Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category


Save the date for Pieces of Gold

Save March 4 on your calendar for the 2015 Pieces of Gold, a night of music, song and dance performed by talented Wake County students at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. Tickets for the event go on sale in January through Ticketmaster.

The following schools have been selected to participate at Pieces of Gold.

Elementary schools: Banks Road, Briarcliff, Combs, Conn, Fuller, Hunter, Leesville Road, Millbrook, Mills Park, North Ridge, Oak Grove, Sycamore Creek, Underwood, Walnut Creek, Washington, Zebulon

Middle Schools: Apex, Centennial (Dance & Chorus), Heritage, Ligon (Dance & Orchestra), Martin, Rolesville, West Cary

High schools: Athens Drive, Broughton, Enloe, Garner, Leesville Road, Mary E. Phillips, Sanderson, Southeast Raleigh, Wake Forest Continue Reading . . .

West Millbrook teacher stars on London stage

West Millbrook Middle band director Julie Oliver returned to school from a 3-week stint acting in Burning Coal productions at the Cockpit theater in London. The Raleigh-based theater company presented all three parts of David Edgar’s Iron Curtain Trilogy, an examination of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. The company performed the three plays in Raleigh and then staged the plays for 10 days in London. Oliver was paid as a professional actor for this work and now has a wealth of experiences to share with her students and school staff as a result of this opportunity.

Thanks to Principal Kelly Aman for sharing this story.

Middle Creek student recognized by state music educators

Middle Creek High senior Christopher Short received the N.C. Young Composers Showcase Award from the N.C. Music Educators Association.

Holly Spring High School’s choral group, Colla Voce, under the direction of Jenny Patchett, was selected to showcase his composition, “I Can Feel the Seasons Change,” at the NCMEA conference held in Winston-Salem. Continue Reading . . .

Wake Schools Receive Grants for Arts Education

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County awarded $112,000 to 137 Wake schools to bring in teaching artists during the 2014/15 school year for performances and residencies that integrate the arts with core subjects. For more than 30 years, “Artists in the Schools” program sponsored by United Arts has placed professional artists in public, private and charter schools in Wake County. These artists work with faculty, students and cultural arts representatives to implement curriculum-based arts in education programs throughout the county.

In the 2013/2014 school year, the program supported 157,688 contact hours to 144,059 students. This school year will be no exception. With 311 funded events in 137 Wake schools, the arts will touch many students’ lives.

Wanda Hanley, 4th grade teacher at Turner Creek Elementary, had this to say about writer Tony Peacock:

“The students enjoy his style, learning about NC culture, writing strategies, and listening to him holler. I have seen many writers blossom due to his story telling and writing techniques he uses. We were so happy to have him again this year.”

In return, the artists in the United Arts’ Artist Directory enjoy the program as well.

Writer Tony Peacock returns to Turner Creek Elementary for a two-week residency each year. He says,

“I treasure the relationship that I’ve been able to build with the teachers and students at that school over the years. It’s been incredibly rewarding work!”

Student writing/arts contest for NC schools’ 175th

WCPSS students are invited to participate in the 175th anniversary of the opening of the first public school in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) is hosting an essay, poster and video contest to help celebrate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the first public school in the state.

Cash prizes will be awarded, with 1st place receiving $500, 2nd place $250 and 3rd place $100. The first place winner will be honored at the 175 anniversary celebration January 20, 2015 in Reidsville.

There is a poster contest for elementary students, an essay contest for middle school students and a video contest for high school students.

Visit for details about each contest and how to enter.


Nationally known choreographer to lead class at Wakelon

Fourth-grade students at Wakelon Elementary School are going to the dance in a big way on Thursday, Oct. 16. Jacques d’Amboise, acclaimed New York City Ballet principal dancer-choreographer will visit with the students and conduct a demonstration class. Continue Reading . . .

N.C. Symphony honors Sanderson teacher

butler2Sanderson High teacher Marshal Butler received the N.C. Symphony’s music educator award on October 4.

The Maxine Swalin Award for Outstanding Music Educator is presented annually to a N.C. music teacher who:

  • Makes a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds
  • Serves the community in an exemplary manner as a role model in music education
  • Instills a love for music in children
  • Inspires students to reach appropriately high musical standards

This $1000 recognition and award honors Maxine Swalin who, along with her husband Dr. Benjamin Swalin, Symphony music director from 1939-1972, raised funds from the General Assembly to establish the children’s concert division in 1945. This program, which continues to bring free live concerts to school children across the state, forms the core of one of the most extensive music education programs conducted by any U.S. orchestra.

Bluegrass bands perform in WCPSS schools

Headliner bands in Raleigh for the World of Bluegrass 2014 event will visit 13 WCPSS schools during the week of the music festival.

The bands will visit 12 elementary and middle schools, plus one high school. The designated elementary schools will get a 45-minute performance and instruction about the bluegrass tradition, while the middle and high schools will receive a one-hour master class for their strings students. Continue Reading . . .

NC Symphony honors Sanderson High teacher

The NC Symphony has honored Sanderson High Choral Director Marshall Butler with the 2014 Maxine Swalin Award. The award is presented annually to a NC music teacher who serves the community as a role model in music education, instills a love for music in children and inspires students to reach appropriately high musical standards. Butler will be honored with a reception on October 4 at Meymandi Concert Hall prior to the NC Symphony’s “Yevgeny Sudbin Plays Rachmaninoff” concert. The awards will be presented on stage during intermission.

Thanks to Sanderson High principal Greg Decker for sharing this story.

WCPSS students and staff earn SPARKcon street painting honors

A number of Wake County students and teachers took part in 2014 artSPARK Street Painting. Even with a little rain early in the morning, it looked as if everyone had a terrific time with their chalk art drawings on Fayetteville Street.

Wake Forest Middle School Art Teacher Jose Manuel Cruz won for Adult Best of the Best: Design. His work was in square # 222.

Continue Reading . . .