In our Meet the Team series we invite you to sit down and learn more about each SOUNZ staff member. Today we introduce Diana Marsh Executive Director | Tumu Whakarae.

Can you tell us a bit about your family, kids, where you’re from etc

I live on the edge of Wellington’s Botanic Gardens with my husband, 17-year old daughter, 14-year old son and our two poodles Treena and Poppy. Plus we have a resident frog in our small pond that likes to croak at night. We have named him George. We have never met George face to face but by listening to his croak we have identified him, through the web, as an Australian Brown Frog.

Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived?

I am a born and bred Wellingtonian and love this city. Like many New Zealanders of my generation, I lived abroad when undertaking my ‘OE’ many years ago.  I have also lived in Christchurch for some months and have had some extended time in Auckland over the years.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I really enjoy interacting with those who have a special place in my life. As a family, we go to Martinborough regularly and I love riding my bike around the town.  I have a keen interest in European history from the 16th century through to the 19th century so I am always on the lookout for non-fiction books on this topic. I love listening to music and enjoy a really good crime podcast.

What is your earliest musical memory?

Learning ballet to music when I was 4 years old. Also, I used to listen to my father’s record collection from a really young age and dance to the symphonies he would play.  Dad has always loved the music of Beethoven and that did influence me, especially when I was younger.

What are the values that drive you?

I receive satisfaction from working in a challenging environment that presents new and positive opportunities. I need to work in a sector that has a greater purpose than revenue generation. Fortunately, the arts and music have provided me with a very rich and enjoyable career over the last 21 years.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

I don’t see balance as being the key issue as I Iove my job and working in the arts sector. The greatest challenge is attending all the events that are on while juggling a busy personal life. However, as my children are getting older and becoming more independent I have more time to attend concerts and other events.

What is the best concert or music event you have ever attended?

Richard Strauss’ Opera ‘Elektra’ performed at Covent Garden in 1997. An incredible production that, for me, has never been surpassed.

Where’s your favourite place in the world?

At home or relaxing in the summer holiday break at Lake Taupo with my family and close friends. Although, I do love Italy.

What’s the best meal you have ever had?

The truth is I’m not much of a foodie and I don’t like cooking, but fortunately, my husband excels in this area.  However, there is a restaurant in Florence that we went to on our honeymoon more than 20 years ago.  It is in a historic building with beautifully painted frescos and a wonderful atmosphere. From memory, the food was pretty good too. We can’t remember the restaurant’s name, but we could locate it when we returned with our children in 2014. It did live up to our expectations!

Treena and Poppy

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