Make Music Champions: Gwendolyn Fitz dreams of taking the ukulele to Broadway

Make Music Day

Gwendolyn Fitz is a singer-songwriter living in Brooklyn, New York. Not only does she love writing song lyrics, but she also has a strong passion for ukulele playing. Currently, she’s working on her new project Ease of a Murder, a musical about murder with ukuleles. 

How did you start making music?

I started at the age of 11. When switching to middle school from elementary school, we had to choose between band, choir, or some other type of art. I couldn’t sing at the time, and I’m terrible at anything to do with making physical art, so I went with band and started playing the flute. I pursued a degree in flute and voice in college, and when I got out I didn’t want to do classical music, it just wasn’t my thing. I’ve always wanted to write songs. I had a ukulele, so I started playing it and then I started composing music. And that’s how my journey started.

What genres do you like playing?

My love is in jazz music. But, as a teacher, I end up learning all types of genres. When I’m performing, it’s usually jazz-based. 

Could you tell me more about Ease of a Murder?

I wrote it back in 2021, during quarantine. I was sitting on my bed writing some lyrics and all of a sudden, I got this melody in my head It’s so easy to be a murderer, which surprised me. I looked at everything else I had written and thought “This could be a show”. The next day I finished writing the script. The play is about a hitman, who ends up falling in love with his victim’s daughter, and when he finds out she’s not who she seems to be. That’s the plot, very mysterious! So far, we’ve had one long run this past March 26th.

You’re a songwriter, do you also like making covers?

I like doing covers. It’s hard to keep up with everything because as an artist you’re expected to write your own music but also to make covers. Truth is, I focus mainly on songwriting which is what I enjoy the most, but covers are part of the job too.

What is your occupation?

I only do music. Besides songwriting, I’m also a freelance ukulele teacher. I teach mostly in person, but also online.

How did you find out about Make Music Day?

I first heard about Make Music Day when I was in San Antonio, Texas. I applied and had my first live performance. It was a lot of fun.

How would you describe your experience with Make Music Day?

It’s been great. I started at Make Music Day just performing on the stage, which I did for the first two or three years that I participated. I enjoyed it! Then, instead of performing, I wanted to have huge ukulele jams, which is fun as there is a huge ukulele community. This past June 21st it was our first time together since the pandemic and I had a blast, everyone was so happy, it was a wonderful time!

Finally, what would you say your goal in music is?

I think I’ve already reached my one goal, which was to do music full time and freelance. Honestly, now I just want to be the first ukulele musical on Broadway. It sounds a bit silly, but you know, dream big!