The two households of Verona, and the Middle Schoolers who portray them, have been hard at work since the end of September to bring you Browning's production of "Romeo and Juliet." Featuring four actors from the Brearley School, 19 Browning actors in Grade Five through Form II, and six Browning musicians from Forms II-VI, Romeo and Juliet is a massive community undertaking. Evening performances are at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, November 19 and 20. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. Browning students in Grades Four-Six will attend a special Thursday matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. View photos.
Science Department Chair Sam Keany reports on the November 15 Interschool Science Bowl: "The Science-Panthers hosted the Bowl, with teams competing from Brearley, Chapin, Dalton, Spence and Trinity. The buzzer-happy Browning team did very well in the five preliminary rounds, winning four, a record only bettered by Trinity. Thus, for the second year in a row, it was a Browning-Trinity match-up in the finals, held in the Browning cafeteria. This year the fates reversed, and a very quick Trinity team took home the honors and the trophy."
Mr. Keany added, "The Browning team, comprised of boys from Form III to VI, has worked very hard in preparation for the event under the generous faculty supervision of Coach Ting. The current enthusiasm for the Interschool Science Bowl bodes well for the future. Many thanks to the entire science department faculty for their time and work supporting this event and to Janet Lien, the most ardent fan!" View photos.
“Schmitty The Weather Dog” graced a Lower School assembly in November with her tiny but powerful persona. Dressed in sunglasses and matching coat, she appeared with her owners, meteorologist Ron Trotta and author Elly McGuire. The boys were enthralled and answered questions about the weather in response to Mr. Trotta’s lively and informative discussion about various types of precipitation.
Mr. Trotta is an award-winning Ragtime piano player, while Ms. McGuire is the author of the book, “Schmitty The Weather Dog,” which she read to the boys at the beginning of the assembly. Mr. Trotta later led the boys and teachers in a sing-along; in fact, he gave the teachers an “8 out of 10” for their vocal prowess!
This entertaining and energetic trio has performed for grade school children on both coasts. According to Schmitty’s website, in addition to teaching students about the weather, she helped raise money for displaced pets after Hurricane Katrina. Before heading back to class, the boys had a chance to meet, thank and personally say good-bye to Schmitty and Ms. McGuire. View photos.
At the Parents Association's annual Book Fair last week, Browning students, parents, alumni and faculty left with heaps of books to pile on their nightstand for months to come. With five authors and illustrators featured in classrooms, one assembly, a cocktail party panel, one virtual visit from Common Book author Gene Luen Yang, and the newly published photographers from Browning's own photo club, the fair this year offered many opportunities to connect readers to writers and artists. The theme of "Feed Your Need to Read" successfully whetted everyone's appetite!
The Browning community showed its support of literacy and reading by donating new and gently worn children's books to kids at Bellevue Hospital via Reach out and Read, and proceeds from the fair went to many Browning endeavors, including the School's library. Head Librarian Sarah Murphy explains, "The generosity of the Browning community makes it possible for the library to continue to meet the reading needs of our students and faculty. Thank you!" Click Here to view photos from the Opening Cocktail Party, Family Fun Day and Class Visiting Day.
On November 7, the modern languages and art departments co-sponsored a field trip for Form I boys to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The purpose of this trip, according to Megan Ryan, chair of the modern languages department, was “to study works by Pablo Picasso, one of the masters, if not the master of 20th century art. The excursion offered an exceptional opportunity to link all three of our fields; Picasso, a Spaniard by birth, spent the bulk of his life living and producing art in France, where he also died.” Ms. Ryan noted that the field trip was inspired in part by art teacher Zack Davis’ summer trip to the South of France to study Picasso's pottery.
Ms. Ryan added, “Prior to the trip, boys in both the elementary Spanish and French classes viewed and discussed a video on the life and influence of Pablo Picasso.” Using the website Create Your Own Picasso Head, the French students did just that. They also wrote a brief description in French of their creation.”
At the museum, Ms. Ryan explained the cultural significance of the painting, "At the Lapin Agile," while Spanish teacher Giurissa Grace led the boys in a discussion of the painting, "Reading at a Table." Ms. Grace said, “The elementary Spanish students were asked to write a brief biography about Pablo Picasso and describe one of his paintings using the vocabulary and grammar learned in Spanish class. They will use this information in preparation for the adapted reading of 'Agentes secretos y el mural de Picasso’. ”
Mr. Davis focused on the formal aspects of both the aforementioned paintings, as well as those of the painting, "Woman Asleep at a Table." He then led the boys in a sketching activity. Mr. Davis noted, “Previously in the classroom, the boys looked at images of paintings by Picasso and were given short intervals in which to create a sketch using graphite to create value and volume. While at the Met, the boys observed three paintings which were executed at different times in the artist's vast career. Each painting they studied was significantly different in style as well as color, providing the boys with challenging yet rewarding studies. They were asked to focus on the basic elements, such as line and shape, as well as spatial depth. Each boy completed three sketches in small books which will be revisited during the approaching unit on abstract painting."
Both language classes will continue to build upon the Picasso theme by reading a short suspense novel in either French or Spanish that revolves around Picasso's famous work "Guernica." View photos.
Second grade teacher and Lower School community service coordinator Rachel Gerber is pleased to announce that Lower School boys have been busy recently with a number of community service initiatives. "The annual Ronald McDonald Fun Run took place on November 8, with approximately 30 boys in attendance," she said. "It was a fun morning for all, and the Browning runners made us proud! Firefighters lined the course of the race and helped cheer on the boys as they ran distances between 220 yards and 1/2 mile, depending on their age." Many of the boys later walked over to the Browning Book Fair, where they were able to trade in their running bib for an ice cream sundae.
The Ronald McDonald House program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. The houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest.
Ms. Gerber added, "The second event involved collecting coins for City Harvest's Truck or Treat program, which donates food to those in need. Second grade boys counted the coins and later took them to a local TD Bank for a final count, where it was confirmed that they were very close: their count came within $4.26 of the total actually collected. The boys discovered their efforts had raised $1,565.74! At the bank, the boys each took turns inserting coins in the Penny Arcade machine and were also given TD memorabilia, including their very own piggy banks for future savings. At 25 cents for a pound of food, the funds they raised are a tremendous help! During the counting, the boys found Mexican pesos, euros, Ecuadorian centavos, Israeli shekels and New Orleans Mardi Gras coins mixed in with American currency. Thank you to the families and Browning gentlemen who contributed their time and efforts to both causes!" View photos.
Browning celebrated its fall season athletes at morning assemblies on October 31. In his welcome to the Form I-VI boys, Head of Upper School Jim Reynolds remarked on the energy and sportsmanship of all the Browning athletes. While the fifth and sixth graders attended a separate sports assembly, Mr. Reynolds encompassed players at all levels when he said, "Win or lose, you always represent Browning so well. You add so much to the community and to the spirit of the School." Mr. Reynolds lauded the loyal fans who support from the sidelines and make such a difference. Before turning over the program to Athletic Director Andrew West '92, he said, "Thank you to the Phys Ed department and to all our dedicated coaches."
Coach West, who coaches baseball in the spring, noted that he enjoys being a spectator in the fall. "Our JV teams have come so far this past season," he said, "which is a great sign for the future of our varsity teams. I am very proud of how all the boys handled themselves. Never have I heard anything negative about our athletes from referees or other coaches."
Coach West then presented a slide show produced by Director of Communications Design Jeremy Katz ‘04 of action shots from the season. Photographers Sandy Pelz ’71 and Christine Bramble take most of these wonderful photos and spend many an afternoon cheering on the Panthers. Click here to watch video highlights from the summer pre-season and fall sports.