An interview with our son, Rev Andrew Fitzgerald, at Canterbury Central Baptist Church, featuring reflections from Les Moir.
(Adrian Snell & David Fitzgerald/`Alpha + Omega` tour, Switzerland 2007)
My career has combined performing, composing & teaching as well as being something of a journey through various musical environments and genres.
I left home at the age of 15 to study at the prestigious Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent, where I boarded for three years. At the age of 18 I completed my studies and then served as principal flute & saxophone player within HM Band of the Royal Marines throughout the world & principally in the Far East (where I was stationed for two years, initially at HMS Terror and then with 3rd Commando Brigade). On returning to the UK I was a member of Plymouth Group Band and then CTC Lympstone. It was at this time that I started to play with various bands in and around the Exeter region (notably the Maurice Price Showband & Christian progressive rock band Pilgrimage). I left the band service in 1975 to follow a career beyond the world of military music. Nevertheless, I remain extremely grateful for the years and the friendships that I still value very highly during those formative years within the finest miliary band in the world.
After further years of working within the musical world of popular & world cultures (recording & touring with various bands, including Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band & 70`s chart band The Chequers and spending much of my energy as a session musician in and around London) I devoted my time & energy to working with many artists within the Christian Music industry (principally on recording and touring projects with Adrian Snell & Graham Kendrick). In 1989, following visits to the islands of Lindisfarne & Iona, I co-founded the musical project IONA , the result of discoveries made into the Celtic origins of the Christian faith within these Islands.
After two hugely successful recordings (`Iona` & `Book Of Kells`) I left the project/band to study for a degree in music, focussing two years of this study into the origins & relevance of Liturgical Music throughout history. During this period I continued to record and tour with Adrian Snell, including two deeply moving performances of his recording `Song Of An Exile` at Yad Vashem (World Centre for Holocaust Research) in Jerusalem. I also embarked on a series of six CD recordings of `Celtic Expressions of Worship` and four solo recording projects.
I have since undertaken extensive television & recording work (including many recordings for the BBC TV series `Songs Of Praise` - with artists such as Aled Jones, The New English Orchestra, Lesley Garrett, Noel Richards, Graham Kendrick, Phatfish, Stuart Townend & Jonathan Veira). I now devote much of my time to teaching, adjudicating & directing classical & jazz ensembles. For a number of years I was privileged to join the adjudication team at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, where musicians, dancers and singers perform each year from approximately 120 nations around the world.
My solo projects include ‘Columcille’ (1995), ‘Lux Aeterna’ (1997), ‘Breath of Heaven’ (2001) and ‘God Is Love’ (2005).
Musicians/friends who joined me for these projects include Tim Oliver (keys), Dave Clifton (Gtrs), Neil Costello (Gtrs), Nick Beggs (Chapman Stick & Bass), Tim Harries (Bass), Martin Neil (Drums & Perc), Terl Bryant (Drums & Perc), Frank Van Essen (Violin) & William Schofield (Cello).