facebook replies on their posts!
    We love you.

    Toni Boucher & Francois Polifronivia email
  • James, you are loved so much by so many people, you will never know how many people will miss you. Your music and love has lifted us up at our church & has filled us with hope in this challenging time. We love you.

    Britta & Hank Fosheevia Facebook
  • I am still working on processing what happened for me at the Spring Concert, honoring James. I can only speak for myself…the level of mixed emotions for me was and still is palpable. I feel very fortunate to be in this choir and thank my lucky stars seven years ago, that James allowed me to be part of an amazing group of people. The music, Britten, and the music we performed with Coventry goes beyond superlatives. Thank you to James for making me stretch and step up to the plate. I will miss you dearly.

    Rick Murphyvia Facebook
  • Dear James,
    It never occurred to me that your elegant self wouldn’t be seated at the organ making beautiful music when it’s my turn to step beyond the veil into the next life. You have been present at so many of my celebratory “events” — my marriage to Joseph Roach, my daughter Mindy’s marriage to Paul Danna, the baptisms of each of my granddaughters, Claire and Lily, and Joe’s memorial service in 2004 — I assumed you would be there for the last one. I say this out of my own selfishness and sense of loss. But truly I would be one of the first to urge you to retire while you are still well and able to look forward to many more happy years with your partner.

    Well beyond the personal impact you have had on my own life is the extraordinary legacy you are leaving behind you at All Saints. Your successor will find it a challenge to attempt to follow in your footsteps.

    May you be showered with many blessings and graced with the knowledge of His love.

    Jeanne Roachvia email
  • Dear James,
    Where to start? You are such a TREASURE that your departure will for sure leave a gaping hole in our community. The joy and the gifts you have brought to our worship are countless — and glorious.
    Thank you so much for all you have taught me. Thanks to you, I can still carry a pretty decent tune. Sometimes that is all that keeps me sane.
    Know that you are loved, and you will be SO missed.

    Lynda Obershawvia email
  • Dear James,
    You deserve a standing ovation! Congratulations … and I’m sure you will get several in the coming weeks. Thank you for bringing so much beautiful music into my life. I wish you many years without alarm clocks and deadlines! You will be missed. Love and gratitude,
    Liza

    Liza Billingtonvia email
  • James, you have become an institution at this church after your decades of dedicated service. You have done so much to expand the breadth, depth, and quality of the music at this church that it is nothing short of a miracle. It would not be the same place it is now had it not been for you.
    I have so enjoyed, appreciated, and spiritually grown through all of your efforts and the music you have created that I would not be the person I am now if not for you. You have made a difference – a BIG difference. I am certain there are many here who feel the same as I do.
    Your departure is a huge loss for all of us here at All Saints Church, and like many others I am very sad to see you go. But we realize you need to move on to the next chapter of your life. We wish you nothing but the very best. Take good care of yourself.

    John Grulavia email
  • I miss your after service mini concerts enough to drive to Pasadena from Brentwood! You are fantastic James Walker.

    Linda Carpentervia Facebook
  • What an artistic gift to ASC and what a pastoral gift to the music community. Jamez is the BEST!!

    Hope Hendricks-​Baconvia Facebook
  • Canterbury Choir has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my adult life. I reconnected with a long-​neglected part of my self — the musician — and found a spiritual path to call my own. Singing with you and my fellow choristers has given me a lifeline, a through line and a place for my spirit to call home.

    Zach Firstvia email
  • Congratulations on this new chapter in your life! You have built a legacy at All Saints and I have enjoyed every single time I have worked with you and your wonderful musicians at the church. I’m excited to see what is in store for you next.

    Alison Bjorkedal via email
  • During my tenure as Rector, you were one of my favorite staff associates! Your presence, and the gifts you brought to my life and ministry over the years, were enormous beacons of light for my own journey. I could not have had a successful, rich, and rewarding ministry at All Saints without your companionship on the journey. I will never forget you, dearest friend.

    George Regasvia email
  • You have always been MY PRIEST! I love you and will miss you terribly.

    Sharon Wulfensmithvia Facebook
  • George Regas hiring you as associate in 1983 was a wise choice. Hiring you as Director of Music in 1991 was one of, if not the wisest decisions George made during his tenure at All Saints. Having sung with you for 35 years out of the 56 years I’ve sung in Coventry Choir have been a joy in my life. I’m certainly one of the thousands who will miss you when you leave.

    Jack LeVanvia Facebook
  • So happy for you, James. But know you will be missed! I’m planning to be there for concert in June. All my best wishes. 

    Kathie Heller via email
  • I am trying to be upbeat about your move to the next musical adventure in your life. I know you will have many opportunities, and new ways of being in the world of music, and that makes me happy for you. But, I will miss you terribly as the heartfelt and talented musician who brings so much to the life at All Saints.

    Gerry Puharavia email
  • James, I really want you to know how much you will be missed. Your music makes my heart sing. I love being at the services every Sunday because your choices African, and Spanish and even a Swedish song in English that I remember from my childhood.

    Britta Foshee‎ via Facebook
  • Congrats on 34 years at All Saints! I hope the step to freelance work will be a fruitful and exciting one.

    Daniel Corralvia email
  • Wow, big news. I wish you all the best as you move ahead into the new chapter that the Lord has for you!!! Love.

    Kim Virginiavia Facebook
  • I am completely surprised by this news. All the best to you for the next journey. With lots of love.

    Donn Ehrlichvia Facebook
  • Wow!!! Really??? I’m happy for you. And sad for the rest of us. Maybe we can finally do freelance work together!!! Hope to see you soon.

    Marissa Benedictvia email
  • I think I understand part of the urgency why I was called to All Saints, to experience the remarkable James Walker. It has been an extraordinary experience singing with you. I wish you well. Congratulations and bon voyage for the next chapter of your beautiful life journey.

    Keiko Sakatanivia email
  • I am so excited for you and the new chapter in your life. All Saints Church has been the recipient of your extraordinary talent, gifts, and dedication to its ministry as a mover and shaker in the local community, the nation and the world. That spirit so present in the Music of All Saints on Sundays, Evensongs, or special celebrations has been, and will continue to be a bedrock of what All Saints Church has been, and will hopefully continue to be for generations to come. Thank you! Now go get ‘em!

    Leslie Thomasvia email
  • No one deserves a change of pace more than you! I’m sorry I didn’t have more time with you, this second time around, but I’m even more grateful to be part of Coventry Choir for this part of your exciting journey!
    Bless you and all your future adventures!! Transformational change is the best!!!

    Mary Brownvia email
  • Very sad and very happy for you at the same time. I know the future holds MUCH greatness and happiness for you.

    Bill Cunliffevia email
  • I want you to know that some of the most spirit-​filled moments at ASC for me have been sitting in the pew listening to some magnificent choral work from over the past 400 years. It’s time travel, to imagine being in a cathedral somewhere right after the piece was composed, sung as it is now, but humans loving God.
    Thank you for the many opportunities you’ve given ME as a cellist and musician. I’ve especially enjoyed getting to perform with you on several recitals, as well. I hope that may continue.
    We’ll miss you greatly at ASC. Blessings on you!

    Kyle Championvia email
  • What we in the pews will desperately miss is your musicianship and artistic impulse — in so many ways you make the worship experience come alive through your repertoire choices and the deep engagement of your choirs.

    Terry Knowlesvia email
  • It is hard to imagine All Saints Church without your musical and creative leadership and management of the music program, choir and many performances that you orchestrate. We extend a heartfull of thanks to you for your 34 years of dedication to your music ministry. Mainly as ASC “live-​streamers” since our return to Denver in 1998, we are so grateful to you for the magnificent and spiritual ways you have touched our lives through music at ASC. Thank you for the many ways you have inspired and enriched our lives. Best wishes to you on your continued journey.

    Marsha and Pat Dawevia email
  • This wasn’t exactly a surprise but a terrible disappointment, to me, but also to the church. When I tell someone that ASC is a great church, the answer inevitably is: “Well, it’s the music, you know.” And it is the music. You are that music. I don’t know what we’ll do without you, but I guess you should be doing what you want to do and what will make you happy. You’ve given us 34 years of wonderful musical happiness — and a musical education for me — for which I applaud your patience. Much love, Jim.

    Lu Wennekervia email
  • I heartily congratulate you on the announcement of the departure from All Saints, and more importantly, the opening of a new chapter in your life. You’ve certainly earned it. You’ve developed the music program at All Saints into a one that any cathedral would envy. That’s a major accomplishment by any standard. My best wishes for the future!

    Robert Hovencampvia email
  • What a pleasure it has been having the chance to work with you over the past few years. I always look forward to subbing for Vince or Jim and getting to sing with one of your choirs. I kinda hope they need a couple more subs in the near future haha, as I’d like some more opportunities to sing with you! In any case, you will be greatly missed there, and I wish you many blessings on your journey and life after All Saints.

    Paul Soboskyvia email
  • I feel so honored to have been able to share this ministry of music under your leadership. I’m unsure that I will ever find someone with your superior musicianship that truly brings a spiritually committed and introspectively soulful interpretation to the works that we offer up to the All Saints community. You are an inspiration and will be with me in any group I sing with in the future.

    Ruth Bradenvia email
  • I’m deeply saddened by your announcement of retirement. But I’m also grateful for the spiritual nurture I’ve received because of your work, and because of you. You have made yourself a conduit for God’s Spirit.

    Pat Hoffmanvia email
  • It is hard to find the words to express my positive feelings about your impact on our lives and about the mixed feelings that I possess for your transition. Susan and I have lived in this same zip code and sung in this choir longer than anywhere in our lives and it is not even half as long as you have been at ASC. Your leadership has kept our attention and fed our souls. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Ed Johnsonvia email
  • Beautiful letter. I wish you luck and fulfillment in your next chapter.

    Jack LeVanvia email
  • I find it difficult to imagine music at All Saints without Jim Walker. The thought gives me a feeling best described as — empty. You will leave a huge void in the spirituality of this church. It’s impossible for me to imagine. My time working with you was one of the highlights of my life.
    Susan and I wish you the very best. Whatever you do and wherever you go, you will enrich the lives of those around you.

    Tom Burnsvia email
  • Today I received the news about your imminent resignation — and my heart sank … Your virtuosic musicianship and generous spirit has infused that building from stem, to stern — and I (quite selfishly) hate to see you leave; Please allow me to thank you, for the great blessing of your friendship .. and know that I wish you the fullest life, and greatest fulfillment wherever you land next!

    Michal Connorvia email
  • You promised that you would stay at ASC until one Sunday you would hit the last chord of a hymn and just fall over on the organ. But I understand. Thanks for your beautiful music, leadership and cooperation. I am sorry you will be leaving and we will miss you very much. Love and blessings.

    Sarah Tatumvia email
  • You are totally amazing and I deeply appreciate and respect you so much. I am grateful beyond words for the years my heart and spirit has taken flight with the music you have directed or been comforted and strengthened by it for the journey. I also appreciate your gentleness and patience with me as a new priest and staff member! I will miss you very very much and I am very happy you are choosing an open and expansive path for yourself and your life and gifts. With love and prayers and blessings on your decision!

    Sally Howardvia email
  • Thank you, James. I know we still have you for a little while longer. We will cherish it. We will try desperately to watch you despite the bifocals. We will try not to take breaths all at the same time on held notes. We will try to cut off when you signal us to cut off on the half of the fourth beat. We will try not to sing the fifth up louder than the note from whence we came when the little pointy arrow says otherwise. And we will try not to sing “Gloria-​EE.” It’s been a marvelous experience and we are so grateful!

    Susan Johnsonvia email
  • I’m so glad that we got to make music together all these years. Some of my most impactful musical moments have taken place under your leadership. To me, YOU ARE All Saints. You will be missed!

    Vincent Roblesvia email
  • You’re leaving! Say it ain’t so! With great appreciation.

    Joanie Depewvia email
  • I am filled with gratitude for having worked with you at All Saints and wish you nothing but the best in the future. Grateful to be here in your last yard line before touchdown.

    Daniel Ramonvia email
  • First and foremost, congratulations! You’ve been an astounding force for many of the things that I hold most dear in life (quality music, community, social justice, positive juju in the world) in your years at All Saints and I can honestly say that I hold you in the highest circles of esteem among the musicians that I’ve encountered.
    You will be deeply missed at All Saints, as I’m sure you’ve heard from countless people today, but I’m happy to hear that you’re at peace with your decision so most of all I’m happy for you.
    Best wishes, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.

    Dan Colevia email
  • I have read that we are approaching the end of an era. I am considering myself very privileged that I have been allowed to sing in choir with you at the helm! With Deep Appreciation.

    Eve Ruizvia email
  • I will miss your work on the bench after July. Knowing and understanding some of what you do each week, I’m in awe each week at your energy, your skill as an organist and conductor and obvious love of the music and your respect of your choir, musicians and other parish staff. I wondered how long you could keep up that pace week after week. Blessings on the next chapter of your career.

    Beverly Hansenvia email
  • What a great marker for you. It’s also a marker for many of us who’ve known you this entire time as well; and a little scary!
    Congratulations on this milestone and everything you’ve done for the church. Hard shoes to fill indeed!!

    John Westvia email
  • Dear Jim,
    It is with sadness of heart that I read of your resignation as All Saints Director of Music, and yet deep within me, I understood.
    During my tenure as Rector, you were one of my favorite staff associates! Your presence, and the gifts you brought to my life and ministry over the years, were enormous beacons of light for my own journey. I will never forget you, dearest friend.
    In the future years, I hope you will stay in touch with me. I could not have had a successful, rich, and rewarding ministry at All Saints without your companionship on the journey.
    Love and Gratitude,
    George

    George Regasvia email
  • Learned of your resignation letter a minute ago — I understand why you might be ready for it to be time. It has been a long, beautiful road together, and I am deeply appreciative of your leadership. Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart. More on that to come.

    Melinda Taylorvia email
  • James, you will be missed!! Wishing you the best!!

    Frank Ashfordvia Facebook
  • So thankful to have four years with you.

    Polly Andersonvia Facebook
  • Wow…good luck in your new endeavors!!!

    Nancy Leclerc Grubbvia Facebook
  • I’m so proud to know you.

    Steve Acosta Albavia Facebook
  • Congratulations!! you will be missed!

    Onil Chibasvia Facebook
  • What shall we ever do without you?

    Devika Wijesinghevia Facebook
  • Blessings on the next chapter!

    Kathy Cooper Ledesmavia Facebook
  • Saw your letter of departure; all good things must come to an end. You will never be replaced and I know they won’t try but it will never be the same. You set a standard my friend that few could conceive of or achieve! Hope to see you around town, be well, take care and continue to thrive.

    John Catanzarovia email
  • What a heart-​warming smile!! No one can replace you, considering the impact you evolved at All Saints!
    You will NEVER be forgotten! I’ll be with you in spirit always!! Gillions of Happi hugs!

    Happi Hicksvia email
  • Say it isn’t so! How you shall be missed! Best, best wishes, hugs, kisses, prayers as you move forward.

    Gail Gunthervia email
  • Best wishes, James, for all the adventures that await you in this next phase of life. I so enjoyed our time working together.

    Barbara Hawley Jonesvia Facebook
  • Will hate to lose him. He’s introduced such an amazing range of music to a non-​music person like me. A real education …

    Anita Davisvia Facebook
  • James Walker was (well, is) the last vestage of what was at All Saints when I first came (except the buildings). Truly the end of an era for me. Can’t imagine it without him.

    Jim Whitevia Facebook
  • I am SOOO sad for us — and so very grateful for the ministry that James has led — and specifically for the five years I had singing in Coventry Choir. My worship practice/​experience shifted because of what I learned in choir through James’ intentionality with silence, space, time, and music choices. And I will NEVER forget the experience of singing Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. Truly a God moment. Blessings on James many times over!

    Margaret Keanvia Facebook
  • I’m happy for James, that he is able to pursue a new chapter, but his talent will be very much missed!

    Richard von Ernstvia Facebook
  • If I could I would use both of FB emojis, crying and love. Sad to see you go, but inspired by your passion and commitment to growth and opportunity.

    Diana Carbajal Mejiavia Facebook
  • His ministry has been inspirational and amazing. Love being a member for over 20 years.

    Nel Chon D. Sevillavia Facebook
  • I would go to a lecture on music ministry by this man. Truly an accomplishment.

    Adan Alejandro Fernandezvia Facebook
  • Oh how I’ll miss you.

    Lorna Millervia Facebook
  • What an amazing 34 years it has been! This next step makes sense, with such a mix of grief and pending loss and gratitude for all of us who have been privileged to experience your music ministry!

    Wilma Terry Jakobsenvia Facebook
  • Bendiciones en tu nuevo camino!!! What a blessing to have worked with you.

    Norma Yanira Guerravia Facebook
  • Wait, weren’t we supposed to make sure you got a Grammy on Sunday? Or how about an upcoming Tony (only Cats has had a longer run, I see)? Well, meanwhile, congrats & applause always.

    Bob Williamsvia Facebook
  • James your music is part of what I experience as the Divine. You will be missed for many, many reasons.

    Gerry Puharavia Facebook
  • Oh. Dear. James. Thank you ever so much.

    Frances Fitzgeraldvia Facebook
  • You were there on the best day of my life and the worst. Thank you for your loving, brilliant ministry. God bless you in the next chapter of your life.

    Cathy McMullin Clementvia Facebook
  • Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!… but I understand. You are so woven into the tapestry of All Saints.

    Eddie Kingvia Facebook
  • I am sad, James. With my sadness is mixed deep gratitude. Your gifts are incomparable.

    Susan Brownvia Facebook
  • Heartfelt thanks. You are amazingly talented and bring such great spirit & passion to our community. Thank you.

    Claudette L. Shulticevia Facebook
  • Right now, sadness is all I can feel … well maybe sadness mixed with deep gratitude. You are a gift to all who know you.

    Richard Feltonvia Facebook
  • What a gift you have been to all of us at ASC. The Hekman family wishes you God’s richest blessings in the next chapter of your life.

    Carol Hekmanvia Facebook
  • Thank you for all the beautiful music you brought to All Saints all of these years. It was the music that brought me to tears when I first walked into my first service and I thank you for sharing the beauty of music to our congregation. You will be missed!! Congratulations on your 34 years of service.

    Scott Lardizabalvia Facebook
  • All the best, James! You will be missed!

    Mary Moreno-​Zermeno Richardsonvia Facebook
  • James, you have been my inspiration since your first rehearsal with us.

    Susan Houservia Facebook
  • Every song I sing from now until the day I die, will be in gratitude for you as well as for God.

    Sylvia Sheriffvia Facebook
  • I’m so very sad right now. And also so very, very grateful.

    Danny Banksvia Facebook
  • Hope you know how beloved you are.

    Gloria Beverst DeCostevia Facebook
  • James, I have written an appreciation to you on some other form, but wish to express my deep appreciation and thanks for your ministry at All Saints. I sang under your direction in one form or another for 25 years and experienced my most magical and deeply satisfying musical moments under your direction. You are responsible for greatly broadening my appreciation of music that I may not have been initially attracted to (“Under the Sun”) and gave me the courage to audition for a symphonic choir in Australia, which I never thought possible. You deserve the very best in this next phase of your life and I hope to be in Pasadena for your last service to give you a personal send-​off. Thank you for being such an important part of my musical development.

    Cathy Hudnall Dicksonvia Facebook
  • You were my music teacher and friend for 20 seasons — I join the many who will miss you, but now, follow your bliss!

    David Kearsevia Facebook
  • End of an amazing era at ASC. I still apply the lessons I learned from you in my current choir. Thank you.

    Dan Sloanvia Facebook
  • Wonderful ministry!

    Bill Doulosvia Facebook
  • Thanks. For the joyful moments and the prayerful ones as well.

    Erica S. Tamblynvia Facebook
  • Congrats on your many years of dedication and music making!

    Jonathan Ryanvia Facebook
  • Dear James, there comes a time to move on while looking back at all that you have accomplished and the legacy you have built for the future of liturgical music at All Saints. Only you know when the right time has come and it is best to do so at an age when you can still have other professional adventures ahead. Bless you and all you have created and best wishes for the success of your next venture. There is lots of time to celebrate before your last Sunday and I look forward to doing so with you! Hugs!

    Manuel Rosalesvia Facebook
  • What a life you will create! You are an amazing man, James! What a pleasure it has been to be part of your flock.

    Phyllis Chambers-​Emmonsvia Facebook
  • Congrats. It was a good run!

    Tim Diversvia Facebook
  • They were so blessed to have you!

    Shane Morris Wisevia Facebook
  • I have such mixed emotions reading your announcement. Four glorious years that went by in the blink of an eye. All the very best to you; I look forward to following your adventures on Facebook and your website!!

    Deborah Dennisvia Facebook
  • Wow, James! I have only spent a small amount of time at All Saints over the years, but I have always truly enjoyed working for you when I am there. You have built such a wonderful program. I know they will miss you terribly, but I trust that you have many exciting and fulfilling projects on the horizon. xo

    Amy Fogersonvia Facebook
  • So much gratitude and love for you, James Walker. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for 16 years of wonderful music-​making at ASC with you and Coventry Choir, and for so willingly sharing your talents and heart with all of us. I am excited for you and your new journey ahead, but I may need to be sad for a little while longer if it’s all the same to you. You are well-​loved, my friend!

    Sara Campvia Facebook
  • Your ministry at ASC has been a great gift to so many. Having the wisdom to know you are ready to explore a new chapter of life is a great gift to you. Thank you for all the programming ideas you have provided me all these years!

    William Wellsvia Facebook
  • I am happy for you, and can’t imagine how we’ll find another to fill your shoes. Thank you for sharing your talent and efforts with us at ASC.

    Chris Vanderhorstvia Facebook
  • James, I treasure the memories and musical growth I experienced at All Saints. I know you will be missed, but am excited to follow and hear your future endeavors!

    Tom Georgevia Facebook
  • I can’t imagine All Saints without you, James! What a wonderful tenure you have had and what glorious music you have provided for all of us. I wish you the very best in your musical future. You will be missed! Much love.

    Diane Thomasvia Facebook
  • End of an era. All good things must end. Congratulations on a successful and faithful ministry.

    Frank Altonvia Facebook
  • Well done, good and faithful servant!! Congratulations as you transition to new adventures. We’ll be looking forward to learning about your next chapter. And we’ve been grateful for *all* that you’ve brought to our collective worship, James. Your many gifts, both personal and professional, will be missed.

    Monica Hubbardvia Facebook
  • Not many people can sustain a 34 year ministry in one place. Congratulations, James, for a tremendous accomplishment and best wishes for the next pathway on which God leads you!

    Russ Litchfieldvia Facebook
  • I’m super-​excited for you. Thank you for all the years of music-​making and friendship. You cannot be replaced, but it is so good to let your wings expand. I’m proud of you.

    Leslie Inman Sobolvia Facebook
  • Congrats James, I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to see what you do next! It is such a privilege to work with you.

    Serena Eichhornvia email
  • No!!!!! I mean, of COURSE I am so happy for you and excited for your future endeavors but I am so sad that our working together is so brief!! You are truly magnificent and I am so grateful for the time we have had together. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to help you during this transition and I hope you know how lucky we all were to have worked with you. 

    Kelci Hahnvia email
  • I am stunned, of course. You are awesome, James, and we are endlessly grateful for your ministry to the choristers and the church. We will cheer your next chapter with joy and love!!

    Cynthia Nickellvia Facebook
  • I’m so honored to have been a part of Coventry Choir for a short while (only five years!), and deeply grateful for your friendship, and the fact that you made me a better musician.

    Peter Carlsonvia Facebook
  • It has always been so comforting and EXCITING to know it was YOU who orchestrated my tears and joy with your MUSIC!

    Peter Riddallvia Facebook
  • What an incredible gift you have been for ASC! I feel so lucky to know you and have worked (and sung) with you! Many blessings, and I’m so happy for you.

    Leslie Dawevia Facebook
  • Congratulations on amazing years of musical leadership. Inspiring always!!

    Donald Brinegarvia Facebook
  • WOW, WOW, WOW.….I know you will be duly celebrated for a Career Well Done. I can’t wait to see this next chapter unfold. I loved singing with you and starting Canterbury Choir together. So many incredible memories. You were able to take us to musical heights that I think most of us did not know were possible. Some of my most profound memories of my life center around the music we created together. I have the greatest confidence that your next chapter will be marked with as much goodness, love and laughter as the last. It is truly an honor to call you friend.

    Valerie Van Horn Murphyvia Facebook
  • Congratulations on your many years of faithful service!!

    Don Bassevia Facebook
  • WOW! A thoughtful decision, and a difficult one, I am sure, but to hear that you are excited and energized about the next chapter, wherever it takes you and whatever unfolds, is wonderful! You are a treasure, and All Saints will forever be blessed by the love, devotion, music, humor, tenderness, and overall excellence that you have shared. Wishing you so much wonderment as you venture forth!

    Mary Brazellvia Facebook
  • Do you ever say after a long week, “oh boy, I can’t wait to sit for three hours (an hour past bedtime), in rehearsal”? You’d think I would but I don’t. I look forward to it because our Music Director not only creates marvelous music with wondrous texture and interpretation, but also shows us, by action and by example, how we as musicians are ministers to those in the pews and to those who watch the streamed services.

    He helped Stephen and me put together music for our wedding that wasn’t just beautiful and personal, but also spiritually meaningful to us on that special occasion.

    May James be blessed on his life pilgrimage, just as he shared his gifts with us in the pews and in the choir.

    Mel Sorianovia Facebook
  • I’ve had the honor and privilege of singing for James Walker in 24 of those 34 program years. As I’ve said before, no one has made me understand more about the choir’s role as a *ministry* in the church. (And also, I think you would find that my presentation style as an author borrows a bit from the way he leads rehearsals.)

    We’ll miss him at All Saints, but it’s great that his career has reached the point where he can venture into this new realm. I’m happy for him — or I will be after I’ve had some time to process it all…

    Robert Blackvia Facebook
  • It’s with a heavy and grateful heart that today I accepted the resignation of All Saints Church Director of Music James Walker, effective the end of July, 2017. Heavy because for 34 years, James has been more than a music director but a spiritual and pastoral leader in this congregation, and his loss to us will be keenly felt. Grateful because, during his time here, James has shaped All Saints as a creative community and enriched the tapestry of our worship in countless ways, the benefits of which will be felt for generations to come.

    As I mourn (and curse a little!) our own loss, I am excited that James has a chance to pursue new opportunities … and that is a gift we can give him.

    In the coming months, we will have a chance to celebrate James’ incomparable ministry among us. The Transition Life Committee, which has served us so well in our previous transitions, will help lead us through this transition as well. I have already met with the wardens and we are putting together a team to devise and implement an interim plan to keep the music program at All Saints Church thriving while we consider where God is calling us and conduct a national search for leadership for the future.

    There will be time for all of that, and I am excited about the future that James’ incredible work here has made possible. For today, though, I hope you will join me in giving thanks for this incredible minister and friend.

    God bless you and keep you, James Walker. We will be saying farewell, but surely God is not done with you yet!

    Con el amor de Cristo,
    Mike

    Mike Kinmanvia Facebook
  • Brilliant musician, brilliant man. It was a true honor to have sung under his direction with Canterbury Choir. He has built an amazing legacy of love, leadership and glorious music making. All best wishes to you dear James.

    Marshall Nalle Ayersvia Facebook
  • Oh James, you will be missed. Happy you are following your heart. xo

    Anina Minottovia Facebook
  • Although I worked alongside you for a relatively short time of two and a half years, I was always grateful for your amazing talents, your humor, your kindness, and the beautiful music that increased my access to God through music and my listening repertoire of sacred music. I pray that your next spiritual home be a place of rejuvenation, rest, and inspiration for you.

    Janine Schenone‎via Facebook
  • love you, james. my heart is overflowing. gracias por todo. does this mean — dare i hope? — that you’ll finally have time to prepare your one-​man performance of “amahl”??? your fans breathlessly await.

    Ruth Ballengervia Facebook
  • There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    Donna and I have been deeply blessed to have experienced all 34 of your sacred and magnificent years with us at All Saints. You will be sorely missed.

    Thank you for all you have given us and our whole community. May you find peace, joy and fulfillment in the years ahead. God bless you.

    Warry MacElroyvia Facebook
  • For the past 5 1/​2 years, James Walker has been my supervisor. That is such a basic title for all that he is. I knew absolutely nothing about the Episcopal Church and the liturgy before I came to All Saints. James has been a teacher, a dear colleague, a guiding light, and a mentor to me. We share the same obsession with Amahl and the Night Visitors and deeply love The Carpenter’s Christmas album. I will always be grateful that he gave this public school music teacher a chance at spreading her wings in the church world and continuing the great work with the Children’s and Youth Choirs at All Saints. I will enjoy these next months working with him and continue to follow his journey after his time at All Saints. I am grateful to you, James. Thank you for the time and great work we have been able to do together. You are truly a gem and I love you.

    Jenny Tisi
    Jenny Tisivia Facebook

142 Comments

  1. James,
    I fell away from music when I left USC and credit your blend of excellent music and deep spirituality with drawing me back to it. Your commitment to excellence sometimes masks your less observed role as our primary pastor. Thank you for the gifts you’ve shared throughout the years. May your feet take you on a journey, in directions both planned and unforeseen, and may the Light shine forth on your path always.

    Melvin Soriano Wednesday, July 12, 2017
    • I’m so grateful that you were drawn back into the song, Mel! Thanks for writing, and thanks for the amazing journey together. All the best, James

      James Walker Thursday, July 13, 2017
  2. James,
    There are no words to explain how much singing under your direction as meant to me. I Just have to say “thank you.” I will never forget your coming to play for Pam’s memorial service the weekend after yo moved . That was way beyond the call of friendship. As I have said to many people, I knew joining the choir would be a great musical experience but wasn’t expecting it to be such a great spiritual experience in addition. Thanks for all you have meant to All Saints and specially to me!

    Phyllis Boyajian Tuesday, June 27, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Phyllis. This means so much to me. As I said on Sunday, I’ve been part of the most joyous occasions and those moments of deepest anguish, and I am honored by that. It has been a miraculous journey together, and I’m so grateful that we’ve walked that together. All best wishes for the future.

      James Walker Wednesday, June 28, 2017
  3. James,
    You will never know how much you have inspired me and my family. 

    Your music has given us a complete understanding as to how God works through you. Your talent to project to us what our incredible choirs present as a spirit of Faith and Love is a blessing. It’s as if God’s gift to you has given you the ability to transform. 

    Many times your performances have brought tears to my eyes. As I listen, my soul is lifted and I’m carried away spiritually. Caryl says you have brought joy to her ears. Marc says, from the breadth of your repertoire as Organist to the depth of your reach as Choral/​Music Director, you have enlivened our family’s worship experience at All Saints. We simply can’t imagine a 9 am service without a view of you from our favorite pew. 

    Alongside our fellow All Saints community & parishioners, our Faith has grown stronger by bearing witness to your unyielding collaboration with those who stand in the pulpit and those who perform Live from the Chancel.
    In short, we have been moved by YOU and we thank you for your body of work. 

    May you keep the music playing.

    Peace and Blessings, Millie, Marc and Caryl Hamilton

    Millie Hamilton Friday, June 23, 2017
    • Thank you so much for writing, Millie, Marc & Caryl! This is so beautifully expressed, and I hold your words close in my heart. What a privilege to worship together. I wish you all the best in the future, and yes, I fully intend for the music to keep playing. Stay tuned!

      James Walker Sunday, June 25, 2017
  4. From one Canon to the Another:

    I just want to say — officially and for the record — that one of great regrets of my life will have been that I never got to sing in a choir you directed … and one of the great privileges of my life will have been that I got to work with you as a colleague for 15 years!

    Big love and much gratitude … xoxo

    Susan Russell Monday, June 19, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Canon Susan!
      It has been a privilege to work with you all these years, as well, and I’ve learned so much from our collegial work. And never say never, re: singing with me! Who knows what may unfold for us in the coming years. Love, James

      James Walker Monday, June 19, 2017
  5. Dear James, Yesterday, Canterbury Choir’s last Sunday liturgy, was perfect in all its bittersweet glory! We ended the year together with two excellent anthems, and everything else we sang together was very meaningful to me. I will forever hold in my heart the memory of you, *looking up,* your eyes taking in the entire choir while you played the piano accompaniment for ‘Blest Be the Tie That Binds.’ Not a dry eye was to be found amongst the entire choir by that point. So much love ~

    Frances Fitzgerald Monday, June 19, 2017
    • Dear Frances. Thank you for writing. This means so much to me. My last Sunday with Canterbury Choir was deep and beautiful, and I will forever remember it. Looking into each of your eyes during anthems and “Blest Be” brought joy to my heart and hope for the future. Love.Love.Love. James

      James Walker Monday, June 19, 2017
  6. Dear James: I started attending All Saints in the late ‘80s, and one of the musical offerings that sealed the deal for me at ASC was a performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Goosebump time.

    Since then, there have been many more goosebumps during All Saints’ Day, Lessons & Carols, Contemplative Eucharists, and any of the Holy Week and Easter services. The regular Sunday services aren’t too shabby, either!

    It seems inconceivable that you won’t be playing for us but I look forward to listening to you in your new freelance role. 

    Many good wishes for a long and productive retirement from ASC and future performances. 

    With much respect and admiration,

    Judith Fischer

    Judith Fischer Monday, June 12, 2017
    • Thank you so much for writing, Judith. I’m so grateful for all your encouragement over these many years and wish you all the best. James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 13, 2017
  7. Dear James,
    You will be missed. I’ve worked under a lot of directors and I have to say you are one of the best I’ve ever encountered. The way you teach us music has enabled me to really learn music by listening rather than following the black dots. And I have become a better singer because of that. I’ve also appreciated the way you are able to demonstrate what you want and keep us laughing at ourselves, but not discourage us by making us feel bad when we don’t do well.

    You said to us once that everything will go forward, with just one person being replaced. You are not just one person. You have a legacy here that will go on and you are loved and will be missed by many people including me. Yes, a new director can be found. But the vision and direction of the music department will be changed. You are not replaceable in that way. You are unique and wonderful and I am grateful to have been one of the people who has been impacted by your talent for so many years.

    I wish you much luck in all of your new endeavors and hope that we will hear you play and see you conduct in other places in the future. Love, Deb Lewis

    Deborah Lewis Friday, June 9, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Deb. I am moved by your kind words. It has been wonderful having you in Canterbury Choir, and I do hope our paths will cross in the future. For sure, stay tuned on the website. All best wishes. Love, James

      James Walker Saturday, June 10, 2017
  8. Omigosh, James — where to begin? My love of “Classical” music comes to me (at times during my youth it felt like it was IMPOSED) through my mother. I studied piano, violin, guitar and ‘cello (sucked at all of them) at her behest. Little did I know at the time that my preferred instrument was something I didn’t have to lug around with me — my voice! I remember times in rehearsal when I could feel Mother smiling down on me — you may (or may not) have noticed my eyes leaking. I was transported to places I’d never been before or since. Canterbury Choir under your direction was and is an experience I’ll never forget. Thank you so much for your leadership, your mentorship, your outrageous sense of humour and your friendship. I’m so grateful to have spent 29 of those 34 years of yours with you in our community.

    Lynda Obershaw Wednesday, June 7, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Lynda. I didn’t know the mother back-​story! So grateful for being on this immense and wondrous journey with you.

      James Walker Wednesday, June 7, 2017
  9. James Walker…there is so much to say…you were a mentor to me while I was growing up. You encouraged not only my music but also my self-​confidence. You taught me to laugh when life gets tough and put my best foot forward in all situations. I also learned everything I know about basket weaving and dancing with feather boas from you! You were always a consistent sounding board for me and I will forever be thankful for those times! I am so glad I got married when I did because there is literally no way I would have had any other organist play at my wedding. All Saints is losing someone truly special but I know you still have even bigger things ahead to do! Enjoy this next chapter of your life. It is well deserved!
    #neworleans4eva

    Rosie Lasiter Tuesday, June 6, 2017
    • Rosie!!!
      Thanks so much for writing. This means so much to me. Those eight years I spent co-​conducting the Trouveres were fascinating in so many ways … and I cherish the bonds that were forged during that time. I’m proud to be called a mentor in your life, as I’m so proud of your accomplishments — as a professional and as an amazing human being.
      Not only that, but your college years prepared you to be a top-​rate basket weaver — which cannot be said of every college graduate.
      However, let’s not say “New Orleans Forever”. Symptom: Pain in my chest. But many thanks for the boa that your mom and dad hand-​delivered after the concert yesterday! I love your family!
      I was honored to play for your wedding, and am ecstatic in your happiness. And many thanks for your encouraging good wishes on this next chapter. Love, JW

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  10. I am Glad that on my Spiritual journey I had the privilege to walk this spiritual trail with a man named James Walker for 13 of his 34 years.
    I Learned so much from you…thank you.
    if there was one word to describe you it would be brilliance.
    Take care and on to the next Chapter my friend.

    Manny carrillo Tuesday, June 6, 2017
    • Dear Manny,
      This means so much to me. I feel honored to have walked with you these past 13 years. On a practical note, you have truly brought the music of the All Saints choirs to the people through your incredible expertise and highly trained ear, with the “new” sound system. The congregation can now hear us as if they were sitting in the chancel — yet without sounding “miked.” As you know, in my experience (which is pretty wide!), you are THE BEST. You are a wonderful, positive, always-​looking-​for-​solutions colleague. And I have so enjoyed laughing (lots!) with you. I admire you, Manny, and hope our paths will cross in the future. All the best, my friend.

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  11. Post-​Concert: Now this e-​mail is for you James and the choirs. EXCELLENT! Oh my the Beethoven “Hallelujah” could
    raise the dead. A mixture of tears and foot stomping to “Want Baraka”.
    What a privilege to have been in
    attendance.
    You are a kind, generous man James
    greatly loved. Blessings with hugs,
    K

    Kay Ellis Monday, June 5, 2017
    • Thanks so much, Kay. You are a light. Thank you for your encouragement and love. James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  12. Dear, and Wonderful James,
    How to put my joy in our work together over these 15 years into words? How can one truly capture the epiphanies, the hundreds of transcendent moments of what I believe is not heightened reality but TRUE reality, as we live it on earth. You have brought this to me and to all of us who were honored and LUCKY enough to work with you. It’s an understatement to say it has been a privilege, and a joyful diamond in my life, to be in your presence and have your artistry lift up the hearts of us singing and those listening, for so long and so well. I will miss you dreadfully and love you forever. God’s Blessings!

    Susie Glaze Monday, June 5, 2017
    • My dear Susie.
      No way to put into words what we have experienced over these many years — that’s why we have music. I agree that it is True Reality, and when we have the courage to enter into that reality, what joy, beauty and peace we experience in communion with God and with each other. There’s an old saying that my mother taught me, “It takes one to know one.” You are a shining diamond, Susie. Shine, shine, shine. I will miss you, but somehow I believe our musical paths will cross, in the mystery of life! Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  13. Thank you for all your years of service. On to the next chapter, best wishes and stay in touch.…

    Eric Taylor Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks so much, Eric. All the best to you!

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  14. Dear James
    It has been such a joy and pleasure to experience you genius as All Saints music director. The joy I have felt from your contribution has been such a gift. Thank you and God bless you as you go forward on your journey.
    I hope to enjoy your future musical expressions.
    With gratitude and love,
    Roo Morgan
    (The person who spoke to you about Barry )

    Roo Morgan Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Roo,
      Thanks so much for identifying yourself as the “Barry connection!” I’m grateful for your kind words here and for your encouragement as I move forward. I hope to stay connected in the future with other musical opportunities. Stay tuned through the website! Gratitude and love, indeed! James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  15. James I will miss your enthousiasm and the music you offered. I wish you a great future. With love
    Francois

    francois duboucheron Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks so much, Francois. All the best to you. Much love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  16. Hello and Goodbye James. I thank you so much for all these years of wonderful and inspiring organ music and choir performances. You are one of a kind and will never be replaced in our hearts and minds. I look forward to seeing you perform in your new career. Please stay close to Pasadena.

    Patrice Gibson Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks so much for these kind words and for your encouragement as I launch into this next chapter. All the best.

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  17. James:
    Thanks for the years of beautiful music, and for putting up with my husband for all of these years. Best of luck in the next chapter of your life!
    Steve Mulder

    Steve Mulder Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Steve,
      Finally, someone acknowledges the challenges of your husband — and who better than you! Hahahahaha.
      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. All the best, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  18. in my 30 years at All Saints your music has lifted my heart and soul.

    Kitty Hall Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • This means so much to me, Kitty. Thank you!

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  19. Dear Dr. Walker,

    Thank you! From the first time I heard your duo brilliance on organ (4 hands, 4 feet) with Dr. Timothy Howard, I have been inspired.

    Best wishes!

    Jane Ganske Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Jane. I’m so grateful. All the best, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  20. Darling James,
    Unbelievable, start to finish, every square second. I walked in here in 1977, I was looking for a church, and I heard the music and I was a goner. THIS is the place for me!. Thank you dearest one, for so many years of grace and happiness. My soul sings. Love always,
    Ada

    Ada Gates Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Ada,
      Thank you so much for your encouragement and all those laughs over the years. You are a jewel! Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  21. Dearest James,
    When I joined the choir twenty years ago I never dreamed how my life would change! God has touched, molded, inspired, filled (lots more words) me continually. Your leadership has been an invaluable source of this change. I am deeply grateful for you, your example and leadership for these two decades. Oh yeah… your amazing sense of humor during rehearsal… hilarious! Hilarite!
    I hope that your new journeys take you to unimaginable heights and bring you wondrous joy!
    A warm embrace full of love,
    Sharon Wulfensmith

    Sharon Wulfensmith Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Sharon,
      I’m so grateful for our MANY years of making music and worshipping together. Hilariter, indeed! And you taught me many palabras de español, over the years, most notably, “guapo”!! All the best to you. Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  22. I could not have missed this concert today. I am not sure if I will get to tell you in person how much you mean to me not only as our music director but as a staff member and colleague. Your kindness and sense of humor are inspiring and I simply can’t be sad while we celebrate you I am excited for you and can’t wait to see you again working on new projects. Much love to you and yours always.

    Ada Ramirez Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Oh, Ada. This note means so much to me. You are such a gracious and loving colleague on the All Saints staff, and I am so grateful for having worked together with you. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement as I enter this new chapter. I hope our paths will cross. Much love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  23. James,

    I really can’t think of words to express our time together. One thing for sure — church and worship became a whole new world for me. I’ve grown musically and spiritually in so many ways. Thank you a million times. I will think of you so often as we both move on to our new adventures. Love Always, Karen

    Karen Rice Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Karen,
      Lord! We’ve been on a journey together … not only in Coventry Choir, but as ASC staff colleagues. (I just giggled thinking about the Friday afternoons upstairs!) I will think of you often, as well, and I hope our paths will cross. Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  24. What a wonderful, inspiring, unforgetable 34 years! Thanks for nearly half a lifetime of memories & spirit-​filled experiences.

    Tom Schultz Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks, Tom. You were there from my rehearsal #1 in 1983. Thanks for all the wondrous music and also for taking such excellent care of the ASC pianos over these years. All the best, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  25. You have brought such singing to our hearts. We will be eternally grateful for the joy and love you have left with us. We wish you the best of all your dreams.

    john and maryann ahart Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thank you so much for these kind words, John and MaryAnn. I’m so grateful for your encouragement over the years. All the best to you. Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  26. Dearest James, I am so grateful for you and our collaborative work and spirit. You have been so helpful to me and my growth as a church musician, as a colleague, and as a human being. I am going to miss the noises that come out of your office..from the crazy outbursts of various songs to “Don’t cry, mother dear.……”, to odd laughter, and other things that have made me laugh since my very first day in the office. You are always in my heart and I will never forget my time working with you. Be well. And remember to come back from time to time…because we really do love you so much. Much love and admiration, Jenny

    Jenny Tisi Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Jenny,
      I’m so grateful for our six years of work together. You have so creatively and joyfully built on the strong foundation of the children’s/youth choir program at All Saints, and it has blossomed through your leadership. I know it will continue to do so. And music staff has been so fun and playful during these years. Continue to laugh, often and deeply. It is healing, and while our work is very serious, it is important to not take ourselves too seriously. Okay, enough “old fart” advice. Continue to thrive. Love,
      James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  27. Hi James
    What a wonderful concert tonight.…and I also totally resonate with what you said. We send those two words — gratitude and love — back towards you times a million. Thank you so much for all your hard work and creativity over the years . We love you!

    -

    Shannon Wiggins Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Hi, Shannon. Thanks so much for writing. Yes, gratitude and love pretty much holds it all. I’m deeply grateful for your love and encouragement. Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  28. Hi James~

    Thanks so much for 34 wonderful years… your music leadership has been an amazing gift to All Saints!

    Tom Wiggins Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks, Tom. I’m so grateful for your encouragement over these many years!

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  29. Dear James,
    Thank you, Thank YOU for all the gifts you have shared with All Saints and for our very first Rejoice in the Land. It was our first chance to hear it. God bless you in your new endeavors.
    Sincerely,
    Joe and Mikel Witte

    Joe and Mikel Witte Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Joe and Mikel, Thanks so much for writing and for these kind words. I’m glad you had your first Rejoice in the Lamb, Britten experience. It’s such a gem. All best wishes.

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  30. Dear James,

    This is not my final word — the concert was fabulous!

    With love, Gerti

    Gerti Reagan Garner Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thanks, Gerti! We’ve been walking down this road together for a long, long time! Grateful. Love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  31. Thank you for all the wonderful music you have brought to All Saints. And a special thank you for the inspiration and guidance you have provided the young men of Vox Cambiata.

    Margo Malakoff Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Thank you, Margo. My work with the Trouveres baritones and Vox Cambiata over the years has been a source of great joy and amazing growth. All the best to you.

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  32. James, I thank you.
    Thank you for the gift of presence
    (Which is not the same thing as just being there physically)
    For the gift of community
    (Which is not the same thing as people just being together)
    For the gift of music
    (Which is not the same thing as people singing notes)
    For the gift of you
    (Which is not the same thing as anything)

    Peter Carlson Sunday, June 4, 2017
    • Dear Peter, the poet and scholar and spiritual leader …
      This is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read. Thank you! I’m grateful we have travelled this road together, and I wish you all the best as the future unfolds. Much love, James

      James Walker Tuesday, June 6, 2017
  33. Oh James I already miss you! Your
    talent has reached into me so
    profoundly with tears and foot–
    stomping. You have broadened my
    perspective — ex. when you had early
    rehearsals to sing the National Anthem of S. Africa when Mandela
    died. Include us in periodic visits
    PLEASE …You are so gracious & loving. Bless you dear James.

    Kay Ellis Saturday, June 3, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, my dear Kay! You have been such a bright light of joy and encouragement in my ministry. All the best to you. Love, James

      James Walker Sunday, June 4, 2017
  34. Every now and again someone comes into your life and they leave a footprint on your soul; you dear James Walker are that for me. It all started so many years ago. The five Founding members of Canterbury coming together to start a new ASC Choir, the unexpected turmoil in leadership which then led to you becoming Director~~ a great outcome to a difficult situation. You were able to take us to musical heights that I think most of us did not know were possible. Some of my most profound memories of my life center around the music we created together. All of this has led to some deep, lifelong friendships with endearing stories that we dare not repeat in such a public forum. I have the greatest confidence that your next chapter will be marked with as much goodness, love and laughter as the last. It is truly an honor to call you friend. Valerie Van Horn Murphy

    Valerie Van Horn Murphy Friday, June 2, 2017
    • Thank you for this wonderful words of encouragement, filled with many rich memories. Lord! It has been an amazing journey, and the love lasts forever. I know our paths will continue to cross. Love, James

      James Walker Sunday, June 4, 2017
  35. James, immense thanks both as a chorister and a listener from the pews. I’m sad that I couldn’t devote more than a decade to Coventry because of the travel demands of my job getting in the way, but I so appreciate both the intensity, diversity and the professional level of the Coventry and Canterbury Choir musical offerings. Good luck in your future endeavors!

    Glenn Orton Friday, June 2, 2017
    • Thanks so much, Glenn. I’m glad we had the time making music together in Coventry Choir, and I’m grateful for your encouragement from the pews! All best wishes. James

      James Walker Sunday, June 4, 2017
  36. James,
    Thank you for the music! I am a fairly new member at ASC and the music is one of the primary reasons I kept coming back and joined the church. I appreciate the diversity in the selections and the way you fill the space with such beauty. Best wishes and I hope to meet you before you leave to say hello in person. With thanks, Jim Palmer

    Jim Palmer Wednesday, May 31, 2017
    • Dear Jim,
      Thank you so much for writing this lovely note and good wishes. Yes! Please come up and introduce yourself sometime this month. It would be great to meet you. All best wishes, James

      James Walker Wednesday, May 31, 2017
  37. Canterbury Choir rehearsals always inspire joy in me. From time to time, I am profoundly moved and gladdened, thanks to the energy made by our collective efforts. This intense experience comes unbidden, and often when it is most needed. At those times, words don’t really work to describe it; however, in my heart will live a memory I know will serve as a touchstone, truly, that I can hearken back to in times of trial and tribulation. What an amazing gift you have given me and all of us, in ever-​expanding circles out into the church and the world! I thank you from the furthest inside of my heart.

    Frances Fitzgerald Friday, May 26, 2017
    • Thank you so much for writing this lovely and moving note, Frances. I’m so grateful for our music-​making together over these years and for your leadership.

      James Walker Friday, May 26, 2017
  38. Dear James,

    One of the most soulful parts of the liturgy for me is the music — it is what feeds me. I love listening to the choir and always look forward to the organ voluntary. I have had the privilege of being at All Saints church almost as long as you have both on staff and as a parishioner. You do such a remarkable job and grace us week after week with your amazing music. Thank you and I will miss you. Lots of love, Lorna

    Lorna Miller Monday, May 15, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Lorna. I have the greatest respect for all your work in the community over so many years, and it was a privilege to serve on the All Saints staff with you. And I knew about you before I came to All Saints, when I took one of Don Miller’s religion courses at USC, c. 1977, as he talked about certain sociological aspects of religion. (If my math is correct, that was 40 years ago. Lord!). I’m so grateful for all your encouragement over these many years, Lorna, and I hope our paths do cross from time to time. Love, James

      James Walker Monday, May 15, 2017
  39. Dear James,
    When you were hired as the organist at All Saints all those years ago, I was singing in the (only) adult choir then, Coventry. You were a quiet young man with a big smile and wonderful musical ability. After I left for another job, you took over as the director. I visited as often as my schedule would allow to hear the best church music in Southern California. Since I’ve retired from church singing we’ve been back full time to enjoy all the choirs and the magnificent musical program that has flourished under your direction. We will miss you as you move on to another chapter in your life, but the legacy you are leaving will last, and the music will always remind me of what you have done for so many, and for the Church itself. Thank you for being my friend, and every good wish for the future.
    With much love, Diane

    Diane Thomas Thursday, May 11, 2017
    • Dear Diane,
      Thank you so much for this wonderful remembrance and for all your encouragement over the years. So many lovely memories from those early years, including the 1986 Carmel Bach Festival, when I was called in at the last minute to cover all the playing. What a time! And we performed that amazing concert of music for organ/​piano and soprano at Occidental, including those wonderfully wacky 12-​tone “Three Poems of John Keats” that I wrote for you. Wow. It has been terrific to have you and Ray return to the pews these past few years. Such a touchstone in my life. All best wishes to you in the future. Love, James

      James Walker Thursday, May 11, 2017
      • We have done some fun stuff together, haven’t we, James? I’m so lucky to have known you!
        Much love,
        Diane

        Diane Thomas Saturday, May 13, 2017
  40. I KNOW this is going to be a huge transition for you, and I am so glad you are letting this big door open!
    The memories are too many to mention here. Our history goes WAAAAYY back — to that red camero in the old south parking lot.
    My gratitude for you and for All Saints is limitless. I know I wouldn’t have the foundation for who I am today if not for your leadership and the love of ASC.
    Thank you for all you’ve brought to my life.
    I am so happy I can be there to sing and celebrate with you on June 25!
    Shanti Salaam Shalom and so much LOVE!!
    Leslie Inman Sobol

    Leslie Inman Sobol Thursday, May 11, 2017
    • Oh, Leslie! Too many memories, indeed … inducing LOTS of belly laughs and a few tears. We’ve done a lot of living together, over these many years, and my heart is full of gratitude for all of that journeying together.
      Thank you so much for your good wishes and encouragement. I’m so excited about this unfolding next chapter, and I’m confident that our musical paths will cross. Joy.
      It is so meaningful that you will sing with Coventry Choir on June 25. Glory.
      Love, Love, Love! James

      James Walker Thursday, May 11, 2017
  41. Dear James,
    The spiritual energy that flows when we sing well has brought me to tears, goosebumps, and an actual high on more than one occasion. That only happens when we “get past the notes”, become community, and share the very air we breath together as a unified instrument of music. I’m a big believer in the Chinese concept of qi energy flow, as well as Buddhist insights into meditation, and how that nourishes your brain and soul. I think choral singing provides an experience that merges those two concepts and allows for transcendence. It is one of the most powerful ways I have experienced God. In order to really get that flow of positive energy, though, the atmosphere needs to be one of congeniality, along with the adrenaline of high expectations, without the pressure of stress. That is often a hard combo to attain. I am so fortunate to have had the chance to sing with you, as you foster precisely the practices that transform the performance of music into a spiritual experience. Your experience and wisdom allow you to know just how much we need to rehearse and when to let it go to be what it is. You push us to be our best, but you do not push us past the point of the enjoyment of making music. That takes tremendous talent, insight, and faith (in yourself and in us). Many choral directors who hold their singers to the same standard you do also have the tendency to over-​rehearse or bring negative, frustrated energy to the experience, thus losing the magic. For me, it’s all about the magic that results from a positive energy flow. That is when I feel the presence of the divine.

    As someone who has spent much of her career in cross-​cultural education, I also love the variety of musical genres we sing: it is just fabulous that we sing plenty of international music as well as some traditional classics.

    I wish you the very best as you begin to share your gift with others, outside of ASC,

    with much love, respect, and thankfulness,

    Ann Lee

    Ann Lee Grimstad Sunday, May 7, 2017
    • Dear Ann Lee.
      Wow! What you have written here is so deeply moving. That unity of spirit is what I have strived for, all these years, and you have described it in fresh and eloquent ways. I’m so grateful that you have become such an rooted member in the Canterbury Choir community, and I wish you all the best, as the future unfolds.
      Much love,
      James

      James Walker Monday, May 8, 2017
  42. James — We have worked together for over 25 years. Every Christmas and Easter — playing the MOST interesting timpani and percussion parts — many of which you wrote…The music has always been one part. The spiritual and emotional connection with you and the Choirs have always been the very personal part of our time together…Sending much love going forward.….

    Judy Chilnick Friday, May 5, 2017
    • Judy! What amazing music we have made together over these many years. I’m so grateful for our work together and for the community we created with the instrumentalists and singers. I look forward to more music making with you in the future. Much love to you.

      James Walker Friday, May 5, 2017
  43. James,
    I am grieved over my personal loss at not being able to enjoy your ministry at All Saints. 

    On the other hand, I am very happy for the continuing evolution of your great life this change represents. 

    Thank you for many years of music to my ears and to my heart.

    john newton hickox Sunday, April 30, 2017
    • Thanks so much for kind affirmations and good wishes, John.

      James Walker Sunday, April 30, 2017
  44. Your music has played such a role in my spiritual awakening at All Saints.
    Thank you for your gift. Bless you in your future endeavors.

    Dorothy Keane Saturday, April 29, 2017
    • Thank you so much for your kind words and blessing, Dorothy.

      James Walker Sunday, April 30, 2017
  45. It has been an honor and privilege to work with you at All Saint’s Episcopal Church. You brought an uncanny ear to the musical life of the church and helped all of us make music at the highest level.

    Loren Marsteller Friday, April 21, 2017
    • Thanks so much, Loren. You’ve been there every Easter with the brass ensemble and for many other festivals at All Saints, helping make those occasions exciting and vibrant celebrations, and I’m so grateful for our work together all these years. I’m confident our musical paths will cross in the future.

      James Walker Friday, April 21, 2017
  46. James, I remember when you started at Westwood Presbyterian Church. Then, a few months after you moved to All Saints, we also started attending All Saints. You have been part of my church experience for almost my entire adult life and I will miss you. Even so, I am excited for you to embark on the next phase of your career and wish you all the best!

    John Garner Friday, April 7, 2017
    • Thanks for your good wishes and kind words, John. We done a lot of living together; what an amazing journey!

      James Walker Friday, April 7, 2017
  47. My wife and I began attending All Saints Church back in 1996, after several months of “church shopping.” One of the things that drew us in was the music–beautiful, soaring and moving. And it has kept us coming back all these years. James, thank you for sharing your artistry with all of us. Blessings to you as your journey continues.

    Wendell Foster Monday, March 6, 2017
    • Thank you so much, Wendell. It has been a magnificent journey together, and I’m so grateful for your encouragement over these many years. All the best.

      James Walker Monday, March 6, 2017
  48. Dear Jim,
    I had the honor of singing with you, albeit very briefly, with the Bach Festival Choir, and am so grateful to have had that very special experience…thank you.
    Thank you, too, for all of your years of service and dedication to the music ministry at All Saints.
    I look forward to seeing your artistry unfold in its new expression! Blessings and gratitude to you,
    Judy Stevens

    Judith Stevens Tuesday, February 21, 2017
    • Thank you so much for writing, Judy. I’m so grateful we had the opportunity to make the 2014 LA Bach Festival so spectacular. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words, as I enter my next chapter. All the best!

      James Walker Tuesday, February 21, 2017
  49. Jim,

    I am so impressed by your years of work at All Saints. What a courageous decision to step into a new phase of artistry that I hope you will find greatly rewarding. My best wishes for your new adventures.

    Peter Fennema

    Peter Fennema Thursday, February 16, 2017
    • Thank you so much for writing, Peter. This means so much to me, and I appreciate your good wishes and encouragement! All the best to you.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  50. Dear James, I am excited for you and your new adventure, and quite sad you will be leaving us. You have brought so much to my life, via the choir and personally. Being/​having been part of Coventry under your direction and leadership has been so enriching. The soul, spirit and openness, and the richness of all the music you have brought to and shared with us, are immeasurable and treasured. I think back to the Coventry retreats at St. Matthews Church in Pacific Palisades. Oh my.… so long ago, and yesterday.

    All the best to you and Douglas in this next phase of your life.
    And perhaps you and Douglas might have the time for a summer sail!?

    with much love and appreciation, and a hope that we won’t lose touch,

    Melinda Howell

    Melinda Howell Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    • My goodness, Melinda. I remember your Coventry Choir audition, when my predecessor was on sabbatical in 1988. What a journey we have had together … a lifetime, really. Thank you for your dedication to our ministry over these many years. I’m so grateful.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  51. Dear James, We feel so attached to you and will miss you very much. The spirit, perfection, diversity, and spirituality of your music and your presence have become a part of our All Saints experience which we cherish. Hope we can stay in touch.
    Best wishes! Lynne and John Tuite

    John and Lynne Tuite Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    • Dear Lynne and John. Thank you so much for this lovely note and for your wonderful words of encouragement over the years. Grateful. All the best to you both.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  52. From the time we worked with you in that first Presbyterian church, we have admired your talent, your growth, your depth, your wisdom. Godspeed as you continue down your path of always-​seeking!

    Virginia and Thomas Somerville

    Virginia Somerville Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    • Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes, Virginia and Thomas. Tom hired me as organist at Westwood Presbyterian, when I was 17 years old. He is one of my greatest mentors and both of you have been inspiring colleagues over these many years. I wish you all the best, with the deepest gratitude.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  53. Dear James- It is difficult to find the right words to say thank you for all you’ve given to all of us at ASC over these many years. You have been with us at our marriages, at the baptisms of our kids and grandkids, as we’ve said goodbye to those we love who have passed on, and at so many other times in our lives as individuals and as a community. Each time you brought all of your many gifts to help create a sacred, special celebration. 

    You are such a talented musician, a patient, humorous, and gifted teacher, a creative builder of community, a profound pastoral presence, and a deeply loving soul. I have marveled as I have watched you take Canterbury Choir through challenging pieces- first a very thorough, carefully considered and prepared teaching of notes, rhythm, etc…, and then we begin to make music as you start detailing the next level of dynamics and tempo. A few weeks later we’re soaring with you and making music that is at the highest level of musicianship and engaging our souls with every phrase as we follow your soul into beautiful music.. The work isn’t easy, but it’s always so meaningful, as well as energizing and fun, because you make it so. It has been such a gift to make music with you and I will deeply miss you. You have been such a blessing in my life and in the lives of so many others. We love you deeply and you know will always be with us- good teachers/​mentors and certainly great musicians never quite leave as they’ve worked their way into your soul. We send you off with much love and with all of our best for this next phase of your life.

    Beth Houskamp Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    • Beth, thank you so much for this moving reflection. We all have created something wondrous, in community, over these many years. I so appreciate all the encouragement you have given me over the years, and I take all of you with me, deep in my heart, as I move into this exciting new chapter. Love Love Love.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  54. Dear Jim,

    What a legacy you have created at All Saints, Pasadena. As your colleague in the profession, I have observed your fine work from afar for all these years, amazed at the variety and quality of music you have employed to call God’s people to prayer. Please accept my thanks and admiration.

    Blessings,
    William Bradley Roberts
    Professor of Church Music
    Virginia Theological Seminary
    Alexandria

    William Bradley Roberts Wednesday, February 15, 2017
    • Dear Bill,
      Thank you so much. This means so much coming from you. You have been an inspiring colleague all these years, and I wish you all the best.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  55. Dear James, Wow. Wow. Wow. Your amazing fortitude, your unfaltering character, your passionate artistry are embedded in my heart forever. ‘Thank you’ is too small a phrase for so great a gift that you’ve given to All Saints and to Edward and me. But, I must employ it, so I will do so again and again. Thank YOU, James. We look forward to witnessing blessings abundant for you in the next chapter of your life.

    Sharon Bailey-Beckett Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Wow, indeed! Thanks for these wonderful words of affirmation, Sharon. We’ve been on a magnificent journey together, and I, too, look forward to seeing what unfolds in this next chapter. All the best to you and Edward, as ever.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  56. As another cradle to grave musician I can honestly say that your dedication and skill and always visible love for music and the people you work with has been nothing but inspiring. You have been here as both a director and pastor to an awful lot of us and there really are no words that express the appreciation felt for thiw. I wish you nothing but the best in your future. Know that you will always be loved.

    Mike Weed Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Thank you so much, Mike, for these meaningful words of appreciation and good wishes as I enter this new chapter. You and Karen have been such dedicated members of our ministry, and I am so grateful for that. All the best to both of you, as you enter a new chapter, as well.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  57. Aw James, You have been my master teacher and conducting inspiration since I first came to ASC in 1990. Serendipitously, you placed me in Canterbury Choir and took me on as an organ student. Through your teaching and with your confidence, I gave 8 solo recitals. I am forever grateful for these lovely years with you and my Choir Family.

    Pat Kelly Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • 8 recitals! Pat, what a pleasure this journey has been, in choir and on the organ bench. I’m grateful for all our music-​making and wish you all the best for the future.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  58. James, what you create in liturgy with the choirs and congregation each week at All Saints is for me the gold standard of church music. I am deeply grateful for your gifts, your generosity and your good humor.

    Wendy Claire Barrie Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Wendy! Thank you so much for these kind words. It was an honor to work together at All Saints, and I so appreciate your gifts. All the best to you.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  59. I am sad that James will be leaving All Saints, but thankful that for the last five years I was the beneficiary of his leadership, musicianship, good humor, and love. I am not only a better musician for you, I am a better person.

    Sharon Goldstein Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • I’m so glad we’ve had these five years together, Sharon. Grateful.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  60. Wow! 34 years! Thanks for the excellence you have brought to All Saints music, an excellence that reverberates all through California and the West Coast. Godspeed in this new chapter in your life.

    Walter Saul Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Walter, thank you so much for this wonderful affirmation and for your good wishes. All the best.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  61. Hello James … You’ve ministered so profoundly to so many in ways you will never know … and made our lives and the life of All Saints all the richer. And you made me a better composer! Thank you for the Walker Premiers of my own work!

    Jon Bailey Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Hi, Jon. Thanks for the affirmations and wonderful memories. I shall never forget the process and premiere of “Epiphanies” as well as several other collaborations over these many years … plus the early years of GALAS. What a journey, my friend. All the best to you.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  62. I’m gonna cry me a river” AND I hope that the next chapter is all that you desire and more. (Maybe now you can teach me to sing and speak Spanish! Sound like fun?)

    Maggie Cunningham Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Maggie, my dear! Thank you so much for writing and for being such a wonderful colleague these many years. It is so great to have you back in Pasadena. I appreciate your kind words and good wishes for my next chapter … not so sure about teaching Spanish?! xoxo

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  63. James — I was so grateful to get to know you better during my tenure on Vestry. As a musician, I have appreciated the excellence, creativity and variety of worship each Sunday. As a parishioner, I have appreciated the warmth and playful reverence of worship under your leadership. You will be missed, but I wish you well in your coming adventures.

    Kate Gasparrelli Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Kate! Thank you so much for writing. “Warmth and playful reverence.” What a great phrase to describe worship. Thanks for that! It was a joy to get to know you during your tenure on vestry, as well. All the best to you.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  64. James, I have known you since I was in the high school choir at All Saints. As a conductor and choir director, your musicianship, professionalism, organization, and commitment to quality and expression set the standard that I pray I will encounter in any measure from others. You have always regarded the soloist/​section leaders as collaborative colleagues. You gift us with your spirituality and friendship, and you are a joy to work with as an accompanist. Thank you for your 34 years at All Saints.

    Elizabeth Tatum Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Oh, Elizabeth. 34 years. Lord. What a journey we’ve had together, and you’ve been such a strong and dedicated colleague. We’ve all created something wondrous and life-​giving over these many years, and I know you and I will be working together in the future. I’m counting on being your #1 collaborative pianist/​organist! Joy and Love!

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  65. I have always considered you to be my Priest. You have nurtured me through your inspiration, energy, caring and humor, both spiritually and musically. My life is forever changed for the better for having been a member of Canterbury choir for the past 19 years. I will miss you terribly, but wish you the deepest blessings for this new chapter in your life.

    Sharon Wulfensmith Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Thank you so much for your lovely words of affirmation and good wishes as I embark on this new chapter. Thank you for being such a dedicated member of our ministry together.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  66. James,
    For twenty-​eight years, first as organist/​accompanist then as organist/​choirmaster you have led me on a journey of musical and spiritual discovery. Thank you for opening yourself to us in so many ways.
    The coming months will be a new journey, beginning to separate, grieving your leaving and rejoicing that you are continuing your creative journey.
    Thank you so much for sharing your music and faith

    Joe Kelly Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Thanks so much for this wonderful words of affirmation, Joe. 28 years. Holy Toledo! We’ve all created something beautiful together, over these many years, and I’m grateful for your dedication to this powerful ministry. All the best.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  67. I always talk about All Saints as the church where I was exposed to and converted through global music, and I credit your commitment to developing not only choral skills but cultivating a congregational openness to the new and transformational. Your work is inspiring to me and changed my life in ways I’m sure you can’t imagine. Thank you, James!

    Jennifer C Snow Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Thanks so much for writing, Jennifer. Your kind words mean so much to me. Wow. All the best.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  68. James, you will so missed! I have been playing in your orchestra for 20 years and have always enjoyed working with you. You bring the highest level of dedication and love to your art.

    Who will get my jokes now?

    Godspeed to you my friend,

    Norman

    Norman Ludwin Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Norman! Thanks so much for writing. You’ve been the foundation of all we do with orchestra all these years, and I’m so grateful. I hope in my new chapter our paths will cross and that we’ll continue to make music together. All the best.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  69. Many of my greatest and most self-​satisfying musical moments occurred under the conduction of james Walker and I am eternally grateful for having had them. You were responsible for broadening my appreciation of many different types of music, as well as improving my ability to a point where I achieved something I never thought I would — auditioning for a symphonic choir in Australia. I thank you for sharing your wonderful talent from the bottom of my heart. May you have nothing but the best in this next phase of your life.

    Cathy Hudnall Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Thank you so much for these wonderful words of affirmation, Cathy. We all created something wonderful over these many years, and you were there at the start of Canterbury Choir! All the best, as ever.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017
  70. James, your beautiful work at All Saints’ has been inspirational to so many people in the choir, in the pews and on the outside. Thank you for such a wonderful example of what it means to be an outstanding church musician. You have been a stellar role model for me, and for that I am most grateful.

    Frances (Frankie) Nobert Tuesday, February 14, 2017
    • Frankie, this means so much to me. Thank you for being such a wonderful colleague and collaborator. I’ll always remember your playing Christmas Eve, 2011 at ASC, during one of our Associate Organist search processes. Grateful.

      James Walker Thursday, February 16, 2017

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