Memorial service to be held for Roy Walker of Tayside Symphony Orchestra

The life of accomplished musician, principal teacher and Tayside Symphony Orchestra founder Ron Walker will be celebrated at a memorial service on Friday.
Mr Walker died suddenly in Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital, aged 74, having stepped down from the TSO role earlier this year due to ill-health.

Born in Perth and brought up in Newburgh, he began piano lessons at a young age and after leaving Bell Baxter High School in Cupar secured a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow to study music.

Mr Walker went straight into teaching on graduating, returning to Bell Baxter where he met his wife, Marion, a maths teacher there, and the couple married in 1971.

He was then appointed principal teacher of music at St Columba’s High School in Dunfermline and then Stranraer Academy before settling in Forfar when both he and Marion took up teaching posts at the town’s Academy.

Mr Walker’s musical expertise involved him in a wide range of groups across the area, including Angus Choral, musical societies in Alyth and Carnoustie, Angus Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Aberdeen Opera Company.

Following the death of his father in 1993, he founded the Tayside Symphony Orchestra for a series of concerts to raise funds for the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association (Scotland).

His devotion to the orchestra as conductor and in an organisational role saw it flourish and since then it has delighted audiences in Angus, Dundee, Perthshire and Aberdeen, including twice-yearly concerts in Forfar’s Reid Hall.

Earlier this year, and having stepped down from the orchestra, Mr Walker attended a special TSO tribute concert featuring some of his favourite pieces.

He was also honoured at a songs of praise service in Forfar’s St Margaret’s Church on West High Street where he was organist for almost three decades.

Mr Walker is survived by his wife, sons Euan and Fraser and three grandchildren. Following a private committal there was a memorial service in St Margaret’s, Forfar.