Harlan-based youth organization to compete in world championships


Black Diamond Independent Winter Guard is a non-profit (501c3) youth organization that has grown out of the color guard program at Harlan High School.

They will be attending the Winter Guard International World Championships April 6-9 in Dayton, Ohio.

Winter guard, also known as the “Sport of the Arts” is a combination of flags, rifles, sabres and dance. Performers compete as part of a local circuit throughout the winter months, with the season culminating at the Winter Guard International World Championships each April.

Black Diamond Independent Winter Guard was formed four years ago by Marcus Lewis, the color guard coordinator at Harlan High School, with assistance from Betsy Burkhart, the HHS Band director.

According to Lewis, “We are very excited about this year’s guard and their program, “It’s Hard for Me to Say,” which tells the story of how you deal with a relationship, once it has ended and the other person has moved on with their life.”

The 2016 edition of Black Diamond has done well at Winter Guard International regionals this season, placing third in their class at the Charlotte competition, sixth at the Mid South Championships in Bowling Green and they just won first place at their circuit championships in North Carolina.

“We are looking forward to world championships and expect great things from this team,” said Lewis.

Black Diamond Independent is funded through member fees, donations and fundraisers. Currently, the group is selling gift certificates to the Panda Garden in Harlan — 100 percent of the proceeds go to the group to help with world championship expenses.

If you would like to purchase a gift certificate or make a donation, feel free to contact Mr. Lewis at [email protected]

Special to Civitas Media

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