Mr. Walker’s impact on XHS

Braedon Roling

Plato once said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” 

Matt Walker gave music to Xavier’s Vocal Music Department serving as the director for 10 years until he made the decision to leave last year. Although he is now pursuing his career elsewhere, his legacy and impact on his students will live on. 

Walker was very dedicated to his job and had to juggle many activities at once. He was the head director of the Vocal Music Department and directed a selection of choirs including, Xavier Chorale, Singing Saints, Voce and Xavier’s varsity show choir, Xhilaration. Through these activities, he was not only able to develop award winning choirs, winning multiple Grand Champion show choir titles and Division I ratings in large group choir contests, but also build relationships with his students.

Even from the beginning of his career at Xavier, he was able to connect with his students.

“He was incredibly energetic, which he has always been and that has never changed. He was extremely dedicated to his work and we had an amazing year my freshman year for show choir,” Virtual Learning Supervisor and current director of Xuberance, Meredith Diebold, said. 

Diebold, also a former student of Mr. Walker, spoke of his impact. 

“A lot of my classmates are still very good friends with him. I think we all had a special bond because we were his first class to go all four years with him,” Diebold said.

Diebold started directing Xavier’s junior varsity show choir, Xuberance, last year and worked alongside Walker.

“It was a really great experience, it was comfortable. He was very supportive and very trusting,” Diebold said.

Walker also had a huge impact on the lives of current Xavier students and was a role model for them.

“He brought this energy to rehearsals that was always so positive. He was there to lighten the mood and was able to make you forget about all of your stress and worries,” Xavier senior Jack Delaney said.

More than anything, Walker was a shoulder to lean on for his students.

“He has always been a positive spot in my life, I can always go to him for advice even now that he no longer teaches at Xavier,” Delaney said.

Not only has Walker changed the lives of his students, but his work  at Xavier has changed him as a person.

“Xavier gave me the support that I needed to become the teacher I always wanted to be. The Xavier students that I had the privilege to work with were smart, talented, driven and dedicated,” Walker said. “Xavier gave me the encouragement that I needed, and occasionally, the little nudge that I needed to grow as a person of faith. The relationships I built with staff, parents and students are ones that I will always cherish and the work done in our choirs is something that I am very proud of and will never forget.”

Mr. Matt Walker is an inspiration to many and dedicates his life to helping those around him. He currently runs his own podcast, “Choir Director Corner,” and teaches at Iowa City High School. Walker continues to stay in touch with students and faculty at Xavier, never forgetting the strong bonds built here, and with every note sung, ringing throughout the school hallways, his legacy and teachings echo with it.