Meet the Maitland Family-Community Focused at the Intersection of Music and Health

By Mario and Brittini Maitland

How did you and Mario meet?

The story of the Maitland family represents how paths, no matter how separate or different, can come together at numerous points of intersection to create a perfect picture in the end. Our meeting begins with a chance encounter at a concert at Mars Music Hall in which my friend was the headlining artist. What I didn’t know is that my now husband was also there as that artist’s keyboard player. We remember seeing each other from across the room (cliché we know) and instantly recognizing our attraction to one another. However, nothing came from that encounter other than a brief locking of eye contact acknowledgment.

One day a mutual business owner friend asked for Mario to come in and help a client. When he walked in we noticed each other but didn’t realize that we had seen each other before because my hair was in a completely different style. After helping his friend’s client we started talking about random business-related things and soon realized that we actually saw each other at that concert. “Oh, you were the curly-haired girl in the front! I remember how into the music you were!” he said while laughing and smiling. After that realization we exchanged numbers and a little more time passed. After an invitation from Mario to see his business, Maitland Conservatory, we reconnected and ended up talking for five hours that day. Then came the next day where under the guise of working on “business cards”, we met again and decided to get dinner after. Literally, since that day we never separated because we realized that we found something with one another that both of us had thought didn’t exist…true love, and true friendship. Eventually, our kids met and despite their age difference, we noticed an instant connection between them! Mario’s son, Mario III was 9 years old at the time and my son Diesel was 2 years old. Mario III took Diesel under his wing and proudly assumed the big brother role which was a beautiful evolution to witness.

Tell us about your educational background?

I grew up as a child of a military single mother who eventually got stationed at Redstone Arsenal which is where I went to J.E. Williams and then to New Century Technology High School where I achieved an Advanced Diploma with a Medical concentration. During this time, at age 16 I began a Dual Enrollment Program to attend Calhoun Community College and attended evening classes for college credit. After graduating high school, I received an academic scholarship to Brenau University where I majored in Education. I received my Bachelor’s in Education and decided I would rather use the degree and knowledge I earned in my own community here in Huntsville.

Mario’s educational background comes largely from his roots in Augusta, GA where he went to school from 4th grade to 12th grade at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School: after auditioning for schools like the Julliard School of Music and Peabody Conservatory Mario decided to accept a full scholarship for piano to Alabama A&M University to pursue a degree in Music Education and Piano performance. He competed in both regional and international piano competitions such as the Sara Hall Piano Competition, and his biggest win The Rome Festival International in which he received the honor of touring Italy as a pianist and performing with the Rome Festival Orchestra. He then delved into the modern world of music by becoming the musical director for several artists affording him the opportunity to tour all over the world as a professional musician. From there he pursued his Master’s degree in Music Education at Tennessee State University and during this time penned the business plan for what we now know as the Maitland Conservatory all while writing and producing music for film and television and even placing 3rd in the TIG International Film Scoring Competition. His business, The Maitland Conservatory and Maitland Arts initiative now has been in operation for 10 years and has successfully implemented its programs in over 12 schools in the Huntsville and Decatur areas. He also serves as a member of several boards including the inaugural Huntsville Music Board, the Arts Equity Working Group, and the Legacy Center.

What is your family motto?

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything” – Vincent Van Gogh

What do you and Mario do within the Huntsville Community?

We are a blessed family in that there are many intersections in what we both do within the Huntsville community. Mario owns the Maitland Conservatory which provides traditional Arts training such as piano, drums, strings, guitar, and much more as well as non-traditional Arts education such as podcasting, music production, digital art and animation, and even live sound, as well as the Maitland Arts Initiative (nonprofit) which provides much of the in-school and after school programming throughout both Huntsville City and Madison County Schools.

I myself have a nonprofit called BritFit Cares that provides the community with health, wellness, and fitness resources and programs. Currently, we are partnering with schools to provide educational sessions to parents to help their students; we also do public speaking throughout the community. I provide a new club entitled Music and Movement which promotes holistically healthy and well children through the medium of music and fitness with a slice of fun and individually. The after-school clubs are currently running in four different schools with one even specifically working with children on the spectrum.

How did BritFit come to be?

In 2018, after the birth of my son, I began my own journey toward health once I realized that I did not have the healthiest eating habits or the motivation to exercise. From Sept 2018 to Jun 2019, I focused on my nutrition with the help of Herbalife Products and included fitness into my routine. As a result, I lost 74 lbs. You would think this would have made me “happy”. I still found myself in moods of lack of motivation or just being “down”. I had to do something more than just focus on health and fitness, something was missing. I began to research and ultimately learned that I also had to include wellness in my personal journey. This was the KEY! I was a happier and healthier version of myself. Motivated by my personal success, I wanted to help other people in her community to reach and maintain healthy lifestyles. I started BritFit in 2020 with this in mind as an all-encompassing lifestyle that focuses on providing tools to improve your overall well-being by focusing on Health, Wellness, and Fitness. Our services include nutrition planning, meal planning, housekeeping, organization, virtual workouts, and written workouts, and we are a certified distributor of Herbalife Products. Our mission is to provide services to clients of all ages to help them achieve optimal total wellness.

Tell us about your hobbies, volunteer work, and church affiliations.

We attend Restoration Foursquare Church which has three separate campuses in Madison, South Huntsville, and Five Points. Mario serves as part of the Worship team and I lend my gift of merchandise creation and vinyl printing to my church for many of their needs. In addition to volunteering this work, BritFit also provides this service professionally. Other hobbies that we enjoy are hiking, painting, and traveling as much as our lives allow us to.

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