by Marc Kaufman, Court of Honor executive director
Court of Honor played to a packed house at the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Arts Center’s grand ballroom March 28. The occasion was the North East Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America’s American Values Dinner. The audience of more than 600 people, which included dignitaries such as U.S. Sen, Saxby Chambliss and local VIPs such as Gwinnett County Superintendent of Schools Alvin Wilbanks, gave generous applause as the corps performed No Bad News from this year’s field show and then led a patriotic ceremony by playing the Star-Spangled Banner.
This marks the second time the corps has performed in this kind of venue. Last September the corps performed at an event honoring former Georgia Gov. George Busbee. At the September event the performance was limited to a double quartet of players, so for many of the corps members it was their first time performing for an audience in their Court of Honor uniforms.
The evening started with a grand corps entrance. Then the corps treated the audience to a Dixieland style arrangement of No Bad News, adapted from the Broadway play “The Wiz.” Next, a special recorded message from President George Bush was played on the three video screens stationed around the room. This was followed by a classic John Wayne video about what truly makes America beautiful. Then the corps played the Star-Spangled Banner and the honor guard posted flags all around the room. It was a touching ceremony and people stayed on their feet to applaud at its conclusion. As the applause was ebbing, the corps made a traditional drum corps exit.
Once the performing part of the evening was over, many members stayed to watch the program to see several outstanding members of the community honored for their community service. The highlight of the evening was a moving speech from Senator Chambliss as he summed up events occurring in the Middle East and articulated how important programs delivered through Scouting (including our own Explorer program) are toward developing ethical, morally grounded youth.
Court of Honor was proud to be a part of such an important and significant event and we look forward to taking the lessons learned in the Explorer program onto the field with us as we compete this summer.