Fran Garry is a professional singer/songwriter and musician and currently a postgraduate research student on the PhD Arts Practice Programme. Her musical career has led her to perform in many wonderful places in Ireland and abroad, with the added bonus of making many great friends along the way. It seemed a natural progression to share her musical experience with others, as she had participated in many musical groups from an early age. In addition to her personal musical career, Fran specialises in choral direction, musical theatre, creative writing and Community Music. She was a co-director of the Excel Stage School from 2006 to 2009 and now carries out similar freelance work in educational and community settings.
Fran holds a B.A. in English Literature and History from U.L. and an M.A. in Community Music from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, U.L. Following her M.A. in 2007, she completed the ‘Your Play on Stage’ creative writing programme at the Gaiety School of Acting (2009-2010). The year culminated in the staging of a short play by each writer at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. Fran’s play was entitled “Much Hairdo About Nothing” and was performed by GSA full-time students. Her community arts work in Youth Work settings led her to pursue a Certificate in Youth Arts from 2013-2014. The certificate is run by the National Youth Council of Ireland in conjunction with NUI Maynooth.
Fran’s chosen topic has evolved from her passion for the arts in an artistic, educational and social context, coupled with the aspiration to capture and articulate the vibrancy, energy, enthusiasm and sheer dedication evident in her interaction with community arts groups. The working title of her research project is: ‘Lifelines, Visions, and Dreams-an exploration of motivation for participation in community arts in educational and community settings.
Fran released ‘Right Now’, her debut album of original songs in 2012. She was subsequently presented with a Tipp FM Arts and Entertainment Award, in June 2012, for the album and for her work in the arts.
Publications: ‘Women and Officialdom in Clonmel Workhouse, November 1848-November 1853, Tipperary Historical Journal, 2008.