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Creating Unity Through a Love for Musical Theater

South High vocal music director Tyler Gruttemeyer loves to shine the spotlight on the diversity and talents of his students. His creativity leading the show choir, The Ambassadors, is driven by his focus on inspiring students to be true to themselves.  

“The community of South Omaha is a beautiful mosaic of cultures. It’s one of the many things I love about this community,” said Gruttemeyer. “We come from all different kinds of backgrounds, but we come together for a shared love for musical theater.”  

An Omaha native, Gruttemeyer joined South High nine years ago. He felt an instant connection to the community. With a background in show choir, Gruttemeyer led The Ambassadors into the realm of competition for the first time. 

“We realized we didn’t want to fit in among our peers,” said Gruttemeyer. “We wanted to be true to who we are by incorporating bilingual music in our performances.” 

Gruttemeyer takes a unique approach by encouraging his students to be a part of creating their performances. From costume design to writing lyrics, his students are invested in a performance that reflects their interests. 

“When I joined [The Ambassadors] I was focused on being a dancer,” said sophomore Mekhi Payne. “Mr. Gruttemeyer’s passion about musical theater helped me realize my passion for doing all three; singing, acting and dancing.” 

Through the highs and lows of competition, Gruttemeyer has supported his students by helping them tap into their natural abilities. 

“I do this because we have incredible kids, an incredible district and an incredible community in South Omaha,” said Gruttemeyer. “The students love performing and are constantly growing. I’m excited to see where the future takes us.” 

The show choir performs