A native of greater New Haven, Connecticut, organist-choirmaster and composer Gabriel Rhys Simerson is the Episcopal product of a Southern Baptist father and a Greek Orthodox mother. As a singer, he has served the acclaimed choirs of St. Paul’s, K Street, St. Thomas’s, New Haven, and Old Saint Paul’s, Edinburgh, and secularly has been a member of the American University Chamber Singers and the Edinburgh University Chamber Choir, making a number of solo appearances domestically and on tour in Greece and Poland.
His choral works, described as “transatlantic,” “felicitous,” and “lovingly tonal,” have enjoyed annual premieres, and performances in the United States, England, and Scotland, including at Wells Cathedral and Washington National Cathedral.
At age 19, Gabe was appointed Interim Director of Music and Organist of St. Thomas’s, New Haven (a bench once occupied by Charles Ives). He has also served as a guest or interim organist and organ scholar at All Souls Woodley Park, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, Yale Divinity School, and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He has been published in The American Organist, the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and The Diapason.
Gabe’s church-related affiliations include the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Anglo-Catholic History Society, and the Society of King Charles the Martyr, and he avidly collects ancient and interesting Books of Common Prayer and associated ephemera. When not making church music, he attends shape note singings in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond and enjoys hikes through the mountains, collecting vintage menswear, and excursions deep into antique shops and used bookstores.