Hart Co. HS on WGI.ORG
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4 Continents, 5 Languages, 29 Legs
By: Lance D. England
For the members of the Hart Co. HS Winterguard the 2013 season will prove to be much more than just flags and rifles in a gym. Not only will the current members have to work together to perfect their show, they will also have the added challenge of working together to overcome cultural diversity. Although all of the members are currently students at Hart County High School in Munfordville, Kentucky, their backgrounds are far from the same. Four of the members of Hart Co. HS Winterguard are participants in the foreign exchange program offered at the school. These foreign exchange students represent Norway, Oman, Senegal, and Thailand and speak Norwegian, Arabic, Wolof and Thai. Although having students from different countries and cultures presented some issues initially for the group, all of the students have learned to adapt and come together as a group. The resulting group provides a mutual learning experience about color guard and a global culture.
As if the foreign exchange students didn?t provide enough diversity for this group, a freshman member adds another unique challenge. During last winter season, she lost her leg in a tragic ATV accident and could not finish the season with the cadet group. Through the use of smart staging, considerate choreography and a determined spirit she was able to come back as a member of the 2013 program. Though it will be challenging for her both physically and mentally, directors and staff agree that she is up for the challenge. ?No other member of our guard is as determined as she is. When the other girls start to complain they look over at how hard she works and not another word is said? stated Band/Guard Director Ed Johnson. ?Her presence makes us better.?
Hart County competes in the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit (SCGC) where it holds the current record for oldest competing unit, founded in 1986. Hart County is also the oldest competing unit in the state of Kentucky, tracing its beginnings to a time when even scholastic units had names beyond their school name, and known as ?Parfait?.
Founder and current co-director, Kim England says that ?foreign exchange students have become somewhat of a tradition in the winterguard, but never have we had four members in the same year from such far corners of the earth. The language barrier can be challenging at first but most of the exchange students are eager to learn and we always end up learning just as much from them about their culture as they do from us. Plus,? she added with a smile, ?They learn a little bit about spinning a flag.?
This year Hart Co. presents their 2013 production, ?My Chair? set to the Overture from the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. Through the use of salvaged dining room chairs, the program hopes to entertain audiences with members overcoming cultural and physical challenges. The staff this year includes directors Ed Johnson and Kim England with staff assistance from Lance D. England, Cynthia Johnson, Lucas England and Allie Wilson.