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A Passion for Performance
Kathy Holly '65 is a busy Bay Area singer and performer
“Busy” is a word that comes to mind when one hears what Kathy Holly ’65 is up to these days.
A native San Franciscan, Holly has performed as a vocalist, musician, bandleader, actress, voice-over artist, and teacher. She heads up several bands and groups including The Uptown Singers (cabaret), Route 66 (country), The Top Hat Band (swing), Barbary Coast Four (Dixieland jazz), International Affaire (popular/ethnic music), and the Kathy Holly Trio (jazz). She is also a busy soloist, cabaret performer, and “international chanteuse” as she calls herself (she sings in eight languages), and she has performed in hotels, clubs, and restaurants from Los Angeles to Florida, not to mention venues in Europe, Thailand, Australia, Philippines, China, and Korea.
Holly says she started performing when she was 6, and she hasn’t stopped since. An English major while at SCU, Holly earned a minor in drama (there was no major at the time). “My most memorable experience at Santa Clara was playing the role of Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie! and working with Mr. Gross, the Drama Department’s director for our show,” she says. “Jorma Kaukonen ’64, our guitar player in Birdie, went on to celebrity status with Grace Slick.”
Beyond the academics at SCU, Holly says she learned values that have served her well in her career. “One of the most important values I learned at Santa Clara was … to use my talents to improve my community,” explains Holly, who shares her talents and experience through her teaching work with elementary and high school students. She says this work is her way of helping cultivate the next generation of performers and audiences.
Holly says she has had many memorable and unusual experiences during her career. In 1979, she performed as a cabaret singer on a cruise ship, the Aquamarine, which sailed from Hong Kong to Kobe, Japan, up the South China coast. “I was the first cabaret singer in China,” she says. “It was the first cruise ship of its kind to be able to visit China year round during the first year that China opened the door to tourism,” she says.
She also points to a recent experience with her group, The Uptown Singers, when they performed for the Thai community to raise money for the Tsunami survivors. “We were broadcast on television in Thailand and on the Bay Area Thai station,” she says. “It was wonderful to be appreciated by the Thai community for a good cause.”
—By Elizabeth Kelley Gillogly ’93
Super Striker: Soccer pro Jamil Walker '04 stays on the move
Adaptability. That has been a constant in the life and athletic career of Jamil Walker ’04, the former Santa Clara soccer star.
Since turning pro in 2003, the 5-foot-11 striker has been with three teams in major league soccer. “You see how everything works, and how quickly it can change,” Walker says of life in the business side of pro sports. “You have to keep focus as a player.”
Walker has, because he had to. He began his MLS career with the San Jose Earthquakes, who took him in the fourth round of the MLS draft out of college. He came through with one goal and one assist in post-season play. Walker was a starter as San Jose won the MLS Cup title match in 2003.
Walker, 24, played in 10 games with two starts for San Jose in 2004. After the season he was selected by Chivas USA (based in Carson, Calif.) in the MLS expansion draft.
But in March 2005, he was traded by Chivas to D.C. United for a second-round supplemental draft pick in 2007.
United won the MLS title in 2004 (its fourth overall) and Walker hopes to add a second championship ring to his collection this season.
“We have a good, tight team. We are behind the coach 100 percent. We are really meshing well. It is a good atmosphere in the locker room,” he says, sitting at an interview table at RFK Stadium after a practice session.
Walker says he is used to moving around. He was born in Rochester, N.Y. but moved to northern Virginia during elementary school due to his father’s executive job with Xerox. His family moved back to Rochester, where Walker graduated from high school.
Walker played his freshman season at the Air Force Academy in Colorado in 1999. He then transferred to SCU and played three seasons. As a senior in 2002 he scored 14 goals and was named to the NSCAA/Adidas All-Far West team, the All-West Region team, and the All-West Coast Conference first-team.
“Santa Clara had a very good program with a lot of pretty good players coming out of there. The coaches were excellent. They taught me a lot of the technical and tactical aspects,” Walker says.
Now he is back in the capital region, trying to find some stability in his pro career. He scored a goal in a 3-0 win over his former team, Chivas USA, in late August during a six-game span in which United did not lose a game.
—David Driver is a freelance sportswriter based in Cheverly, Md.