Merit School of Music

Carling FitzSimmons

Director of Choirs: Merit Conservatory


Michigan State University, MM, Choral Conducting
Kenyon College, BA, Music and English


A Chicago native, Carling is thrilled to be making music in the city she loves. Since returning to Chicago in 2011, Carling has established herself as a masterful singer, conductor, and arts educator. As a conductor of young singers, Carling has worked for Pro Musica Youth Chorus, Spirito Singers, Chicago Public Schools, and Merit School of Music, where she has taught private lessons, group classes, and ensembles to students of all ages and currently conducts the top choirs in Merit’s Tuition-free Conservatory. Carling has also served as a guest conductor for both the William Ferris Chorale and the Northwest Choral Society, and has appeared as a clinician and at Goshen College, Kenyon College, Loyola University Chicago, and with the Young Naperville Singers.

Lauded for her “sweet-toned” singing, Carling has maintained an active singing career, performing with ensembles including Bella Voce, Aestas Consort, the Rockefeller Decani, and the William Ferris Chorale. Carling is also the founder and Artistic Director of La Caccina, a professional ensemble that champions and performs diverse, innovative repertoire for women’s voices. Under her guidance, La Caccina has established itself as the city’s premier treble ensemble, performing in a diverse range of styles, and commissioning exciting new works, especially by composers whose voices are under-represented in choral music. Through La Caccina, Carling has proven herself to be a champion of new music and an innovative conductor, earning praise for her “visionary and generous” leadership. Carling earned her Bachelor of Arts in music and English from Kenyon College, and her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.​

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