Hollier syn­ony­mous with fes­ti­val

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Jean Hollier and Tawa Goes To Town go hand in hand.

The pro­ducer of the bi­en­nial mu­sic fes­ti­val had her game face on last week as nearly 700 singers and dancers took to the Michael Fowler stage dur­ing the 90-minute show.

Hollier was be­hind the scenes, try­ing her best to get ev­ery­thing run­ning like clock­work.

‘‘It doesn’t al­ways work out that way, but we’re sure that ev­ery­one watch­ing and per­form­ing will have a great night,’’ she said be­fore the show.

Hollier par­tic­i­pated in the first fes­ti­val, in 1976, as a Tawa Pri­mary School pupil.

She has been in­volved in ev­ery show since, ei­ther on stage or part of the or­gan­is­ing team.

‘‘I was a mem­ber of the cor­po­rate world, but com­ing back to sing each time was some­thing I al­ways looked for­ward to.

‘‘It’s great to help keep up the skills and see ev­ery­one again. I do more ad­min­is­tra­tion now, but still pre­fer the artis­tic side.’’

Tawa Goes To Town has changed its name over the years and be­came a bi­en­nial event in the 1990s.

Hollier said the oc­ca­sion had al­ways ben­e­fited from the skills and wis­dom of the likes of Shona Mur­ray, Mur­ray Cameron and Sara Scott, who have made it some­thing the sub­urb can be im­mensely proud of.

About 95 per cent of par­tic­i­pants were from Tawa, and it had be­come a real in­ter-gen­er­a­tional event, she said.

Hollier’s pro­duc­ing role for the past two shows means she is no longer on the stage, but the buzz is still there when she sees the ner­vous ex­cite­ment of the chil­dren.

Her daugh­ter Zoe, 9, was in the show for the first time this year.

‘‘To go on that stage in front of 1800 peo­ple is huge and it can be scary that first time.

‘‘It’s all worth it be­cause the kids have an amaz­ing night.’’

Hollier said songs from the movie Frozen were popular this year, but a mix of old and new tunes kept all ages in the au­di­ence cap­ti­vated.

In­cred­i­bly, the en­tire show has only one re­hearsal, three days be­fore the big night.

Each cast mem­ber knows months in ad­vance what is ex­pected of them, how­ever, and many school lunchtimes and evenings are taken up with prac­tice.

Tawa Goes To Town has been livestreamed on the in­ter­net from the Michael Fowler Cen­tre since 1992, with the 2012 stream­ing at­tract­ing 1600 views on the night and 50,000 over­all, many from as far afield as Brazil.


Har­mony: The Tawa Goes To Town per­for­mance of Proud Mary last week.

Busy: Tawa Goes To Town pro­ducer Jean Hollier.

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