As part of #MeetTheChoirLeaders, we got chatting to our lovely Martha Littlehales, choir leader for TPSC Wolverhampton, and how she became involved in with us:
I am a Midlands musician and conductor. I gained a First Class degree in Music at University of Birmingham and worked in a school for a year before deciding on a freelance career last year. I run a number of choirs, including one in a prison and have recently been made an Associate Choral Leader with St Martins-In-The-Fields. I also freelance as an accompanist and singer.
My first music teacher, Ms Ward, always encouraged me to take choirs from about the age of 13! I’d write harmonies for groups and do arrangements, running about 3-4 a week and thought nothing of it, it was always just what I did. I spent a lot of school lunchtimes at a piano or helping to musically direct shows. I lost confidence in my ability starting at University and didn’t take any choirs. By the time I realised I wanted to be a conductor, a pandemic happened!
I started choral conducting training with Sing For Pleasure and it completely changed my life. I’ve taken every opportunity going and haven’t looked back. My closest friends have been through music-making and I want to share that feeling with everyone.
I love to read, listen to lots of albums and cook. I love singing in the CBSO Chorus or in small chamber groups. But mainly, sleeping.
Starting a choir completely from scratch is very exciting to me! I’d love to give people an opportunity to perform with a full band and hundreds of other voices in the massed projects that happen through The People’s Show Choir. I hope through the choir, the singers feel that they have a sense of community and an outlet to have some fun.
I’ve added a sneaky ‘s’ to ‘musician’ here: David Bowie, Nina Simone, Frank Zappa, Paul Simon, Kate Bush… I refuse to choose just one!
I would do anything by Scott Walker, accompanied with a full orchestra. His works are pure story-telling and the orchestration is ethereal! That or an acapella eight part arrangement I’ve yet to write of ‘Heroes and Villains’ by The Beach Boys.
I did go through quite a heavy phase of listening to ‘Boom Bang a Bang’ by Lulu on repeat last year but I think I’m over the worst of it now!
A Bizza. Or a Purger. I’m not sure they exist but I’m willing to patent it!