Lala Simpson




Community choirs, community workshops, work with people who are afraid of singing, singing retreats.

Additional information

I am originally from Madagascar, where I spent more than half my life, and now live in Wellington NZ. Singing has always been a big part of my life, and as far as I remember I have always led people into songs, even as a child in school and in the church, so it makes sense to me to now be a community song leader, songwriter, workshop leader, and singer. I grew up immersed in the music of my homeland, Africa, France, and the Indian Ocean.

People describe me as having a passionate,  playful, and joyful approach to singing.

When I first moved to NZ, I wanted to join a singing group/choir but I wasn’t accepted as I couldn’t read music. It was a shock and it hurt. Ever since then, I have made it my mission to be involved in community singing where reading music is not a compulsory requirement and where all people are welcome.

As well as writing songs in English, I also write Malagasy songs that introduce people to the rich culture and traditions of Madagascar. I run singing retreats and workshops with other song leaders in NZ. Currently, I am the creative director of the Wellington Community Choir, an SATB all-welcome choir, and Kotaba Voices which is a small women’s choir that started at the beginning of the pandemic. As all my choirs accept all singers, I offer vocal clinics to support those singers who have no singing experience and would like to improve their skills.  I also work alongside people who are afraid of singing or call themselves non-singers, people who are discovering their voices later in life.

In my spare time, as well as performing captivating, romantic, and dramatic French chansons including the songs of Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel,  Yves Montand and Charles Aznavour with my 3-piece band, I collaborate with other artists to perform Malagasy songs.​​

My choirs

Kotaba Voices

I started Kotaba voices in February 2020 to honour the strong women who have influenced my life growing up and create a community for all who identify as women, where they are accepted, valued, empowered and celebrated and connect with the wider world through song.

We sing beautiful harmony songs from different traditions around the world as well as contemporary community songs rooted in  justice, caring for the earth, and human connections. Following the traditions of many cultures around the world, all songs are taught by ear.

Session times

Monday evenings 7.00 - 8.30pm

Wellington Community Choir

Wellington Community Choir is a diverse and vibrant community of people who love to sing. Everyone is welcome! We learn by ear and don’t worry about auditions or having a “good voice”; just turn up – if you can get through the door, you’re in the choir!

We have been singing together since 2005 and learn and perform new and traditional folksongs from New Zealand and around the world, notably from the African continent with the casual addition of pop and gospel.

Fun, friendly and affordable, Wellington Community Choir provides you with the opportunity to develop your musicality by having regular rehearsals, vocal clinics, community performances, concerts, collaborations with other choirs and musicians.

​We celebrate the warmth and vitality that community music making brings and offer members unforgettable experiences singing in different settings through trips, day outings and festivals.

Session times

Wednesday evenings 7-9pm

Contact details

Phone number