Ann & Brian Fitzgerald Parents Profile
by Keith Ward
Another special group within the Lamont community is students’ parents. They have invested time, effort and resources that are invaluable in preparing their sons and daughters for their next steps. We look forward to sharing some of their stories in each newsletter.
In this issue, we are delighted to feature Brian and Ann Fitzgerald from San Jose, California. Their son, Trey, is completing a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance. Ann, whom Brian credits with bringing arts into the family, hails from Minnesota, where she earned a degree in dance from the University of Minnesota. In addition to the never-ending work of being a stay-at-home mom, Ann has been active in their local school system, serving on the school board and leading parent participation activities. Brian, another Midwest native, grew up in Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, majoring in electrical engineering. Since the mid-1980s he has been in Silicon Valley, where he has built a career in high tech.
Brian and Ann live in a musically vibrant community, with opportunities in musical theater, orchestral and choral music beginning in the K-8 schools. Parents are deeply involved, from leading reading and math programs to organizing fundraisers. It was in this environment that Trey found his love of music: starting with musical theater in fifth grade, he eventually became active in after-school programs and in Starting Arts Dream Team, which develops young people’s skills in acting, singing and dancing. The strength of this and other programs have produced results that reach far beyond the community, with graduates now attending prestigious music schools across the country.
The Fitzgeralds travel from California “three or four times a year” to attend concerts at Lamont. They have enjoyed the Fall Opera Gala (featuring scenes from operas with full orchestral accompaniment), choral concerts, the spring opera productions and recitals. They have particularly fond memories of being in the audience for Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Puccini’s Il Trittico.
Ann and Brian have observed Lamont’s tight-knit, encouraging community firsthand and consider it something special. They are grateful for the support and opportunities for Trey that Lamont has provided. To Brian, this support was evident from the start when he and Trey met with now-retired opera director Ken Cox. It continues in work with current faculty and staff: Catherine Sailer (Director of Choral Activities), Matthew Plenk (Director of Opera and Trey’s voice teacher), Sahar Nouri (Music Director of Opera), Rachel Lim (Academic Advisor) and Chris Wiger (Director of Public Relations). Their efforts have resulted in Trey’s performing in Denver with professional ensembles, securing a church singing job, performing in an ensemble tour to Prague and studying at a summer program in Italy.
Brian shares that he and Ann “can’t wait to get back and get into Gates Hall to see a big show.” Once we return to live concerts, we look forward to welcoming them back!