By Bill Brady, ’02
At the age of 4, Sherée Fitzgerald, ’80, Salt Lake City, was gripped by a passion to sing. “Singing touched me,” she says. “I felt something and couldn’t let go.”
But early on, her passion for music far exceeded her ability. A hearing impairment prevented her from hearing high frequency sounds, those necessary for diction and speech development. As a result, Fitzgerald spoke with a lisp that would later improve but never fully disappear.
Some of her music teachers discouraged her from continuing, assuming she wasn’t taking their lessons seriously. Others felt she would never develop the skills necessary to compensate for her hearing loss.
But as a student at BYU, Fitzgerald continued to improve her musical talent. For three years she toured the world with the Young Ambassadors and the A Capella Choir while studying childhood development.
Since graduating, Fitzgerald has taught elementary school and private music lessons. She has also pursued a career in professional music production. After the release of her most recent album, What Matters Most, Fitzgerald was nominated for “Best Inspirational Song of the Year” at the 2001 Pearl Awards, sponsored by the Faith Centered Music Association.
For Fitzgerald the nomination was proof that her passion was great enough to overcome the obstacle of hearing loss. It also represented the fulfillment of her lifelong desire to lift others through music.
“It’s important that I not do music for my sake,” she says. “I want to do music for the sake of sharing something musically and spiritually uplifting—I want to share music with a message.”