St. Andrew's celebrated its annual Parents Weekend this past Friday through Sunday, October 20-22, and campus was abuzz with parents, siblings, and relatives of our current students. Parents had the chance to meet with teachers and advisors in one-on-one conferences, and to enjoy Saints games and arts performances as well.
On Friday, St. Andrew's boys and girls cross-country teams competed at the Joe O'Neill Invitational, where they competed against 34 teams from across the state of Delaware. The boys team placed third overall (the team's highest-ever finish at this meet), while the girls team placed sixth overall. Leading the boys was Captain Alex Horgan '18, running a time of 16:35 and crossing the finish line in 17th place. Tad Scheibe '19 was the second Saints runner to finish, clocking in at 16:58 for a 24th place finish. On his heels were Blake Hundley '20 and Carson McCoy '19, who placed 28th and 33rd in the race with strong times of 17:02 and 17:12 respectively. In the JV race, Will Gray '18 finished 11th overall, running to a time of 17:56. The girls were led by Emma Tapscott '18, who ran a time of 20:29, good enough for 22nd place overall. Right behind her was Charlotte Gehrs '19, who came in 31st place with a time of 20:49. Rounding out the top three runners for the Saints was Captain Elisa Davila '18 who came in 39th place with a time of 21:08.
Back on campus, we welcomed current parent, mixed-media sculptor, and art therapist Lilla Matheson Ohrstrom P'20 for the opening of a show of her works in the Warner Gallery titled "Truth and Tales." Lilla spoke with students and parents about her work, and also set up an "sand tray experiential" in one corner of the gallery, where visitors are encouraged to arrange and move figurines through a tray of sand, photograph the outcome, and share images with Ohrstrom via email. (Sand tray experientials are used regularly in art therapy.)
We closed out Friday evening with a performance by the School's Orchestra, conducted by instrumental music teacher Fred Geiersbach. Students performed Mozart's Overture to Idomeneo and the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, during which Steven Ding '20 accompanied the orchestra on piano. You can watch or listen to the Orchestra performance on our Livestream channel.
On Saturday, almost all of St. Andrew's fall teams were in competition. Our thirds and JV volleyball teams battled Sanford School, while thirds, JV, and varsity boys soccer; JV and varsity field hockey, and varsity football teams played Tower Hill. The varsity field hockey team fell to an undefeated Tower Hill 0-5. Saints football held Tower Hill in check for the first half of their game, leaving for the half with a score of 14-3, but ultimately lost 34-3 due to Tower Hill's strong run game in the second half. Theo Jaffe '19 was a bright spot for the Saints on the day as he recorded 16 tackles, the high for any player in a single game this season. Arthur Potter '19 put his mark on the game by recording 9 tackles and a forced fumble. Adrian Watts '20 and Lamar Duncan '20 each recorded a turnover for the Saints on defense with a fumble recovery and interception, respectively.
The boys varsity soccer team improved their record to 12-1 on the year with a 2-0 victory over Tower Hill. Finlay Turnbull '20 scored the first goal for the Saints in the 29th minute, finishing off a nice assist from Ben Horgan '19. In the second half, Captain Robbie Turnbull '18 added to the score by converting on a penalty kick in the 65th minute. Goalie Rick Townsend '18 continued his strong play in goal, posting his eighth shutout in 13 games.
Head of School Tad Roach also delivered a talk to parents on Saturday morning, which you can watch on our Livestream channel. He spoke about St. Andrew's continued mission to provide a liberal arts education that "embodies both academic excellence and community excellence"—an education that allows its students to access both intellectual challenges and character and leadership development. "Or perhaps more accurately," Tad continued, "the School seeks a powerful synthesis between reason, empathy, creativity, and service." Tad shared the ways in which the St. Andrew's ethos continues to be counter-cultural among private schools and within the society at large, and the means by which the School is working to ensure its future strength and vitality through an intensive strategic planning process.
On Saturday evening, the School's Jazz Ensemble, also directed by Fred Geiersbach, entertained with a set of five pieces performed by two different ensembles. Due to popular demand, Geiersbach made the decision last year to split the Jazz Ensemble into two groups, one for less experienced players and one for more experienced players. "[It's] part of a larger conversation in my mind about providing the right type of ensemble opportunities for people of all abilities," he said at the time. "I am working on doing a better job of taking care of the beginning and intermediate player." Jazz Ensemble II performed Coral Reef by Neal Hefti and Baby That's What I Need (Walk Tall) by Josef Zawinul, James Rein and Esther Marrow, while Jazz Ensemble I played Birdland by Josef Zawinul, Big Noise from Winnetka by Bob Crosby, and Buckjump by Troy Andrews. You can watch the Jazz Ensemble performances on our Livestream channel.
Also on Friday and Saturday evenings, St. Andrew's theatre program staged performances of The Canterville Ghost by Tim Kelly, based on the novella by Oscar Wilde. This lighthearted comedy, directed by Arts Department Co-Chair Ann Taylor, featured Santiago Brunet '18 as Sir Simon, the "lead ghost." The play follows the travails of an American family as they move into an English manor home in long haunted by Sir Simon, and repeatedly attempt to banish the ghost. St. Andrew's Science Department faculty member Ashley Hyde, who moved to Middletown from London this summer, worked on the production as dialect coach.
On Sunday morning, we wrapped up the weekend with a Chapel service, in which Mercedes Abramo P'18 gave a homily on lessons she's learned throughout her career and as a St. Andrew's parent. The service was followed by choral music and dance performances in Engelhard Hall. The Andrean Ensemble (formerly known as the Choral Scholars) performed two songs, Deep in the Night by Jussi Chydenius (featuring a solo by Althea Clarke '19) and Baba Yetu, a Swahili adaptation of the Lord's Prayer (which the Andrean Ensemble performed in conjunction with the SAS Choir. Next up were the Noxontones, the School's a capella group, who performed Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede (featuring a solo by Theo Jaffe '19) and Happy Ending by Mika (featuring solos by Shridhar Singhania '18 and Cara McTaggart '18).
Following the Choral Performances, St. Andrew's dance students performed nine works of original choreography, created either by dance teacher Avi Gold or by the dance students themselves. This fall, dance students also created a video of individual but connected student dances (with choreography created by each student) set to On + Off by musician Maggie Rogers '12. You can watch the On + Off Project on YouTube, and you can watch all of Sunday's choral and dance performances on our Livestream channel.
On Sunday evening, Tad noted that Parents Weekend 2017 was "outstanding," and thanked "the staff who prepared our campus, grounds, and buildings and who organized our schedule and communicated the events of the weekend; to the student body, led by the senior class, who represented the best of the spirit of St. Andrew's through your kindness, hospitality, warmth, and enthusiasm and remarkable feats of athleticism, artistry, music, dance, drama; to the faculty who honored a year of radical listening with hundreds of parent conversations, all designed to celebrate, affirm, and honor our students."
Thank you to all of our families for making the trip to campus—we so loved having you here for the weekend. And for those of you who weren't able to make it, know that you were with us in spirit!