Friday, December 16, 2016

The Winter Concert Warms Our Hearts

Last night saw one of our favorite Claxton traditions, the Winter Concert. Students from 1st through 5th grade performed (the kindergartners are prepping for the Celebration of Learning in the spring), showing off just how much confidence and know-how a school of the arts can instill in young children.

Not only was there singing, but students played an array of instruments—ukelele, recorder flute, piano, drums, xylophone, and, of course, bells, a 2nd grade tradition:



Here are our 4th graders accompanied by the Advanced Recorders morning music group on a particularly timely song:



In keeping with Claxton's believe in inclusion, the concert featured not only traditional Christmas songs, but music from Israel, Mexico, Nicaragua, Australia, and African-American traditions as well. 

We wish we could have recorded the entire concert! We did get the finale:



Our greatest appreciation to Mr. Butler for once again organizing such a massive undertaking with grace, patience, and an eye toward making sure everyone—students and their families—had a wonderful time!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Claxton Students Learn About West African Music

Claxton students were lucky enough to meet Sean Gaskell, a musician who plays the Kora, on Friday.

The Kora is a 21-string harp that originated in Gambia, West Africa. A melodic and peaceful sounding instrument, it often accompanies songs of hardship and war, some of them dating back as much as 800 years, to the founding of the Mande empire. The Kora is traditionally played by oral and musical historians knows as Griots ("Gree-ohs").




The students loved hearing music that sounds so very different from what they're used to and were fascinated by the idea of an instrument with a whopping 21 strings!

Hear it for yourself:




Once again, we're thankful for how arts integration can expose kids to so many different parts of the world and teach them to be open-minded and excited about other cultures. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for bringing Sean Gaskell to Claxton!