The Prowlers were able to stop into the small mining town of Hanna, Wyoming, this week and do two full days of Bluegrass Ambassadors programming, culminating in a collaborative performance in front of the students, their parents and members of the community.
We'd like to extend a huge thanks to the HES principal Mark Shipp, the IBMA Foundation, Deering Banjo's and the Platte Valley Arts Council for making it all possible! See below for pictures and video of how it all unfolded.
Hanna is proud of its heritage, and it showed when we arrived at the elementary school the first day.
The front of the building is made to look like the entrance to a mine shaft and there's a museum exhibit right inside the door that chronicles the discovery of coal in 1843, two major mine disasters in the late 19th century, and many other events in the town's history.
Our first day consisted of working with all of the elementary students in Hanna along with some students that were bussed in from the neighboring villages of Elk Mountain and Medicine Bow. The fact that they included even smaller schools into the program shows how dedicated the staff and teachers are to their students' education.
This above video is a little bit of our teaching the kids to sing Guy Clark's "Home Grown Tomatoes" and then some of the performance in front of their parents. The kids worked on concepts of LOUD and soft, and fast and slow.
Alongside bluegrass and American folk music, we were able to share stories and music from our travels abroad. We played the video of Sitya Loss (Eddy Kenzo, Uganda) for the kids and it inspired great questions about Africa, dancing and other parts of the world. Then we played it back to them on our instruments, alongside showing the translation from Luganda to English.
There was so much more to these two incredible days of work with Hanna and the surrounding schools. Had we just been driving on Route 80 across Wyoming, we so easily could have missed this warm and welcoming town. Please stay tuned for a comprehensive video we're putting together that will chronicle the whole project. Thanks once again to all the sponsors and, most importantly, the students, families and staff of the Hanna school district.