Simms was born and raised in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, where she studied at the nearby Memorial University of Newfoundland with composer Andrew Staniland. At Memorial University, she received a B.Mus. in music theory and composition in addition to a B.Mus.Ed in music education. She also holds M.Mus. and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Toronto where her teachers included Gary Kulesha, Christos Hatzis, and Norbert Palej. Her thesis work, Foreverdark, was subsequently performed by Esprit Orchestra. Additional studies with acousmatic composer Martin Bédard in Montreal were facilitated through the PIVOT mentorship program, jointly run by the Canadian Music Centre, Canadian League of Composers, and Continuum Contemporary Music.
Simms has received over 20 composition awards, prizes, and competitive selections. This includes the 2019 Barlow Prize, the 2017 Toronto Emerging Composer Award, the 2018 Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music, and the inclusion of her work in the official Canadian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music's World Music Days in both 2016 and 2019
Simms released her debut album, impurity chains, in September 2018 to positive reviews. The composition Granitic was subsequently nominated for a 2019 JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year.
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