Making the history of McPherson and particularly the McPherson Opera House come to life was the focus of a school tour on May 2.

The seventh graders from the McPherson Middle School toured the McPherson Opera House making this the seventh year for this excursion. Memories of school educational trips are among the most prominent of the formative years, largely because they are a welcome break in the routine for both students and teachers. While their purpose is essentially to educate, they can also be a fun bonding experience for everyone involved.

The students paraded through the entire Opera House saw the underground tunnels, art classrooms, panoramic mural over the stage, stenciling, historic posters, grand ballroom, ornamentation of the building exterior, and back stage mechanics.

The final presentation was held in the auditorium and included film clips of the opera singer Jussi Bjorling, the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and two different Wizard of Oz pictures—one from 1925 and the most famous one from 1939. The famous line uttered by Dorothy—I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore—put Kansas on the map.

Over twenty Opera House docents, staff, and community volunteers organize and lead the tour. These individuals appreciated the historic and architectural character of this building and feel that it is essential to the identity and unique character of McPherson, adding to the cultural, social, economic and environmental sustainability.