Originally from Montreal, Marla’s musical training began with the piano at the age of six. While attending high school, she added the clarinet and flute to her studies, but it was in the choral program that she discovered a love of singing. Formal training followed, first at Vanier College, and then at McGill University, where she studied Voice Performance and Collaborative Piano.
Upon leaving university, Marla was an active soloist and ensemble singer, performing with such organizations as the Tudor Singers, Studio de Musique Anciènne de Montréal, and the professional core of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
In 1992, she moved to Vancouver and shortly thereafter, became a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the renowned twenty-voice professional ensemble with whom she sang for nineteen seasons.
In 2005, Marla turned her focus to conducting, and accepted a position at l’École Bilingue Elementary School in Vancouver, fulfilling a longstanding desire to teach singing to children in a choral context. Since that appointment, she has been engage to develop choral programs for several other elementary schools in the Vancouver area, and was invited to join the artistic team of the British Columbia Boys Choir, where she served for two years. In 2011, Marla joined the faculty at Southpointe Academy in Tsawwassen as the music and choral specialist for the Junior School, and in 2013 she was appointed the Artistic Director of ‘Les Échos du Pacifique‘, a French community choir based in Maillardville.
Marla hold a Bachelor of Applied Music degree, and has studied conducting under John William Trotter, Kathleen Allan, Debra Cairns and Giorgio Magnanensi.