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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fox packed for musical tribute

Monday, January 28, 2013

MarySue Hormel Harris, above, performed "The Man I Love" and "Tickled to Death" on the piano.
(Bruce Crosby/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- On an enchanting Sunday afternoon in late January in the year 2013, two very happy and proud widows, Marion Larmon and Joyce Hershberger, lingered outside McCook's historic Fox Theatre, their faces aglow with happiness and pride. Along with more than 400 of their family, friends and neighbors, they had just witnessed a beautiful tribute to their masterful, music-making husbands, Harold Larmon ((1921-2008) and Floyd Hershberger (1927-2011).

What an afternoon it was!

For one hour and 50 minutes -- starting at 2 p.m. with elegant violin and piano interpretations by Leann Miller and Cheryl Christner and concluding at ten 'til 4 with the singing of "Good Night, Sweetheart" -- an awe-inspiring group of musical performers thoroughly entertained a crowd that filled the main floor of the Fox and covered a large part of the balcony.

Host Walt Sehnert, seated left, looks on as violinist Leann Miller, accompanied by Cheryl Christner on piano, opens a musical tribute to Harold Larmon and Floyd Hershberger at the Fox Theatre on Sunday. (Bruce Crosby/McCook Daily Gazette
It was an afternoon marked by the applause of an appreciative crowd -- including several standing ovations and the loud, united singing of "There's No Place Like Nebraska" and the McCook High School Bison's fight song.

Usually, in reviews of performances, writers look for standouts to feature. "So and so stole the show," they say. But Sunday afternoon was different. Everyone who performed was a star. Whether they were newcomers or long time residents, the audience was awed by the extent and quality of McCook's talent.

For the sake of history, let's remember together the special numbers which were performed and the special people who presented them with the piano accompaniment of Jean Sehnert, Marie Coffey and Susan Sehnert Stuart:

The program began with a musical interlude featuring the elegant violin and piano music of Leann Miller and Cheryl Christner.

And, then, in delightful order, came:

* "The Man I Love" and "Tickled to Death": pianist MarySue Hormel Harris;

* "Home on the Range" and "R-O-T-A-R-Y": The Entire Company;

* "Sing a Song" and "Roll Rotary": The Entire Company;

* "Pick a Pocket or Two" and "Some Enchanted Evening": Greg Hepp;

* "A Nightingale Sang in Bartley Square": Kathy Latta;

* "Memories" from Cats: violin duet by Becca Sehnert and Susan Sehnert Stuart;

* "Sisters": Susan Sehnert Stuart and Marie Sehnert Franzen, Gretchen and Rebecca Sehnert

n"Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine": Angie Reiners;

* "Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You": Kelsey Siebrandt with the McCook quartet: Don Blank, Charle Coleman, Russ Ankersen and Merlin Brown;

* "Gary, Indiana": Gabe Sehnert;

* "76 Trombones": Doug Ohlson;

* "Fowl Play" and "St. Louis Blues": The instrumental quartet of Lonnie Weyeneth, Joanne Wendelin, Don McCorkle and Paul Wood;

* "Bosom Buddies" and "Side by Side": Walt Sehnert and Cloyd Clark;

* "Shantytown": Walt and Gabe Sehnert;

* Nebraska Cornhusker and Colorado Buffaloes rivalry: Janet Hepp and Kelsey Siebrandt accompanied by the Entire Company;

* "Seems Like Old Times": Merlin Brown;

* "Now Is the Hour": Merlin Brown and Angie Reiners;

* "I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do": Janet Hepp;

* "People Will Say We're in Love": Janet and Greg Hepp;

* "I'll Be Seeing You": Doug Ohlson and Kathy Latta;

* "When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along": Marie and Duane Franzen;

* "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue": Gabe and Walt Sehnert;

* "Red Roses for a Blue Lady": Russ Ankersen;

* "Red Sails in the Sunset": Sue and Russ Ankersen;

* "Fallin' in Love with Love": Charles Coleman and Kelsey Siebrandt;

* "Good Night, Sweetheart": The Entire Company.

Over and above all the special performances, there were landmark moments in the show. Of special note was the McCook Rotary Club's tribute to the Hormel sisters: MarySue Harris and Anabeth Cox.

The 2012-13 president of the McCook Rotary Club came forward with the soon-to-be Rotary District Governor, Duane Tappe, to present prestigious Paul Harris Fellowships to MarySue and Anabeth. The Fellowships were presented as a tribute to MarySue's and Anabeth's father, Benjamin Franklin Hormel, who was known as "Mr. Rotary." Ben was the McCook Rotary Club president in 1942-43; Rotary District Governor in 1965-66 and a member of the Rotary International Committee from 1971 to 1973.

Also in the spotlight was the recently renovated Fox Theatre, which inspired many words of praise and appreciation. While celebrating the theatre-wide improvements, the Fox is also looking forward to future projects, including an enhanced sound system for the stage and all new (or refurbished) theatre seating.

Harold Larmon and Floyd Hershberger were special men, who, along with their wives Marion and Joyce did much to inspire the McCook community's musical excellence.

The proof of their success was displayed with magnificence Sunday by 29 musical stars who combined to entertain -- and inspire -- an appreciative audience at McCook's historic Fox Theatre.

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