On November 24, the Browning community participated in the School’s 28th Thanksgiving Assembly in Christ Church. As faculty and boys took their seats, the Form II Drumming Circle performed “Improvisations from the New World.” Headmaster Clement, who began this tradition in his first year at Browning in 1988, welcomed everyone and asked them to quietly reflect on what they are most thankful for. Mr. Clement noted that he is grateful for the teachers who further the goals of the School and that he will miss them when he retires at the end of this school year.
Following his remarks, an ensemble of faculty singers led the community in another tradition, the singing of “We Gather Together.” Next, John Greenleaf Whittier’s “The Pumpkin” was read by a Form III boy, and the president of the Upper School Student Council offered remarks and extended wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all. The president of the Middle School Student Council spoke about the success of the council’s annual Food Drive and Dress down Day which benefited the New York Common Pantry. Their efforts collected 460 pounds of food and raised $1,298.07, an amount that will buy enough food to feed 37 families. He acknowledged the generous support of the Browning community in making this long-standing tradition so successful.
Musical performances always add a wonderful element to this particular assembly. Chair of the Music Department David Prestigiacomo and Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner worked with the boys for many weeks to prepare for this day. The Ovation Orchestra played Mozart’s “Minuet in G, K. 315,” while the Browning Balladeers (Grade Four) performed a spiritual, “Peace Like a River.” Finally, the Form II Handchimes played “An American Medley.”
A favorite part of the program occurred when Director of College Guidance Sanford M. Pelz ’71 and the Class of 2016 welcomed returning alumni who introduced themselves and indicated the college they are currently attending. As is tradition, the Browning Panther mascot made a special appearance, this year dressed as a turkey. The program concluded with the singing of “The Browning School Song” followed by distribution of the first issue of the Grytte student newspaper. Alumni were treated to a reception back at the School where they mingled with former teachers and Form VI boys.