Dr Melissa Fitzgerald's "sleek, polished perfection," coupled with "passion and drive" has seen her performing regularly as a soloist and chamber musician. Highlights include performances for the Classical Guitar Society of WA, Edith Cowan University, the Heart Foundation, Alliance Française, Kidsafe WA, the Commonwealth Bank, and appearances on RTRFM's guitar show and ABC Great Southern. Her prowess as a performer has been recognised through several awards and competitions. Notably, Melissa was a finalist in WAAPA's 2013 Warana Concerto Competition, where she performed Leo Brouwer's Concerto Elegiaco with the Faith Court Orchestra.
In 2017 she graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with her PhD thesis, Bridging the Great Divide: An Exploration of Postmodernism in the Guitar Music of Nigel Westlake.
Melissa also undertook her undergraduate studies at WAAPA under the guidance of Dr Jonathan Paget. She completed her Bachelor of Music in 2010 and was selected as a finalist for the Helen Court Award for most outstanding graduating music student. In 2011 she received First Class Honours for her dissertation titled Minimalism and the Guitar.
While completing her undergraduate degrees, Melissa regularly participated in masterclasses with renowned Australian guitarists, Slava Grigoryan, Karin Schaupp, Timothy Kain, and Tonié Field. She also travelled to the United States to take lessons from Jason Vieaux (Cleveland Institute of Music), Ben Verdery (Yale) and Nicholas Goluses (Eastman School of Music).
A love of performing guitar chamber music at WAAPA led her to create the Perth Guitar Quartet in 2013. The group gave its debut performance at her PhD recital. They have since become Perth's premier professional guitar quartet and have performed at the 2018 Perth International Classical Guitar Festival; toured the WA Great Southern region; and have given recitals for the Classical Guitar Society of WA, the National Trust of Western Australia, Cappuccino Concerts, North Street Music's Chamber Jam, the Fulbright Commission, and at many corporate functions.
Currently, Melissa is a sessional staff member at WAAPA, where she directs the Plectra Guitar Ensemble and assists with chamber music coaching. She also maintains a full studio at Trinity College in East Perth, and Seton Catholic College in Samson.
Melissa plays a Paul Sheridan guitar, made in 2011.