Husband and wife team, Matt and Cynthia, met as music majors at Butler University in Indianapolis. Married in 1997, they started running their own performing business in 2005.
Cynthia Fortune Gruel
Matt Gruel takes on many roles within Festive Singers (business manager, resident pianist and singer). He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition (with an emphasis in Piano) from Butler University.
For the past eighteen years, he has been on staff at churches as Minister of Music, where he has sung, played piano, directed and arranged music. He has also been seen playing piano at Tommy Guns Garage Dinner Theatre and aboard the Spirit of Chicago Cruise Lines.
Last season he music directed the musical The Spitfire Grill at Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles. This coming season he will music direct two more shows, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Ordinary Days. As a professional composer, he has written and arranged both traditional and contemporary music for a number of different venues.
Cynthia is a Chicago-based actress, singer, dancer, and spokesperson. On stage, her work includes productions with Paramount Theatre, Chicago Folks Operetta, Light Opera Works, Theater at the Center, Steel Beam Theatre, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Music on Stage and Northbrook Musical Theatre for Young Audiences. Some of her favorite theatrical roles include Shelby in “The Spitfire Grill”, Daisy in “Ball at the Savoy,” Kate in “Kiss Me, Kate,” Sally in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and Ilona in “She Loves Me.”
As a trade-show spokesperson, she has presented for many corporations including Konica Minolta, Fed-Ex Kinkos, Agilent Technologies, Abbvie, Aastra, US Cellular and Optum. Regularly, she “kicks up her heels” playing Trixie at Chicago’s long-running Tommy Guns Garage Dinner Theater. She can also be seen gigging around Chicagoland with the likes of Redmink Productions, Mystique Productions and Route 66 a cappella womens quartet. She is a proud graduate of Butler University with a degree in Vocal Performance and Theatre minor. Visit her website at www.cynthiafortunegruel.com.