Songs, Stories, and Community at Winter Celebration

DECEMBER 27, 2023

The fourth floor buzzed with chatter as Upper Schoolers spilled onto the floor, dressed from head to toe in festive wear. Reindeer headbands, holiday light necklaces, and silver shimmer garlands moved about the floor as the Upper School met their Lower School companions for the next hour. One by one, each Upper School student took the hand of their Lower School friend and made their way to the seventh floor, where Nightingale's annual Winter Celebration would take place.

As the notes of the piano began to play, seniors and Kindergarteners entered the gym, hand in hand, followed by Juniors and Class I, sophomores and Class II, freshman and Class III, and so on. The entire Upper and Lower Schools were connected to form one massive line, which turned into a massive spiral. Once all students arrived, everyone was seated next to their cross divisional friends.

This year’s celebration made history as the largest Winter Celebration in Nightingale’s history—with the highest number of students and alumnae at Winter Celebration than ever before.

Without further ado, Director of Performing Arts Mr. Goede led students in “Let it Snow,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” Director of Lower School Music Ms. Alexander led students in “Round & Round We Go,” breaking up the room to perform a cannon.

Seniors made their way to the front of the room to read through Hedgehog by Ashlyn Anstee, a book selected by the Class of 2036. One after the other, each senior had the chance to read a line from the book. With a round of applause, the seniors made their way back to their Lower School friends to sing “Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” and “12 Days of Christmas,” where each class stood up and sang a line in the chorus—competing for the loudest class.

After the seniors recited an original poem, it was time for the moment every Nighthawk was waiting for: Mr. Burke’s famous end of year poem. Everyone in the room waited with anticipation to hear the verse they had been waiting for. Finally the line came, in which everyone shouted together: “School is dismissed!”