It’s been a case of ‘rubbing shoulders with the stars’ for music and radio broadcasting students at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. Kiwi music legends Hollie Smith and Lizzie Marvelly have been on campus recently and the students have wasted no time asking for advice on how to ‘make it’ in the industry.
Hollie Smith performed as part of the institution’s brand launch party earlier this month at the Windermere campus. She and bassist Marika Hodgson took some time to talk with the students studying the Diploma in Music Production and Performance.
Dave Bishop, music tutor at the institute, said Hollie and Marika highlighted the possibility that music, song-writing and performing are viable career options.
“It was inspirational for our students to meet Hollie and Marika,” he said. “The students got some real insight into what life as a working musician entails.”
The music students also assisted with setting up Hollie’s gig, giving them the opportunity to get hands-on with preparation for a live concert.
Students at the Mokoia campus based in Rotorua also got their change to meet Hollie – this time as her opening act when she played to a sold-out crowd at the Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar.
"This was a fantastic opportunity for our diploma students who have worked hard this year," says music tutor, Ben Wilcock. "Opening for one of New Zealand’s top artists is testament to the effort they have put in and the progress they have made.”
Students were equally enthralled to meet Lizzie Marvelly, who gave her time to two groups of students – the music students at the Mokoia campus, where she hosted a rare Q&A event, and the radio broadcasting students at the Windermere campus as she wound up her ‘10 Years Tour’ in Tauranga recently.
Stacey Bishop conducted the radio interview saying she was nervous to speak to such a well-known singer, but it was a great confidence booster.
“I made sure I did my research,” Stacey says. “Lizzie was lovely to talk to and she had some great advice for students. She said don’t expect the road to be smooth, because the industry is tough, but remember the love and passion you have for music and take every opportunity that comes your way!”