In 1996 my commissioned piece to celebrate the NZSO’s 50th birthday was performed in the Wellington Town Hall. I was one of the percussionists, and I remember the overwhelming excitement I felt as the orchestra played the piece’s slow crescendo to the percussion cadenza, finally giving way to a massive burst of wild bombastic drumming.

The very next week I stood on the same stage—this time not back where the percussionists play, but right up the front on the stage elevator. As 4000 Devotion Party-goers screamed with excitement, ten dancers and my drag alter ego rose up out of the ground to a thumping dance beat.

I’ve had a wonderfully eclectic relationship with the Wellington Town Hall—it is and always will be a part of my life.


Gareth Farr is an award-winning composer and percussionist, also known for his onstage alter ego, the drag queen percussionist Lilith LaCroix. Farr has had several works performed by the NZSO, including From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs. His latest work to premiere with the NZSO was Cello Concerto Chemin des Dames in May 2017.