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Associate for Music

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Hello! My name is Walter Aldrich, and I’m the Associate for Music here at St. Simon’s Episcopal Church.

I’m originally from Sacramento, California, where I grew up in a large and musical family. Our parents immediately started each of their 5 children in music lessons and singing, and some of my fondest memories are making music together as a family. We would regularly play and sing for church services, and as a result sacred music has been a central part of my life from the very beginning. 

Piano was my first instrument, and I originally set out to be a classical pianist. Along the way I was fortunate to gain experience as a collaborative pianist (working with soloists, orchestras, and choirs), 

which eventually led to an interest in conducting and in singing. While in Sacramento, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music and worked for 10 years as a conductor and accompanist with several area colleges, churches, and musical organizations. I also had the opportunity to study as an apprentice artist with the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals, which I count among my most meaningful experiences. 

I moved to the Chicago area in 2018 when I was offered the opportunity to pursue a Master’s Degree in Music at Northwestern University in Evanston. Once I was here, I was eager to resume my work as a church musician, and was thrilled to find my way to St. Simon’s.

I strongly believe that music is a universal language, and that all of us are pre-equipped to understand it and to participate in it. Everyone is born with the same vocal muscle in their throat, and the same neurological synapses to hear and respond to music. Music has been proven to have significant medical uses and health benefits, through listening and especially through practice and participation. And finally, music is an essential part of worship, and has the power to reach, move, and guide us through our worship and allow us to find deeper significance in our spiritual practice.

My primary goal is to act as a facilitator for the music ministry of our congregation – to help make our music ministry accessible and approachable to everyone. Regardless of musical experience, skill, or background, all should feel welcome and invited to participate. Reflecting our church experience, we come to the music ministry, just as we are, to learn and to grow together.

 

If you have any interest in participating in the Music Ministry of St. Simon’s, please feel free to come chat with me or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!

Walter Aldrich