1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro, NC info@shakorihills.org 919-542-8142

Roots in the Schools


RootsintheSchoolsOne of our longest running and most successful programs — public schools in Chatham, Orange and Durham Counties have all benefited from the program in which artists, musicians, and20170323_142010 dancers are welcomed into a school to provide music education ranging from small class workshops to whole school concerts. At a time when music and art departments are being cut from schools, this program continues to fill an important need for our young community.

The most recent program took place March 20-24  at Virginia Cross Elementary School. Local old-time musicians and dancersChathamArtsCouncil__GRN took up residency in two 4th grade classes each afternoon. Students broke into small groups of their choice in square dancing, rhythm, call-and-response, singing, and exploring the banjo’s African ancestor, the akonting. On the fourth and final afternoon, the classes delivered a performance to their peers demonstrating what they had learned. And yes, even the boys enjoyed square dancing!

ncartsThe program was supported and made entirely possible by a grant from the Chatham Arts Council and the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

Below is a listing of some of the programs provided to area schools through Shakori Hills’ Roots in the Schools:

October, 2016

  • Lobo Marino provided a school-wide concert to Pittsboro Elementary School, serving 507 students.
  • Richie & Rosie played to third grade students at Siler City Elementary School, servingr&r,ris 117 students.
  • James Olin Oden delivered a performance of Irish-Celtic music to all the students at Margaret B. Pollard Middle School, serving 637 students.

May, 2016

  • Richie Stearns performed with his banjo at Sage Academy in Siler City on Friday, May DSC_43196th
  • Nery Aravelo and Friends taught “Percussion Around the World” at The Expedition
    School in Hillsborough on Friday, May 6th.

October, 2015

photo by Allison Springer
photo by Allison Springer. Chris Luedecke at Sage Academy, October, 2015
  • James Olin Oden performed at Pittsboro Elementary School, demonstrating different instruments of traditional Irish music
  • Chris Luedecke (Old Man Luedecke) performed his own songs at Sage Academy

September, 2015

  • Cary Mokovitz and Adam Tanner of the Papa Charlie Jackson Tribute Project photo 1performed and lectured at Silk Hope Elementary School about the works and music of Papa Charlie Jackson and his impact on modern-day jazz

April, 2015

  • Claire Byrne an Brian Volmer of Driftwood played at Pittsboro Elementary School
  • Nery Arevelo led a percussion workshop at Perry Harrison Elementary

Fall, 2014

  • Local old-time musicians and dancers led an interactive workshop at Silk Hope Elementary School
  • DSC_9605Joe Troop & Diego Sanchez, touring the states from Argentina, performed at Perry Harrison Elementary School

Spring, 2014

  •  Driftwood performed at Carolina Friends SchoolIMG_2860
  • APPLES intern Melissa Swope offered a hands-on lesson in pottery at the Woods Charter School

October 2013

– Little Root played at Willow Oak Montessori School
DSC_3739– Mipso (right) played at Chatham County JAM

– Nery Arevelo (left) demonstrates percussive instruments after a spectacular performance at Chatham Charter School.

April 2013

– Dark Water Rising at New Hope Elementary
– Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits dazzled folks at Jordan Matthews High School
DSC_0670– Humble Tripe (right) at E.K. Powe Elementary
– Ironing Board Sam entertained everyone at Hillsborough Elementary
– Matt Heckler of Deep Chatham joined the Chatham County JAM

April 2012
– Charley Lowery conducted a Lumbee Indian workshop at JS Waters School
– Justin Johnson performed for Pittsboro Montessori School
– Driftwood performed and conducted an instrument workshop at Grady A Brown Elementary in Hillsboro
– Bombadil performed for Chapel Hill High School

October 2011
– Stuart McNair performed and conducted two workshops at Pittsboro Elementary School
– Jeff Stickley and Andrew Marlin performed and conducted a Q & A session for Chatham County JAM program
– Sidi Toure performed at E.K. Powe Elementary School

April 2011
– Chapel Hill band Birds & Arrows performed at an Earth Day celebration and festival at Carolina Friends School. Their music is very inspired by nature and was a perfect way to communicate to young ears the beauty of the earth and of music.
– Kooley High, a Raleigh hip-hop band with a positive mission played to high school students at Chapel Hill High. They played a lunch-time show outside for the whole school and introduced the fact that Hip Hop, as a genre, can have positive influence and inspire spoken word, poetry, and an outlet for communication.
– Charly Lowery and Jonathan C. Ward conducted a Lumbee Indian workshop at Woods Charter School
– Stuart McNair performed and conducted a workshop at Pittsboro Montessori School
– Umalali did a special program at Jordan Matthews High School

October 2010
– Charly Lowery and Jonathan C. Ward conducted a Lumbee Indian workshop at Siler City Elementary
– Lizzy Ross Band performed at Woods Charter School

September 2010
– The Cane Creek Cloggers threw a foot-stomping hoe-down at Silk Hope Elementary School, with old-time stringband, The East Carolina Catbirds. The students were wriggling in their seats to fiddle tunes as they

Cane Creek Cloggers at Silk Hope Elementary

watched and learned about this style of Appalachian Dance native to their own part of the country.

April 2010
– Hammer No More the Fingers performed an acoustic set at Woods Charter School
– The Steamrollers performed and conducted a Q & A Session at Siler City Elementary
– Greg Humphreys performed and conducted two workshops at Pittsboro Elementary School
– The Beast performed at East Chapel Hill High School
– Inflowential performed at Chapel Hill High School

October 2009
– The Firehouse Rhythm Kings performed two workshops/shows at Pittsboro Elementary School

Midtown Dickens at Pittsboro Elementary

– Midtown Dickens visited Woods Charter School for a performance.

April 2009
– Joe Troop visited JS Waters School. Joe blew away three of Valerie Jones’ 4th and 5th grade music classes with his bluegrass charm. He taught them about the roots of bluegrass, and gave demonstrations on instruments.
– The girls of Midtown Dickens, along with their fellow musician friend Will, rocked the 4th grade class of Pittsboro Elementary School! The students were amazed by Catherine Edgerton and Kym Register’s ability to manipulate everyday objects (a chair, spoons, even a saw!) to create beautiful tunes!
– Ari Picker of Lost in The Trees was in the second graduating class of Woods Charter School. On Thursday, April 9, he and several of his band mates participated in a homecoming of sorts. Armed with tales of their musical journeys, the ensemble spent close to an hour with a group of high school music students answering questions and demystifying the life of a working musician. This was followed by a performance for the entire school (grades k-12). Students and teachers alike not only enjoyed the music immensely, but many eyes were opened to the unlimited performance possibilities that many ‘non rock and roll’ instruments present.
– Greg Humphreys visited the 3rd Grade music classes of the Central Park School for children in Durham. The kids loved the opportunity to enjoy and learn from this awesome guitar-playing member of the band Hobex!
– Carolina Friends School hosted stephaniesid of Asheville, NC, for a lunchtime show that teachers and students alike were pleased to see stretch on into the next class period! High school, middle school, and lower school students were thrilled that the entire band was able to come rock out on their outdoor patio! A student of CFS and member of the Shakori band Old 86 even got up on stage and played with them…and played so well that the band invited him to play with them at the festival!

October 2008
– The Never performed and conducted a Question & Answer Session at Woods Charter School

September 2008
– North Carolina old-time fiddle legend, Joe Thompson,the last living link to a time when African American String Bands played for square dances nearly every weekend around here, performed at Pittsboro Elementary School. Most students had never before heard an African American playing this kind of music!

April 2008
– Shakori Hills had an Art Day on site with Paperhand Puppet Intervention, Katy Shoemaker and guest musicians and Leif Diamont led a nature walk.
– Charles Petee played at J.S. Waters School, and Michael Hurley played for Woods Charter Elementary students.

April 2007

-In this Hopes & Dreams pilot week, African visual artist Issa Nyaphaga welcomed students and teachers from Chatham Chater School and Carolina Friends School to Shakori Hills for a school field trip. He taught the students about his home in Cameroon, while they constructed a replica of a Cameroon village using natural and mostly recycled materials. Singer Amy Glicklich led the students in songs from around the world during the lunch break.