Lala Simpson

I am a singer, dancer, song leader, and songwriter from Madagascar. I have been living in NZ for the past 18 years. I am very passionate about community singing and sharing songs from my country. My song leading journey started when I was very young and gathered all my friends and my family to learn songs together and perform them at events and gatherings. I have sung all my life and spent years singing with choirs, bands, and a community folk dancing and singing group. Singing is as important to me as the air I breathe.

Since moving to NZ, I love working with a wide range of ages from pre-schoolers to adults, and have put a lot of focus on working with people who are afraid of singing or have been told all their life that they can’t sing. It brings me joy to see them develop into confident singers and join choirs.

I am currently the artistic director of the Wellington Community Choir – a mixed voice choir – and Kotaba Voices – a women’s choir. Both choirs learn songs from different parts of the world. I write community songs both in English and Malagasy and share them with my choirs and through workshops. I also act as guest director for other choirs and teach songs from other countries especially from the African continent, my original compositions as well as traditional songs from Madagascar. I run regular public community singing workshops nationally and singing retreats with other song leaders. As a choir director, I put great emphasis on collaboration with other choirs and choir directors. In my spare time, I perform French songs, especially those of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel with my 3-piece band.

Recently, I have joined the family of Tradition bearers for Village Harmony and Zoom in to run workshops as a tutor.