The Milwaukee Irish Fest Choirs are a community of singers who study and perform Irish folk songs, poetry, and composers of Celtic culture throughout the world. Founded in 1988 by Pat Moschea and Ed Ward to promote Irish music and culture, the Irish Fest Choirs consist of children, teens and young adults performing traditional Irish music. Lisa Maxfield is the current conductor of both choirs, with Jill Sliger-Hasker as the accompaniment.
Over the years, the Youth Choir has been delighting audiences at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and has toured throughout Ireland, including with the Omagh Community Youth Choir. Each year at Milwaukee Irish Fest, both choirs perform throughout the weekend and have been guest performers with bands such as We Banjo 3 and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
Singers throughout the southeastern Wisconsin area are invited to join one of three ensembles based on both age and skill level. The Children's Choir (ages 7 - 13), the Youth Choir (ages 14 - 21), and our new Adult Choir (ages 22 - 45). All singers undergo a placement hearing with the director to determine voice parts.
Rehearsals consist of a once a week commitment from May through August on Sunday or Monday evenings.
1999— First concert with the Omagh Community Youth Choir - Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, WI
2000— First Tour to Ireland, featured on Galway Bay FM
2003— East Coast Tour, including performances in New York, Washington D.C, and Pennsylvania
2006— Ireland Tour, including a joint performance with the Omagh Community Youth Choir, to continue our ongoing friendship
2012— Tour to Ireland/Performances
2014— Started Milwaukee Irish Fest Children's Choir
2020— Started the Milwaukee Irish Fest Adult Choir