Thursday, May 30, 2013

Claxton Wins Open Dream Ensemble Residency

The A+ Committee received news today that Claxton has been awarded a competitive residency from Open Dream Ensemble, a project of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

During the week of October 28, members of the Open Dream Ensemble will be in residence at Claxton, where they will perform musical plays about science and work directly with students to write and perform their own plays as they learn science concepts.  The residency typically includes at least one school-wide assembly and three days of work with individual classrooms.

Check out some videos of their performances here:

Once you take a look, we know you'll be just as excited as we are to welcome them to Claxton this fall!

If you would like to help defray the costs of the residency by providing housing, restaurant discount coupons, breakfast, or any other donation-in-kind, please contact Melissa Cole Essig at

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Claxton Takes Top Three Prizes in County-wide Gardening Container Contest

Claxton classes won the top three prizes on Monday in a county-wide contest sponsored by the Men's Garden Club of Asheville.  Fifty classes in twenty schools participated in this year's contest, including seven Claxton classes.

The top three prizes went to:

Mr. Williams' class (2nd grade) -- solar system

Mrs. Currenton's class (1st grade) -- stove garden

Mr. Butler's Roots & Wings class -- music garden

The winners receive ice cream parties and cash prizes to be used to plant trees or shrubs on the Claxton grounds.

We are also extremely proud of our other classroom entries, many of which are described on the Men's Garden Club website as examples of particularly creative presentations:

Mrs. Ornato's After School Arts class -- mosaic planters

Ms. Gregg (3rd) -- tins

Ms. Adams (2nd) & Ms. Gebhard (5th) --peace pool

Ms. Warnock (K) -- fresh produce stand

Be sure to take a look around the Claxton grounds for these beautiful examples of what makes an A+ school -- integrating arts into the curriculum as students learn about science and transform the face of Claxton.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Claxton's First "Concert on the Green" a Huge Success

Claxton held its first ever Concert on the Green on Thursday, April 9.

With beautiful spring weather, an abundance of food for the potluck dinner, and many, many Claxton families listening to our talented students show off their musical skills, it was an unqualified success.

Families took advantage of the natural amphitheater on the playground, sitting on the grassy slope overlooking the basketball court, where a stage with risers and a collection of percussion instruments sat. The program included performances by several kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes in which the students both sang and played instruments, and by the Morning Recorders, Morning Singers, and Orff Ensemble sharing their special talents.

Hats off to Mr. Butler for all his hard work with the students this year and for pulling off such a fabulous spring event. And special thanks to all the students, whose hard work really paid off!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sound Artist Dave Hamilton Brings Music Technology to Claxton

Fifth graders had an amazing opportunity to participate in music technology/multi-track recording sessions with Dave Hamilton of the Moog Foundation as he did a residency at Claxton from April 29 through May 6.

Hamilton is one of the Moog Foundation's "rockstar" volunteers, and has been instrumental in bringing MoogLab to Claxton and to area festivals such as LEAF. He worked with students in the fifth grade on the science of sound—how to shape and explore the music students have learned to make with instruments during their time at Claxton.  At the end of the sessions, students received a CD with the music they created.

Hamilton's visit was made possible by a TAPAS grant from the Asheville City Schools Foundation, bringing yet another artist-in-residence to Claxton.

To eavesdrop on one of the recording sessions, check out this podcast.

To learn more about MoogLab and Claxton's role in it (and to hear from our own Mr. Butler), take a look at this video.