A Closer Look at the SCH Boys Winter Assembly


Jack Gaghan, Reporter

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror and the holidays just beginning, it’s important to pause and observe the wonderful spirit and tradition displayed at the boys winter assembly that occurs annually at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. 

Many traditions from Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside School have continued at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Even though the high school is now co-ed and, for the first time this year, the lower and middle school boys have moved to a different campus, the boys assembly hasn’t changed much. 

“The whole school comes together and it’s just one big event and everyone is in a good mood because it’s right before break and it’s something that’s always been done and is always there,” said Charlie Erdos, SCH lifer since Pre-K. “It’s something to look forward to at the end of the three weeks of hard tests and quizzes.”

A graduate of Chestnut Hill Academy, Rick Knox ‘92 has lived through countless assemblies from the viewpoint of a student and a faculty member. Now that CHA and Springside finally transitioned into one united SCH, the winter assembly is one of the few times each year that only the boys are together making it even more exciting for Alumni like Knox. 

“Especially now that we’re one school, having an opportunity for all the boys to come together I think is a special thing,” said Knox. “We only have so many opportunities for that a year, just for me personally brings me back and makes me reminiscent of when we were single sex.” 

Hosting and coordinating the assembly has always been viewed as an honor in the minds of the students and faculty. Being able to help promote holiday joy to little boys just four years old to seniors who are in the stressful process of applying for colleges is truly special. Knox, being a former student, has had the privilege to host the assembly before, but knows the feeling of excitement from sitting in the stands is extraordinary as well.

“Obviously for me, it’s been an honor to help run the assembly whereas being in the stands is just the excitement of the whole thing, the excitement that your about to go on break but also just the excitement of the season and what’s to come,” said Knox.

Annual highlights include the lower school musical numbers, the faculty sing-along along, and homegrown song Here In My House. Will Kelly, another SCH lifer, recalls the truly spectacular rendition of O Holy Night led by Hilltones’ senior members. And of course, one of the more comical parts of the assembly, the production of How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

“I like the Grinch. I like how they usually like chose some big football guy to play the girl and I think the Grinch is pretty good,” said Kelly.  “I like the Hilltones singing O Holy Night.  I know that it’s all the seniors that sing it so it’s always a good tradition.”

Knox recalls that during the ‘90s, the assembly incorporated much more Christian aspects, as he remembers reading Bible passages at the podium. Now with a more diverse student body, the assembly honors all religions as each division will select members to summarize the creation stories of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Nonetheless, with a large number of new students entering the school at the high school level, it is important that the boys winter assembly is met with respect and dignity in order to keep its traditions alive. .  

“Some people throw it off but it’s definitely something that a lot of people who have been here for awhile are really looking forward to,” said Erdos. “It’s supposed to be fun but if people try to intentionally make it not fun for someone else then it’s just not good.”

The boys winter assembly is a time to honor the traditions of the past and celebrate the holidays with the greater SCH community in an entertaining fashion.

“To me it’s a great assembly,” said Knox. “I hope everyone has fun, I look forward to helping run the thing and I’m sure each individual student has the parts that they like a lot but just that time of being together as one whole community… I think the way the assembly ends where everyones doing the twelve days of Christmas together definitely builds a unity.”

The assembly is set to kick off at 1:30 PM this Friday, December 20th.