"Soprano Fiona Gillespie’s vocals combine youthful sheen and mature sentiments. She’s a spirited reveler in Beethoven’s “Come Draw We Round a Cheerful Ring” and a world-weary narrator in Haydn’s tale of intimidating courtship, “My Boy Tammy.” Gillespie’s clear diction and Celtic accent add to the authenticity and poise of the music. She also tosses off well-executed trills and melismas in Beethoven’s “Sunset” and a moving upper register in Weber’s harmonically vibrant “The Soothing Shade of Gloaming.”
-Early Music America
"Vocalist Fiona Gillespie opts for a distinctly folky voice production, but her delightfully pure voice and subtle ornamentation represent a winning combination."
-Early Music Review
"Soprano Fiona Gillespie adopts a non-classical style of vocal production... [her] tonal
quality is consistently beautiful and haunting, her intonation is spot on, and her Scottish-inflected
diction crystal-clear, and she sings with great feeling throughout".
- Fanfare Magazine
Fiona is a folk and Classically-trained singer, songwriter, composer, and music educator. Raised in a family of traditional Celtic musicians Fiona grew up step dancing, singing ballads, and playing the Irish whistle, on which she competed nationally and internationally until 2006. She holds degrees in voice performance from Westminster Choir College (BM) and the University of North Texas (MM).
Fiona's half hour folk-rock cantata of the traditional Scottish balladTam Lin, with co-composer Elliot Cole, (scored for voices and 12-piece band of historical, modern, and electronic instruments), released in 2021. Her album of Scottish folk songs arranged by composers of the Viennese School, Wisps in the Dell released in 2019, followed by a "prequel" disc, The Gallant David Rizzio (2022). All three were created with the New York-based ensemble Makaris, which focuses on musical projects exploring Scottish culture and heritage.
Fiona's recent and upcoming programing engagements include a story-telling concert of the famous ballad Barbara Allen told through songs and tunes of the Scotch-Irish diaspora into Appalachia, with The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, folk programs with Apollo's Fire Baroque Orchestra, and the launch of an annual Twelfth Night Celebration with her band at the Ice House Bethlehem. Featured performances: Choral Arts Philadelphia, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Catskills Music Foundation, The Washington National Cathedral, The Academy of Sacred Drama, Fire and Grace, Alkemie Ensemble and Skylark Ensemble.
Fiona is a co-founder and manager of the band The Chivalrous Crickets, and the Baroque-Folk crossover duo, Disordering the Attic. She has taught voice at DeSales University, Muhlenberg College, where she led opera workshop courses and music directed main stage production (Gilbert & Sullivan's Trial by Jury, 2019), and Lycoming College, where she directed opera (stage & music: Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel), co-taught courses on Baroque music and art that traveled to Italy, Germany, and Austria, and managed choir tours to Washington DC, Florida, and China. She has led folksong arranging and group singing workshops at the Big Sur Fiddle Camp, and for Bethlehem PA's Celtic Cultural Alliance.