Big Show: forming tomorow's stage artists

GardenValley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By J. R. P.

Cheers engulf you as you play the final notes of your new hit song for a packed Madison Square Gardens ...

Dreaming as this may be, the students at Garden Valley Collegiate have had the chance over the years to have a taste of this and to show off their talent to their fellow students. Big Show has show-cased many talents, musical and otherwise, over the years and is a highlight of musicians in the Winkler area.

Big Show is a musical and dramatic talent show for high school students who have the guts to get up in front of 900 fellow students. Anybody in the student body or staff is permitted to perform, and it has produced some local favourites like Roscoe, MAD and the Dry River Boys. It has also harnessed the creative abilities of students and teaches the art of setting up, how to do the sound and general production of a semi-large musical show.

Mark S., a student at G.V.C., clearly said, "It's good!." Mark has performed in Big Shows for the past three years and is hoping to perform this year, also. Mark has gained tonnes of experience from Big Shows. The school has watched him grow from Spoonman at the 1992 outdoor show to doing Johnny B. Goode at the last Christmas show. As made clear by successes and failures, Big Show is not for the faint of heart or the quitters. Big Show is a group effort, working not only with your band but with teachers and students learning to be sound and lighting technicians.

A successful Christmas Big Show was held last December. Big Show last June was replaced by two noonhour spotlights. The spotlights are used to focus on two or three bands which have shown they are exceptionally good performers. However, as Mark stated, "Keep it BIG." The feeling at a spotlight is not the same; it is more rushed and doesn't display a lot of new acts and bands. However, the more established bands do make it worthwhile.

Shows like this do cost money, just the sound board the school rents is expensive. G.V.C. outfits the production with a combination of the best rented and bought equipment in the Winkler area.

There are a few dedicated students and teachers who set up and maintain the equipment used. These people have become masters of lighting, sound and electricity. Nicknames like "The Brick", "Hoserboy" and "Gnat" are a sign of the closeness among the few known as Big Show technicians. They aren't usually found in the thick of things at Big Show but can be found working on little things backstage to make the sound better and the show run smoother.

Big Show has affected a lot of students, past and present at G.V.C. This may not create another big band such as Alanis Morisette or U2; however, it gives the students at G.V.C. a respect for the music and the work behind the scenes. Big Show is another example that this generation holds some of the future leaders of society. It has gained respect for teachers from students, and has created friendships that are normally not possible between students and teachers. This is something to be valued far beyond the walls of a school.

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