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Orchestras, bands finally able to perform
Final spring concerts are this week
The Great Bend Middle School Seventh Grade Orchestra performs theme music by John Williams from “Harry Potter,” Thursday at the band shell in the courthouse square. The GBMS Eighth Grade Orchestra, String Rhapsody and other small ensembles and soloists also performed at the Spring Concert. - photo by Susan Thacker

Music lovers could hear everything from “Harry Potter” theme music to Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” when the Great Bend Middle School Orchestras presented a concert Thursday evening in the band shell at Barton County’s Courthouse Square.

The orchestra is directed by Aubrey Maneth and Isaac Enochs. Valerie Anderson is the accompanist.

“This has been our very first orchestra concert all year and I’m very excited you’re here tonight,” Maneth told the audience. In fact, it was their first in-person concert since March of 2020.

“The Seventh Grade Orchestra, String Rhapsody and Eighth Grade Orchestra prepared three pieces which each showcased specific technique and skills that we have been working on all year. Several students also performed solo and small ensemble pieces as an addition to the program,” she said. “These small groups were student-led, student-rehearsed, and student-directed; they put in a lot of individual work to make an ensemble come together. I am incredibly proud of all the hard work and dedication these students showed all year. They have been continuously open to new ideas and it has made them awesome musicians to work with.”

The GBHS Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. Monday at Great Bend High School and the GBMS Band will have a concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the middle school.

Band Director Grant Mathews noted earlier that the Panther Jazz Band got back in front of a live audience in April and also had 30-minute performances prior to the GBHS Variety Show on May 8 and 9.

“The Jazz Band always looks forward to performing,” Mathews said before the shows. “We are looking forward to finally getting to play in the auditorium, and having a live audience is always appreciated. It’s a great opportunity to collaborate with other areas of the music program.”

The GBHS Panther Bands also had their spring concert extravaganza last week, on May 12. The concert included music from “Hamilton,” student-led project pieces and more.