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‘Good to be Alive!’ is GBHS Variety Show theme
Friday is last day to buy advance tickets; they will be sold at the door if available
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“Good to be Alive!” is the theme for the 2023 Great Bend High School Variety Show, taking place Saturday and Sunday at the GBHS Auditorium.

The show features vocal and instrumental music, skits, jokes and a senior tribute. This year the closing song was a commissioned arrangement by GBHS alumnus Kerry Marsh. The piece is dedicated to the seniors of 2023 and also to the memory of Dade Cannon (2003-2018), who would have been a graduating member of this class.

The show is directed by vocal instructor Susan Stambaugh, with assistant director and accompanist Lindsay Luttrell. Grant Mathews directs the GBHS Jazz Band for an instrumental pre-show 30 minutes before curtain time.

The Variety Show is a 52-year-old tradition of celebrating the graduating senior class and the individual and group talents of music students at GBHS.

Audience members would be mistaken if they assume this is something seniors have worked on all year, Stambaugh said.

“After an already full year of trips, concerts, various other performances and contests, the students join together in a VERY concentrated time period to create a show from scratch.” They spend about six weeks on the pieces of music and rehearsals, with tryouts for skits and other pieces taking place about four weeks ago.

“There is no prepackaged show given for us to follow from a script; every entry and every exit from the stage, every microphone placement, every song chosen and every track played, has to be coordinated,” she said. With many of the upperclassmen performing, a predominately freshman class Stage Crew is tasked with quickly moving them through the 67-act show.

During this whirlwind schedule of learning the material and choreography, acquiring costumes and props, rehearsing, and dealing with last-minute changes, the students have the ability and desire to take part in what may be their last performance before graduation. 

“We’ve had our bouts with illness, and all of the students are extremely busy and involved in many other things, but every year I know it is something that the students want to do and so therefore nothing stops us,” Stambaugh said. 

“It is a diverse show and we hope the community will support us by their attendance.”

Advance tickets can be purchased in the GBHS Choir Room from 7:30-8 a.m., noon to 1 p.m. and 3-3:30 p.m. on Friday and at the door if available. Tickets are $15. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 14, with the Jazz Band pre-shows at 7 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.