Towne Salute: Grant Walker of All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis
Dec 15, 2017 10:00AM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Photo by Kelly Golatt
Although he plays a substantial role in perpetuating the All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis (ACCA), Grant Walker would certainly be the last to boast about it. He would, however, be the first to recognize all the great work the organization does.
Walker is originally from San Diego, spending his childhood summers there and school years in Frederick County, Maryland. He now serves as a career firefighter paramedic with Prince George’s County’s Fire and EMS Department and resides in Annapolis. Walker began volunteering with the ACCA about five years ago, stepping forward to fill in many different positions.
“When I started getting involved in the organization, I said, ‘This is a really great organization that’s doing a lot of really great things. I’d like to be more involved,’” he explains. “So I just started working myself into it.”
Walker graduated from the University of Maryland where he met his wife, Lauren, who is the Managing Artistic Director for the ACCA. He had an initial interest in majoring in music, and while he had a career change, he wanted to remain involved with it. Walker helps out in several ways, including managing their social media presence, community and business outreach, and background work, including helping with audio and video. He is also the Vice President of the Operating Board. In addition to everything he assists with, Walker filmed a documentary of ACCA for its 15th anniversary.
“My wife got hired as a part-time musician for them [ACCA],” Walker explains. “I started seeing certain needs that they weren’t able to handle on their own because of time versus ability. I started giving a little bit of my time partly because I could spend more time with my wife, and it was something that I believed in considerably. I think that music and the arts are extremely important to the survivability of our society because it’s different.”
The ACCA was founded in 2001 by Liz Barrett, who was dedicated in creating a diverse chorus of different backgrounds, races, religions, and genders, according to Walker. It’s a non-profit organization devoted to music education for ages five to 18. The chorus group is comprised of three different vocal groups: training chorus, treble chorus, and chamber singers. ACCA performs at various events, from around the community to around the world.
“One of the big things that my wife and I are committed to, as well as the president of the board, is moving into a community-driven model where it’s not just about our kids singing and performing in concerts; it’s also about being involved in community initiatives so our kids are not just learning that they have a gift and a talent that they’re honing, but they’re giving it back to their community that supports them,” Walker says.
If it’s one thing that Walker admires about the ACCA, it’s the kids’ commitment.
“We’re talking about college-level music that these kids perform from time to time—the same level as a college choir,” Walker explains. “That is incredible for a group of young musicians that I think a lot of the time people would probably sell short on their ability to accomplish those things. The artistic directors expect nothing but excellence while trying to make it a fun environment, and these kids rise to the occasion every single time. They’re professional musicians and it’s just an amazing thing to watch. These kids have a dedication that is enviable.”
For more information on the All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis, visit Allcca.com