Press Release: Playground Hootenanny

Charlotte Musicians Release Benefit Children’s CD

Feb 13 Release Party Scheduled to Celebrate with Live Music & Family Fun

CHARLOTTE, NC, Jan 27, 2010 –  Local musicians whose children all attend the same Plaza-Midwood preschool have collaborated as “The Plaza Family Band” to produce an eclectic CD of original and traditional children’s music as a fundraiser for the school.  They’ll host a release party on February 13, 12-2pm, at The Pizza Peel (4422 Colwick Road) with a live performance and children’s activities.  Pizza Peel will donate a portion of their sales during the party to Kids First of the Carolinas and Right Moves for Youth.

“Playground Hootenanny”, which features a variety of sounds from folk to hip-hop, includes vocals by singer/songwriter Mike Strauss, Clifton Castelloe of acoustic guitar duo Melonbelly, and Hope Nicholls of Fetchin’ Bones, Sugarsmack and Snagglepuss fame.  Produced by Strauss and Castelloe, the 17-track recording is available locally at Manifest, Common Market and Boris+Natasha, and online at iTunes and CDBaby.

The album has begun getting airplay on local eclectic radio station WSGE 91.7 and has received praise by John Tosco, host of the long-running Tosco Music Parties. "The Plaza family Band's new CD 'Playground Hootenanny' is as much fun for adults as kids”, Tosco said. “These are not your run-of-the-mill versions of traditional kid's songs, but ultra cool arrangements that make you want to listen and sing along again and again.  This project is reminiscent of the James Taylor and company's 'In Harmony' record."

The Plaza Family Band includes Mike Strauss, Clifton Castelloe, Sergio Agraz, Hope Nicholls, Aaron Pitkin, Jon Schigoda, Dave Conlin, Rick Blackwell, Micaila Milburn, Beth Brown-AlRawi, Donovan Collins and Barbara Bonner.  

Proceeds from the sale of “Playground Hootenanny” will benefit Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School, a half-day preschool located in Charlotte's historic Plaza-Midwood neighborhood.  Founded in 1973, Plaza’s program uses an open, developmental approach to learning which allows children to enjoy play and socialization of early childhood without academic pressure. The “Plaza Family” is a creative, close-knit community full of artists and entrepreneurs.

Band photo, album artwork and musician bios available at  

Patti Schigoda, Director
Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School
2304 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 376-8595