Hollier synonymous with festival
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.