CHURUBUSCO — If anyone attended last month’s Churubusco High School musical show and didn’t know Harold Norman or the impact he’s had on the community — they learned quickly.
After a two-hour performance that featured music from more than 40 different musicals, the full company took to the stage and sang their own song, “Hello, Harold” — a true testament to Norman’s continued presence on the Churubusco High School stage.
Fitting, that the stage was recently named in his honor, “The Harold Norman Stage.”
The show, held in the Jason Smith Auditorium, paid tribute to 45 years of musical theater at Churubusco High School — a program Norman laid the foundation for.
“I can’t believe they put this together,” Norman said after the show. “It just tells you what caliber of musicians we have.”
About 40 different musicians took to the stage for 70 different songs, with musical numbers from popular shows, such as “Cinderella,” “Annie,” “The Sound of Music,” “Grease,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Music Man,” and more.
Amy J. (Snyder) Jagger directed the show. Melissa Baughman and Cathy (Jackson) Petrie were producers. Baughman played the piano for the duration of the show, and many others were involved in the nine months it took to put it all together.
Norman was called on stage while the cast sang, “Hello, Harold.”
Golly gee Harold, thanks for investing in me, Harold.
Harold were glad you’re here today,
Harold were glad you came to stay,
Harold were glad you never went away.
The song was followed by a standing ovation by the crowd. Many were tearful and proud to be a part of Churubusco’s fine arts history.
“This really isn’t about me,” Norman said. “It’s about a community.”
Fitting that the stage is now named after Norman, who played a key part in the more than 2,000 students who have performed on that stage.
“This stage is where I got to know the kids,” Norman said. “They don’t know it, but I had the easy job. I didn’t have to memorize lines or learn songs. I did sweat a little though.”
The cast ranged from Debra Pence Barnes, a 1975 graduate of Churubusco High School, to Malaya Shepherd, who is part of the Class of 2028.
“Thank you to all of you who came back and shared your talent. It is so much fun to see all of you. A couple of you did get quite a bit older,” he joked.
“Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this community. It’s been a ball. Thank you,” Norman said.