An introduction to Chamber Choir Ireland alto, Leanne Fitzgerald

Leanne Fitzgerald recently joined the Alto section earlier this year. She previously worked with Chamber Choir Ireland in 2013, when she was recipient of a choral internship programme facilitated with Irish Youth Choir. 

I’m Leanne Fitzgerald and I am an alto singer. I’m originally from a small village in North Kerry called Lixnaw but have been living in Dublin for 7 years now. I’m very lucky that despite moving out of the home so long ago, I still live with my sister Gillian!

My family are very much into drama and theatre so initially, that’s what I was interested in following too. We did a lot of singing in school and as I got older, I became a lot more confident in my own singing. When I was 18, I joined the Irish Youth Choir and that really made up my mind that singing was what I wanted to do.

Back in 2013, I was lucky enough to get an internship with Chamber Choir Ireland, as part of a scheme they were running with IYC. I was able to attend rehearsals and recordings and even got to perform with the choir during their tour of Arvo Pärt’s Passio with Theatre of Voices.

Since then, I’ve always had a great relationship with the choir and am delighted to have become a regular singer with the choir since February.

I’ve had quite a mixed bag of experiences and my career has taken me on some mad adventures! Before joining Chamber Choir Ireland, I was singing a lot with Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera as well as regularly performing with my small vocal ensemble Ardú (www.ardumusic.com). It hasn’t just been music performance though and I did work with the events and marketing team at The Contemporary Music Centre up until last year. It’s been great to make the connection with CMC again as a performer and that’s definitely one of my fave things about Chamber Choir Ireland, is how encouraging they are of our contemporary Irish composers.

I’m currently planning a new music festival with my vocal Ensemble Ardú. We’re hosting the first ever Irish International A Cappella Festival in Dublin from 14-16 July. This is definitely our most ambitious project to date and we’re very excited about it. The whole idea behind the festival is to create a platform for Irish A Cappella Ensembles and encourage more groups to form. We’ve got a really varied programme with barbershop groups, trios, large choruses and more lined up for the weekend and also have The Swingles headlining on Sunday 16th July.

As I mentioned, I previously worked at The Contemporary Music Centre and contemporary music is definitely a passion of mine. For this reason, I really love the music we sing in Chamber Choir. In the last project, we even got to meet with the composer and librettist of A Letter Of Rights and it’s so amazing to feel part of a team that’s creating something that feels genuinely unique and new!

The upcoming programme for The Orthodox Spirit focuses on the Russian masters of Stravinsky,  Rachmaninov and more, who are recognised for producing some really beautiful and intricate music so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to rehearsals for these great works! I’m happy to be singing more Arvo Pärt too who has become a favourite of mine since I performed his Passio back in 2013!

My earliest musical memory is preparing hymns for my First Holy Communion when I was 8. Me and one other girl in our class were chosen to sing a solo verse in the psalm and I remember being so nervous clutching onto my tiny piece of paper with my words printed on it. It was a pivotal moment in my career for sure!