Category Archives: School Events

Indifference in the Student Body Threatens Salapalooza

The Mayan Calender is the new logo for the Salapalooza shirts for this year.

by Vincent Roca

Salapalooza has always been an event that students look forward to as the school year comes to a close. However, this year, lack of both funds and student motivation threatened to destroy not only one of the few school wide social events, but our school’s final goodbye to the graduating senior class. However, Student council did not give up. Due to their recent attempt to save Salapalooza, ends have been met and the picnic will go on. Student Council Co-President, Pompeo Mazzella noted that there had to be a tradeoff to keep the event going. Although Salapalooza will go on, the amount of food and purchased activities, such as the obstacle course, will be reduced to fit the budget.

When students began studying for midterms many members of Student Council feared that this year there would not be a Salapalooza. This fear was a very real one. With funds already low and no sign that more funds would be coming in, student council was close to deciding that this year’s Salapalooza would be canceled. Why was this year so difficult? Mazzella went on to explain that, “We have never had to fundraise like we ended up doing this year. In the past we used homecoming to get our money, but not that many people bought tickets so we only managed to raise $500. And even before homecoming we got money from the vending machines which brought in money weekly, without that money student council doesn’t have the funds to supply. We had to rely on the students to get involved with homecoming and the year round ‘dollar’ days, but there wasn’t enough money from those attempts” When all seemed lost, the council decided that this graduating class deserved a Salapalooza, and they would do as much as they could to keep the tradition alive.

In order to save Salapalooza, Student Council went on a “Save Salapalooza” campaign, complete with its own twitter hash tag (#SaveSalapalooza). During the last weeks, they organized multiple raffles as an attempt to raise the necessary funds. Mazzella noted that, “The fundraiser that worked really well this year was the first fundraiser that raffled off six items, we raised $500. The second fundraiser, the 50/50 raffle, didn’t prove to be that successful because we only got around $100 dollars total. Together, they added to enough money to let us start planning this year’s Salapalooza.” The fundraising continues. Tuesday May 29th, Ben and Jerry’s will be hosting Student Council and 30% of profits go towards Salapalooza. “If a lot of people show up, I can promise that everyone will have a more enjoyable Salapalooza,” Mazzella added.

The plan for Salapalooza this year will be different from the past years. Due to lack of participation in the multiple fundraisers, this year’s event had to be cut down. While Salapalooza usually consist of pizza, watermelon, Italian ice, and soda, this year, sadly, no pizza will be provided. Mazzella ensured that this year will be just as great as all of the Salapaloozas of the past. All of the great parts of Salapalooza will still be going on such as the faculty/student softball game, the 3 on 3 basketball tournament, ultimate Frisbee games and many more activities. The date of Salapalooza is the Friday before finals.

In the larger realm of things at Branford High School, Salapalooza is only one of the many student events that have suffered due to lack of school spirit and the ambition to donate and participate. Mazzella as a final note warned students of the dangers of this growing sense of apathy within the student body, he said, “This lack of motivation has damaged many major events this year including homecoming, Mr. BHS, and Salapalooza. The student body needs to get motivated. Student council tried and continues to try to stir a sense of school spirit with spirit week and other events throughout the year, but the students have to do their part too.” Student council exists to provide for the student body, so we, as students, must do our part in assisting their efforts to improve the BHS community for everyone in order to keep great, student run events such as Salapalooza alive.

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Youth in Government Elections

A mini voting station was created in student commons to allow classes to vote for their favorite candidates for Youth in Government.  The winning students got to spend a day shadowing town officers.

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Pep Rally Postponed

The Pep Rally originally scheduled for Friday April 13th has been postponed to the Friday after break, on April 27th.  The cancellation is due to many reasons, but it is probably for the better, because no body wants to have a Pep Rally on Friday the 13th!  Who knows what could happen?

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Egypt is calling: Aida’s in Town

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By Meglin Bodner

The upcoming musical at BHS is Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. It starts out in a museum’s Egyptian exhibit where two people glance at each other and form a connection. Then, the statue of a female Pharaoh awakens and transports the audience to ancient Egypt where Egyptian soldiers and their captain, Radames (Noah Perito), are returning from a mission to conquer Nubia.

Radames’ soldiers have captured a group of Nubian women and he sees one of the women, Aida (Katrice Kemble), trying to escape. Later, Radames keeps Aida and the other Nubian women from working at copper mines by telling them to go to the palace groundskeeper, but sends Aida to be a handmaiden for his fiancée, Princess Amneris (Alison Johnson), instead.

Radames’ father, Chief Minister Zoser (Sam Bibbins), tells his son that the Pharaoh (Jarrett Levesh) is ill and Radames will become the next Pharaoh. Radames orders his Nubian servant, Mereb (Chris Marsala), to take Aida to Princess Amneris and recognizes Aida.

As the story goes on, much more is learned about who Aida is, how Mereb knows Aida, who the other characters are, how they try to overcome the prejudices of their time, and what happens as the forbidden love story progresses.

The show times are Wed. March 21 through Fri. March 23 at 7:30 pm, Sat. March 24 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sun. March 25th at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. The tickets can be purchased by calling (203) 315 -7998 ext. 2500. Don’t miss this action and romance filled musical!

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The New Calliope Is Out!

Make sure you pick up our own copy of the Calliope next week!  Calliope is the school’s literary magazine made up of artwork, poems, short stories and other types of writing from the students of BHS.  This is a sneak peak of the new magazine coming out; the cover was created by BHS student Ziqi Wang.  You can get your own copy of the magazine from the school store for $1.00.  If you are interested in submitting artwork or creative writing for the spring edition of the Calliope, just e-mail Mr.  Matthiessen at or ask your English teacher for more information.  

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Poetry Out Loud

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by Editor-in-Chief Marisa Kaplita

This past Tuesday on February 14th during period six 15 BHSers battled it out on the stage; Aria Jones, Henry Jin, Ben Shao, Christina Smith, Chrissy Beaulac, Kaity Robbins, Pompeo Mazella, Brianna DeNegris, Jennifer Lassen, Rachel Hanchuruck, Michelle Caron, Meglin Bodner, Jenny Flynn, Bryanna Willaby, and Ziqi Wang were all participators of the Poetry Out Loud Competition.

For this competition all the students picked a poem from a list on this website: ranging from different writers, lengths and styles.  Once a poem is chosen it is the competitors job to memorize and resight the work.  But its not a memorization competition, its a battle of expression and emotion.  Each student put his or her own flare into his or her work and learned to feel all the emotions the poet was trying to convey to his audience.

Mrs. Baker, 11th grade English teacher and Yearbook director, was the organizer for the event and stood by the stage encouraging the students as they read their poems and helped them if they were stuck on a line.   The judges where Mr. Miller and Mr. Matthiessen, both English teachers, who assessed each performance for physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, accuracy, and overall performance.

Brianna DeNegris came in first place with her poem, and Rachel Hanchuruck was runner up.  Unfortunately, it seems that since both students are involved in the Spring Musical, which is around the same time as the State Competion, there is a chance that neither will be able to perform at state level.  In the event of a scheduling conflict, Jenny Flynn, who won 3rd place will go and represent our school.

All the students did a fantastic job filling the shoes of their poets and they all presented their poems with moxie and excitement!

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$2 Movie Night!

Come support the school’s Amnesty Club, by coming to their movie night this Wednesday, Feb 15th,  at 5:30 pm in the F-wing Lecture Hall.  You’ll get to watch the amazing Freedom Writers while snacking on Chinese Food. President Kelly Du says,”This movie night is just a great opportunity for everyone to come together and raise some money for Amnesty. It’s all for a great cause in support of human rights. Plus, its a great deal!”   What’s better than dinner and a movie?  And for only two dollars; you’ll never pay that little for a movie for your life!  So come and support the school!

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Singing Valentines

by Nina Mariotti

Attention all love birds! Valentine ’s Day is right around the corner. Are you looking for a way to show someone special that you care

about them? Send them a singing valentine! As tradition, the BHS Music Maker’s choir will be going around to class rooms and singing songs to a person of your choice. The songs include Kiss the Girl, I Will Always Love You, You Are My Sunshine, and more!

“Sending someone a singing valentine is a great way to show a friend or someone you really care about that you’re thinking of them,” says Pompeo Mazzella, a member of Music Makers. “Plus,” he adds, “all the money will support the choir’s trip to France.” If you’re interested, you can purchase one during lunch waves in the commons.

Happy Valentine ’s Day, everyone!

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Twelfth Night at BHS

by Meglin Bodner

It is that time again – when the cast for an unknown play assembles and rehearsals are attended up until opening day. This year, the fall play is a Shakespearean comedy called Twelfth Night. The main character Viola, played by Katrice Kemble, gets shipwrecked on the Illyrian shore.  Assuming that her twin brother Sebastian (Dan Lalor) is dead, Viola disguises herself as a servant using the name Cesario and serves Duke Orsino (Sam Brookman) with the help of a captain (Griffin Sandler) who saved her. Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia (Molly Hughes) and uses Cesario to tell Olivia about his love for her. Lady Olivia believes Viola is a man and falls in love with “him”.

Life gets complicated when Viola falls in love with the Duke who has no idea that Cesario is actually a woman. Later on, numerous characters work together to make Olivia’s head steward, Malvolio (Chris Marsala), believe that Lady Olivia wants to marry him. Malvolio receives the falsified letter that says just that and does what it says in order to have her hand in marriage. Olivia is shocked by what she sees and leaves the scene. Those who wrote the letter send Malvolio to a dark cellar, claiming that he had gone mad.

Will Malvolio be released from the dark cellar and discover the fake letter? Is Viola’s twin brother really dead? Does Viola’s identity become known? What happens next will be shown at the auditorium on December 8, 9, and 10th at 7:30 pm. All tickets are $5.00. Bring your friends and family along for a memorable play that will leave you laughing.

Click here for full cast list…

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Branford Tree Lighting 2011

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Photo Credit: Emily McColl ’13

The Tree Lighting has been a Branford tradition for many years and it would not be as great as it is without the participation from the students at BHS.  The Interact Club was featured in the parade with with their Harry Potter themed float; complete with Hogwarts castle and all!  The woodtect classes even constructed one of the floats used in the parade, and the BHS choir provided the music to lead the Christmas sing-a-longs.  The Branford Tree Lighting wass a great way to start the Holiday seasons!

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