Biography of Martha Harlam

Born: September 8, 1951 in NYC
Education: 1956 to 1960 Camp Ave. elementary school Merrick NY.
(Sound of Music understudy on Broadway)
Education: 1961 to 1967 Merrick junior high school
Education: 1967 to 1969 Sanford H. Calhoun high school

Marriage February 13, 1971
Hartt college of music – West Hartford Connecticut- 1969 to 1972
Private studies in NYC to prepare for European auditions
Engagements in Europe ( soloist) Ulm, Bremen, Munich, Salzburg, Pforzheim, 1974 – 78
Divorce in 1984 Mineola , NY USA
Engagements in Germany ( chor) Koblenz, Cologne 1984 to 1988

Ataxia diagnosis in 1988 – Opera singing profession ends In Cologne

Disability training for Theater Management In Euskirchen Germany
Ballet school Kall Germany. 1992 to 1997
Hospice charity founder ( Sweet Charity ) 2004 to 2008

Move from Germany to Spain
Ataxia Disability level 1. 1999
Ataxia Disability level 2. 2003
Cancer Breast mastectomy 2007
Ataxia Disability level 3. 2015

Marriage 2# to partner January 2016
Partner declared permanent caretaker by Germany

The story behind the Sound of Music

A lot has been speculated that I ever appeared or claimed to have been in the film version of the Sound of Music. It just never happened. But the 1959 version on Broadway did. This wasn’t any grand story of a childhood fantasy but the happenings of the situation directed my musical destiny forever.

At an audition for Broadway kids back then, I fell into a fairytale that is only experienced by few – but it paved the way to a musical singing career. All of the players had a huge part In shaping this destiny. From Mary Martin, Theodore Bikel, to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to the casting agency in NYC.

Martha was given the chance to sing for them all as she auditioned for the part of Gretel as an understudy. The real Gretel was getting too big and an understudy had to be gotten for the real understudy. So # 3, me, was thrust into a situation that even grownups didn’t understand. I was just in the right place at the right time.

Singing like the blue eyed blond haired Bavaria angel she was at 7 years old, Martha walked into a Broadway situation that only dreams are made of. The Gretel at the time grew out of the role and was getting cast for other shows. A new Gretel was found and she needed an understudy. Enter Martha Harlam! But the new Gretel never got sick or missed a show.

The chance to do the part of Gretel never materialized. But the smell of the grease paint and the excitement of the applause burned deep into my soul. The destiny of singing on stage was long and hard. It was wonderful! But the destiny of hereditary Ataxia had other ideas.

Blog – Story

Ataxia Information

Ataxia Information

Blog-Story

Blog – Story

The Caretaker

The Caretaker

A Cure?

A Cure?

Ataxia – a tale of survival and hope

A Member of ataxia uk.org

“The doctors stood around my bed as they gave their diagnosis of the neurological tests. They were all unanimous in their decision. They all said I would need to give up my singing contracts and start to retrain for a new profession. But what that should be, they didn’t say. This was a scary pivotal moment in my life. “

A Member of ataxia uk.org