ALLOUEZ -- Holly Rottier’s role as Catholic schools director for the Diocese of Green Bay will take her to 62 Catholic schools around northeastern Wisconsin this fall.
In a circuitous way it will also take her to Lambeau Field, where she will sing the national anthem at the 24th annual Bishop’s Charities Game August 22.
Rottier was named Catholic schools director on July 6, following 10 years as co-principal at St. John Nepomucene School in Little Chute.
After joining the Department of Education, Rottier said she shared with a friend her longtime dream of singing the national anthem at the Green Bay Packers game.
“My family and I parked cars for 38 years in a field right next door to Lambeau Field,” she said. “Since I was a tiny little girl, I have heard the person singing the national anthem, whether it be a child, an adult, or a superstar, and have wanted to go over there to sing.”
Life long dream
She wondered if the dream would now become a reality, especially since the Green Bay Diocese teams up with the Packers each year for the Bishop’s Charities Game, which benefits Catholic Charities.
“Now that I work at the diocese, I wonder if there is any way I could ask someone about the Bishop’s Charities Game,” she told her friend. “Then I thought no, I’m not going to cross that line.”
As it turned out, she did not have to cross a line. She only had to sing.
Rottier is an accomplished singer. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from UW-Green Bay and has performed in St. Norbert College’s Music Theatre for the past 18 summers. On August 5, she was asked to lead diocesan employees in song at a morning Mass celebrated by Bishop David Ricken at St. Joseph Chapel, located on the diocesan grounds.
Later that morning, Rottier received a call from Amy Kawula, advertising and marketing manager for the Compass, who serves on the Bishop’s Charities Game planning committee. “She asked if I wanted to (sing the national anthem) and I about had a heart attack,” said Rottier. “I was so excited and just flattered and honored. I posted it on my Facebook page and like 50 friends in 10 minutes replied saying, ‘I’m so happy for you.’ They all know it’s been one of my dreams.”
At home in a crowd
Rottier said she isn’t intimidated by singing in front of tens of thousands of people. (Last year’s Bishop’s Charities Game had 69,675 people in attendance.)
“I’m so much better in a group of 2,000 than in a group of two, but this will stretch it a little further than 2,000,” she said. “I like performing and being in front of big groups. It’s where my home is. It’s where I’m most comfortable.”
Performing wasn’t always in her blood, said Rottier.
“As a child I auditioned (at St. Norbert College) 12 times and never once made it into a show,” she said. “When I was 19, a teacher said, ‘Why don’t you come over to audition?’ and I said, ‘Oh no, they hate me.’ Sort of that child stigma, but she convinced me to audition and that was my first show in 1993.”
Every year since, Rottier has performed in summer musicals at St. Norbert College. “I’ve just been playing all different kinds of roles: chorus, leading roles, supporting roles,” she said. This summer she played Marian Paroo in The Music Man.
“I met so many amazing people through this and built so many great relationships. Every summer it’s like coming back to this family you only see once a year,” she said. “Most people go on vacations in the summer. I do a show.”