Frederick “Rick” Grimes

Frederick “Rick” Grimes

Frederick (Rick) Grimes served as Choirmaster and Organist at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth from April, 1994 to September, 2018.

Rick Grimes

Grimes has served as Dean of the New York City, Central Texas, and Fort Worth Chapters of the American Guild of Organists, as director of the AGO national committee on Professionals in Sacred Music, and as a member of the committee on the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.

He is a graduate of Baylor University where he was an organ student of Dr. Robert Markham, and he has served on the organ faculty there and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. In Waco he served as organist and choirmaster at Austin Avenue Methodist Church, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, and Temple Rodef Shalom.

Grimes also studied organ with Everett Jay Hilty at the University of Colorado and with Paul Lindsley Thomas of Dallas. Advanced organ study was with Dr. Michael Schneider at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, Germany, where he also studied harpsichord and Baroque ornamentation with Professor Sylvia Kind and organ building at the Berlin factory of Karl Schuke. In Paris, France, organ study was with Jean Langlais. In New York, Grimes studied conducting with Ainslee Cox and Leopold Stokowski.

Grimes had moved to New York City in 1967 to be Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church. He then served as Director of Music and Organist at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City from 1970-1992. At Holy Trinity he produced and directed the famous Bach Vespers program in which the church cantatas, organ music, and chamber works of Bach were presented weekly to capacity crowds at Vespers by a professional choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra.

In August of 1992, Grimes returned to his native Texas. Before his appointment to All Saints’, he served as Choirmaster and Organist at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Cedar Hill, taught a course in sacred music for the Anglican School of Theology in Dallas, and served as a member of the Music and Liturgy Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. Starting at All Saints’ on the Sunday after Easter in 1994, Grimes served for 24 1/2 years as organist and choirmaster at All Saints’, where he involved the choir in the annual Christmas Concert, led a children’s choir for many years, supervised the design and construction of a new, five-manual organ, and helped countless choir members and parishioners to better appreciate the beauty of the instrument and their musical heritage.

Grimes’ musical and teaching skills were shared widely. As an organ recitalist, conductor, and workshop leader, Grimes has been the featured organist of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and has played recitals at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., the Cadet Chapel in West Point, and in several New York City churches: Riverside Church, Trinity Church Wall Street, Saint Thomas Church and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. He has led choral activities for both Lutheran and Presbyterian summer music conferences and at a national conference of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and he has conducted the choir of First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Second Symphony with full orchestra. In 1992 he was chosen by Westminster Choir College to be one of the faculty members for their first summer organ week in New York City.

Having first become interested in the mechanics of the organ and studied organ building, Grimes has also consulted on the design of several organs: First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich, Connecticut, Faith Lutheran in Syosset on Long Island, First Presbyterian Church in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Holy Trinity Lutheran in New York City, the Episcopal Church of St. Michael and St. George in St. Louis, Missouri, the Community Church in Smokerise, New Jersey, and All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, in addition to the first organ he encountered – at First Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, Texas, a short 30 seconds from his home, where he began his organ career at the age of 12 and now plans to continue playing and directing during his retirement.

Adapted with permission from All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth

Laura Fleming