GVC students present "The Music Man"

by Kelly Boyes
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba


That is just one of the catchy songs presented in the hit Broadway musical "The Music Man." Talented students at Garden Valley Collegiate will be putting on this show from October 28 until November 1 in the Garden Valley Gymnasium, which is slowly being transformed to resemble River City, Iowa in 1912.

Directed by GVC teachers Loretta Thorleifson and Gary Hornung, "The Music Man" was written by Meredith Wilson and was based on the author's own experiences as a child. It is a story about a traveling salesman, the scheming Harold Hill (played by Matthew Pauls).

Hill goes from town to town selling instruments, band uniforms and music books, claiming that after the goods come he will put together a marching band. However, when the products come, and Hill has the money, he quickly skips town, finding the next community to rip off. When he comes to River City, Iowa, Hill follows his same plan, only the story takes a great twist, when he falls in love with Marian Paroo.

Paroo (played by Loretta Friesen) is the town librarian and she can read Hill like a book. She finds herself falling for the salesman, when he gets her younger brother in the band. Toward the end of the performance, other salesmen are catching up with Hill, ready to nail him for his acts, but in the knick of time, Hill's love for Marian Paroo saves him, and the town of River City is changed forever.

GVC students with many different backgrounds have combined their talents to put together the current production of "The Music Man." Preparation for musical began last May with advertisements for student auditions. Students were auditioned and chosen, starting August 26, and they then dove head-first into "practice, practice, practice!"

"On average, we probably spend anywhere from two-to-five hours a day working on ‘The Music Man,'" says Loretta Thorleifson. "We spend two hours on the performance, another hour practicing with the band, and more with scenes requiring specialized practice."

The many hours and great amount of work should help to ensure the success of the musical. Work on the play has had its ups-and-downs, as does any large production. Problems with conflicting schedules, high emotions, and the many business details creates much stress for both the students and directors.

However, one of the stars, Loretta Friesen, takes a philosophical attitude about it all.

"Exciting practises, costumes, and friends make the play bearable even through the hard times," she comments.

Thorleifson noted it takes "hours of time and energy and planning" to produce a good show.

"It's going to be great and it will all be worth it in the end," she says with confidence.

Garden Valley Collegiate mounts a large-scale production every other year.

"To do it every year would be pushing it," says Thorleifson. "It takes a lot of hard work and time, and I think we all get pretty tired, so we need a break. It gets people excited for the next one to come and gives us more time to plan the next large performance."


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