Nigel Walsh

Church musician and composer

About me

Originally from West Yorkshire, I attended Bradford Grammar School and went on to read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, where I sang in my college chapel choir and was a violinist in the University Musical Society orchestra. I am married to Imogen, whom I first met in Cambridge; we live in Exeter and have three grown-up children and five grandchildren.

Most of my working life has been in hospital management and planning, and for many years I was Director of Planning at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Active all along as a church musician, in the late 1980s I co-founded Adoramus, a project that ran for more than two decades in the Diocese of Exeter promoting a contemplative style of music in worship, using particularly the music of the Taizé Community.

I have served as Director of Music St David’s Church Exeter since 2012 and much of my church music has been written for the choir and instrumental players there. I have also been involved with the Parish of Central Exeter since 1980, as well as visiting many other churches with Adoramus.

I have been privileged to have had a number of my choral pieces performed by the Exeter Chamber Choir, including my 2018 Requiem and, most recently, this playful Christmas carol Song of the Star. I am particularly indebted to the choir’s musical director Andrew Daldorph for his professional guidance, encouragement and friendship over more than a decade.

I have enjoyed a long collaboration and friendship with the Exeter-based poet Richard Skinner, who has provided the texts for many of my compositions. Our first joint venture was Bethlehem! – a Christmas musical for schools and communities, which we wrote in 2009. Other projects, including the collections In the Stillness, and Bread is broken followed soon after.