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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Wells

A Break from the Bustle: Cate’s 2024 Spring Family Weekend (Tori Kim)

The joy of springtime had been building up to the long-anticipated Spring Family Weekend. In the weeks prior, the sun beamed radiantly down upon the Mesa as the student body buzzed with excitement over upcoming plans for their weekend of freedom. 

Of course, this had to mean that come Friday morning, students were met with the rude awakening of ominous clouds brewing in the sky. However, the gloomy weather did nothing to dampen the mood. The morning was kicked off with a particularly crowded Booth breakfast as families and parents poured through the dining hall, eager to greet their children. 

The energy continued throughout the blissfully shortened academic day through to assembly, when students led their families to the amphitheater and packed themselves into the seats. In one of the more energetic assemblies of the year, Cate students took to the stage in an enthusiastic showing of the daily announcements, which included a snippet from the spring musical “The Wizard of Oz,” a heartfelt ballad dedicated to Ms. Song by the Advanced Chinese class, a fashion show of excellent Blue Ewe finds, all topped off with an upbeat performance from Cate Dance Company. 

After a day full of PBL classes and Harkness discussions with parents sitting patiently in the backs of the classrooms, the first day of Spring Family Weekend was closed with the annual Golden Box celebration, in which six works of talented anonymous Cate School writers were read out loud to the community in the chapel. The awed silences of listeners as the humanities teachers read the pieces were quickly broken by uproarious applause when winners Mei Gong ‘24, Basilio Boschi ‘25, Colette Chang ‘25, Riley Pan ‘24, Daisy Gemberling ‘25, and Josie Frazier ‘24 rose from the pews to collect their hard-earned prizes. A sacred tradition at Cate, the 2024 Golden Box awards did not fail to evoke both tears and laughter from listeners throughout the chapel. 

The Golden Box celebration was just one of many successes of the arts at Cate this Family Weekend. Later that evening after M Block showcases and the student art show, families were treated to a viewing of the highly anticipated spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Colette Chang ‘25 as Dorothy along with Riley Valente ‘25 (the Lion), Nate Keshen ‘24 (the Scarecrow), and Zachary Goins ‘25 (the Tinman). All actors in the production - witches, munchkins, and flying monkeys alike - showed up with exceptional performances. The skilled work of the tech crew, set design, and live pit orchestra added to the success of the show on all three nights. The hard work and hours of rehearsal shone through in this production, making audience members feel as though they truly weren’t in Kansas anymore. 

The final three class blocks on Saturday morning flew by, with growing eagerness as students prepared to depart campus. The afternoon was topped off with a mouthwatering lunch outside of Booth as families socialized and enjoyed the ambient music flowing from the jazz and rock bands.

The performing arts department ended Spring Family Weekend with one final “hurrah”: the Spring Music Celebration, featuring performances from Orchestra, Chorale, Camerata, and No Strings Attached. The concert was a celebration of the evident hard work and dedication students and conductors had invested into making music throughout the year. Joyous tunes echoing across the chapel walls were met with roaring applause as student musicians stood proudly on the stage, taking a bow. At last, Spring Family Weekend came to a close, and students headed off campus or to the Padaro Beach Grill for a night of rejuvenating and laughter.

The Monday return date arrived–cars trickled slowly up Heartbreak Hill and families bade their children goodbye for the next month and a half. 

As students hunker down for the final stretch of school before summer break - during which they will brave the depths of finals, senior goodbyes, and sports playoffs–the refreshing effect of a hiatus from rigorous Cate life and a celebration of the hard work they have put in thus far are sure to help propel students through this demanding time of year. 


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