ABS Thursday Notes- September 17, 2015

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                                        September 17, 2015


How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

Renaissance man: An outstandingly versatile, well-rounded person. – The American Heritage Dictionary

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is recognizing Peter Wilbur with an Arts Educator of Excellence Award. The award is to be presented at their annual meeting on September 21. Mr. Wilbur has noted that all of the arts educators, visiting artists, and resident artists at ABS are worthy of such a distinction, and he’s right. We plan to dominate the award year after year! Here is a portion of the information that brought him to the attention of the awards committee this year.

Peter Wilbur is a K-4 music educator; a man of boundless energy with a ravenous appetite for knowledge. Although he is officially a music teacher, he is also an accomplished professional visual artist and a burgeoning documentary film maker. Whenever he learns something new in the arts, he dives in deeply, then showers his students generously with his fresh knowledge and enthusiasm. Peter wants everyone to join in the feast.

This Renaissance man first came to ABS as a classroom teacher 12 years ago, and immediately offered to play guitar and sing with me, co-leading “Friday Sing.” Peter’s early days as a rock & roll/ blues guitarist translated into a garage band in his 5th grade classroom, where he brought drums, bass, guitar and amplifiers for all students to try during lunch time…a venture not for the faint of heart! His great enthusiasm, paired with an appreciation for great music of all genres (his only day off in his first 8 years of work was to allow him to fly to the San Francisco Symphony’s Mahler concerts) led him to music education.

Peter has taken classes with Bill Scheidt of Tam Tam Mandingue Drumming School, both to increase his proficiency for students, and for fun. When ABS sent him to learn MusikGarten curriculum to prepare him for younger students, he mastered it so quickly that he was asked by MusikGarten to teach workshops around the state. When we perform Romeo & Juliet on the Border with 5th graders, and the opera Brundibar with 7th graders, he volunteers to play in the pit orchestra. He founded and directs a summer music camp at ABS which expands in popularity every year, employing accomplished professional instructors, with young graduates of our school as assistants.

Mr. Wilbur is an accomplished visual artist, with well over 2,000 Instagram followers. His donated large pieces fetch easily over $500.00 at our annual art auction. He created a series of large pieces for Peppercorn Theater’s “Field of Fear” at BB&T Stadium last year.

After taking writing classes from local artist and writer Diana Greene, Peter became intrigued by Diana’s work in documentary film. He was so swept up by film making that he assisted on her film  The Final Rummage, absorbing all he could. He purchased equipment; and brought videography into ABS. He teamed up with Ms. Greene to create and deliver a demanding, professional quality 8th grade documentary film project titled Manufacturing Economies, in which students researched the textiles industry in North Carolina. Later in the year he will teach introductory film making during his planning breaks, and film activities at the school. He and Diana will repeat their project with this year’s 8th graders. Here are some of the many ways Peter connects his art with the community:

– Contributing art to downtown’s ARTivity park next year

– Leading the “comic tours” at SECCA for Eric Fertman: A Comic Turn;

– Walking 5th graders to the courthouse annually, to sing at the International Day of Peace;

– Volunteering to shoot and edit the film “Joy Prom” for Love Out Loud (for autistic adults);

– Leading 4th graders in singing the National Anthem at BB&T Stadium for charity;

– Offering free before-school guitar and general music small group lessons to K-8 students;

– Offering free after-school guitar classes to ABS teachers;

– Leading African Drumming with students at many community events;

– Making promotional videos for local musicians.

Peter Wilbur is a dedicated and inspired teacher who shares the spark of creativity with children and adults community-wide. We are fortunate to have him with us.



Auditions for World Premiere of a new Musical

Composer and ABS friend Bill Stevens has announced auditions for his new children’s Christmas musical, Believe. Roles are available for 15 adults and 10 children (ages 5–18.) Bring a short prepared song and sheet music in the correct key.  An accompanist will be provided.  Wear comfortable clothes in case you are asked to learn a short dance combination.  Auditions are at OVATION SOUND (4310 Enterprise Dr., Suite E, Winston-Salem, 27104) on Sept. 27 at 2pm. Rehearsals start late October and performances are at SECCA Dec 4-6.  For more info: cheri13@triad.rr.com.


Don’t Be Late!

School begins at 8:15am.  Students should arrive at school between 7:45 and 8:10.    Students are counted tardy if they’re not in their classroom at 8:15am. The student entrance is locked at 8:15 a.m. After 8:15 a.m., parents must park and escort their child(ren) to the front office entrance and sign in.


K-Kids & Builder’s Club Events

  • K-Kids and Builder’s club members should arrive in the meeting between 7:45-7:50 on Fridays. No students should be dropped off before 7:45am.
  • Kiwanas Hog Wild BBQ – September 19, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. College Park Baptist Church (1701 Polo Road). $10 Adult Plate/ $5 Kids Plate / $10 BBQ by the Pound. Advanced tickets can be purchased from Mrs. Hollis in the front office.  Proceed go to support our K-Kids and Builder’s Club programs.
  • Clean Sweep– Oct 3, 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon  Salem Lake. K-Kids  and Builders Clubs helping to clean waterways in Winston-Salem.
  • K-Kids will participate in the International Peace Day by wearing blue on Friday, September 18.  Everyone is encouraged to celebrate peace by wearing blue.

Garden Work Day

Saturday, Sept. 19, 9:00 to 1:00

The weather looks perfect and the weeds are just calling out for attention. Let’s not deprive them of their due.   Work days are a great way for new ABS families to get to know more people at the school while putting in some of their required volunteer hours. If two adults come to the four-hour work morning, that’s 2 months worth of hours for one child!

What to bring: gloves, digging forks, claws, other weeding equipment, children and their toys/snacks.   RSVP to Matt Mayers (mlmayers@gmail.com)

Book Fair is Coming

The Book Fair is scheduled to begin Monday, September 28 and will stay open through Saturday, October 3 from 12 to 3. This is a great opportunity to provide books for your children and the school. Volunteers are needed to help staff the Book Fair during school hours on weekdays and on Saturday. Please see your class website for details about signing up.


Fall Fest!

Fall Fest will be held on Saturday, October 3 from 12 to 3 pm. There will be games for all ages, music, and some of Winston-Salem’s most popular food trucks! Admission is $5 for children. Parents/Caretakers are free. Volunteers are needed to help run the class games. Please see your class website for details about signing up.


Box Top Collection Day: September 28

Next Monday we’ll have our first school-wide Box Top Collection Day!  Bring in your saved Box Tops (clipped and counted is even better!).  Each box top equals $.10 for our school and they really add up!  We’ll have a volunteer at the entrance to each school for collections.  So search through the recycling bin, ask your extended family, friends and neighbors for their box tops too and get ready to bring them in next week.  Thank you!


Picture Day-Oct 6

Smile!  October 6 is Picture Day!  All students will be photographed to be included in the school’s yearbook.  Proofs will be sent home along with information if you would like to order.


ACT Explore

Eighth graders at ABS will no longer be required to participate in the ACT Explore assessment.  This test has been removed from the North Carolina State Testing Program.  The State may replace this testing with ACT Aspire but details and timelines of the new testing requirements have not been released.





Lost and Found

ABS will be donating all lost and found on September 25.  Please stop by before then to claim any personal items.


Around Town…

Don’t miss some great music with some of our ABS parents and kids…

Saturday September 19 @ 6:45pm


Muddy Creek Cafe

Ruthie Kelly & Marley Priest – ABS 8th graders opening for Karon Click & the Hot Licks


Texas Pete Culinary Arts Festival

Sunday September 20 @ 3:30pm

Main Stage at 6th & Trade St

  1. Kin Band featuring Jill and Ian Byers (parents of ABS 2nd Grader) and Marley Priest


“Arts in the Afternoon”- a community open house at Sawtooth, Sept 19, 1-4pm  There will be a variety of artists’ demonstrations and hands-on art activities.  See website for more information www.sawtooth.org


UNCSA to present Community Festival Saturday, September 26, 2015