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The hills are alive as GHS presents "The Sound of Music"

The Gilford High School “Sound of Music” cast practices their lines after school for opening night Friday, Nov. 11. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
November 09, 2011
Gilford High School Preforming Arts students were busy last week rehearsing for the annual fall musical which, this year, is a production of "The Sound of Music" opening Friday, Nov. 11.

The halls of GHS were "alive with the sound of music" after classes as students practiced their parts and constructed the set.

"It's a good family musical, with a lot of good parts for people," said Director Matt Demko, explaining why they chose this musical. "We tend to do things whole families can enjoy. It's a great story, with great characters."

Students agreed.

Corwin Leber identified with his high-energy character, Max Detweiler. According to Leber, his character's role was to teach the Von Trap kids how to preform, and help the main characters plan their escape.

Leber said he moved to Gilford as a sophomore, and found acting in this production to be easier and more fun than previous years because things seemed calmer.

Sarah Cook was cast as The Mother Abbess, who is the Mother Superior at the Abby where Maria Rainer, played by Grace McLaughlin, is taken in.

Though her part is a supporting role, Cook said she gets to sing her first solo.

"It's definitely a challenge," said Cook, who usually sings Alto. She explained that the songs are fairly high-pitched, and she had to push her voice to hit all her notes.

"I'm happy to get the part," said Cook.

Kendra Eldridge, cast as Sister Margaretta, said she also was a good fit for her charismatic character, who shares a bond with Maria in the show.

"I think the show is going to be great," said Eldridge.

Behind the scenes, tech crew members were hard at work constructing a gazebo and two curved staircases. Andrew Kuc and Brendan Dibiasio, also on the lighting crew, worked to construct the base of the gazebo. On the other side of the stage, Kasy Warrnic and Kelsy Javis, also on one of the spotlights, worked on the steps for the staircase.

Demko explained that most students loved the show because many were familiar with it, or grew up with the movie, at least.

According to Technical Director Scott Piddington, who has been with Gilford Preforming Arts for more than 30 years, students followed schematics which they designed on a CAD program. He attributed the tough curing stair design to student Bryson Eddy.

According to Demko, one of the challenges with a classic 1950's and 1960's musical is the number of scene changes. Actors and the technical crew were working on ironing out these changes as not to slow down the show.

Demko said they incorporated some transitional scenes to take place in front of the curtain to hold audience attention.

"It's a great show with a good message," said Demko.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12, with a special performance for local senior citizens Thursday Nov. 17 and two more shows on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19. Tickets are available at the door, and at Greenlaw's music in Laconia and the Gilford Village Store. They cost $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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