All-State winning bass one singer has lead role in Peter Pan prequel

Senior Sam Lubs plays Peter in this weekend’s fall play “Peter and the Star-Catcher.” Lubs also recently earned his third All State as a bass one.

Sam Lubs, a senior, has a passion for music and theater and openly shares his talents in both areas with the school. This year, Lubs is the lead in the fall play, “Peter and the Star-Catcher.” He also made All-State with quartet members Kellen Chenoweth, Haley Jaeger and Quay Burke. 

Being a team player for his ensemble, Lubs made sure he was on top of his game going into All-State. “To prepare before I was put into a quartet, I made sure I was attending the rehearsals Mr. Kranz was holding after school, and I made sure I knew my music by the night of placements. It would have been a disservice to my quartet members to not have learned every piece before being placed with them,” Lubs said.

Lubs noted that preparations for All-State can be grueling and make for an especially long audition day. “The cuts every quartet will sing are released at 5 a.m. the day of auditions. That morning, we eat breakfast in Mr. Kranz’s house at 5:30, sing the cuts, drive to the high school to warm up and then get on the bus to go to Hampton at around 6:30. From the time we arrive until the time of auditions, each quartet prepares the way it needs to,” Lubs said. “By about 6 that night, vocalists will know if they made it into All-State or not.”

Even though the outcome was in their favor, Lubs said he was thrilled at the opportunity to work with his quartet members above all. “Interpreting the music and preparing for mock auditions was no problem, but one of our main issues as a group was retaining everything we had worked on. Making sure we were focused during rehearsals was vital to our growth. I can’t speak for my other quartet members, but the time I had to spend with my quartet means so much more to me than the results of our audition. I’m so thankful to have been able to work with them,” Lubs said.

With a new atmosphere in the concert choir this year due to a larger class, Lubs said choir director Elliot Kranz has made the effort to build a “stronger sense of community” within the choir. “One of the ways he’s trying to achieve this is by taking three minutes out of rehearsal each day and dedicating it to a student to introduce themselves to the class. They can answer some prompt questions, give the class some basic information about themselves or talk about something else if they’d like,” Lubs said. “I’ve learned from my time in Mr. Kranz’s classroom that the stronger your community, both inside and outside of the classroom, the stronger your choir will be, and the stronger your eventual performance will be. These introductions allow everyone to get to know the speaker just a little bit more. Whether the person speaking was nervous, confident, prepared to speak or just winging it, I enjoy hearing what everyone has to say about themselves, especially the people I know only by name.”

Reflecting on his time in the choir, Lubs is learning that each and every day is special. “I’ve learned not to take any of my time with friends, the choir and Mr. Kranz for granted. I’ve been singing with some of the people in concert choir for upwards of seven years,” Lubs said. “Everything that we do in that classroom is too important to me to just let pass by because I know that in a year’s time I won’t be with the same people in the same choir, and it’ll take time to adjust. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had over the past two years, and I’m grateful for the time I have left at Cedar Falls.” 

From his time at the high school, Lubs is going on to pursue a career in music, majoring in music education at Luther College after graduation. “Music has always been a huge part of my life. Whether I’m in the classroom or not, but my experiences in choir these past few years have helped me realize that this is something I was to continue to be a part of. I want to work with a choir of my own some day. I had never thought about going into music education until sophomore year. After I started expressing interest, Mr. Kranz gave me a few opportunities to test the waters,” Lubs said. “If it weren’t for Mr. Kranz, I would probably still be convincing myself that I wanted to go to Iowa State for engineering, not something I ever really wanted to do. Being in his classroom every day and seeing him work with his choirs was enough to make me interested in music education.”

Reciprocating the love, Kranz noted that Lubs is an essential leader, acting as the choir president. “He is a great kid, and many of the students look up to him and follow his lead in the choir room,” Kranz said.

As for the upcoming play this weekend, Lubs is ecstatic for the performance and also the sleep he’ll finally be able to get afterward. “I’m excited to perform. Our cast has worked long and hard, and after this week, we’ll be ready to put on the best show we can,” Lubs said. “I’m also excited for the nap I’m going to take after our show is over. It’s going to be a long nap.”

In this last week leading up to the play, Lubs said the final stretch can go one of two ways. “In my experience, as the last week of a show approaches, the cast is either a) full of energy and ready to perform, or b) extremely tired of the show and can’t wait for it to be over,” he said. “Luckily, most, if not all of our cast is full of energy. Sure, we’ve had rough patches along the way. Every show has hiccups here and there during rehearsal, but we’ve all worked diligently, and we’re ready to give our audiences a good show.”

Getting into character, Lubs said he has to envision himself as Peter. “I do my best to put myself in Peter’s shoes. He’s an orphan, and he’s all alone. No friends, no family, no one to really care for him. Depending on the mood of the scene, his emotions might be different, and Peter’s character at the end of the show is certainly not the same as he was in the beginning, but I still find success in asking myself ‘How would he react if [this character] said [this line]?’ and reacting accordingly,” Lubs said.

“Peter and the Star Catcher” will run on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $4 for students and $5 for adults.

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