Weekends

Friday Nights

The boys spend Friday evenings together relaxing and winding down at the end of a busy school week. After sports practice and showers, they begin their evening with a casual dinner, which is served in the Rec Room. During this time, they chat with faculty members, build elaborate K’nex structures, have pillow fights, read, or play ping pong, cards, or board games. After they have finished eating, the boys are able to go upstairs to the Tuck Shoppe, a candy store on the fourth floor which is open on Friday and Sunday evenings, and is managed by one of the 8th graders.

After the boys have made their candy selection, they return to the Rec Room for a movie selected by the faculty member on duty. The boys have already changed into their pajamas, and they settle in with their pillows and blankets to watch the movie together. Spending this fun, casual time with one another is a highlight of everyone’s week.

Saint Thomas Choir School students enjoying a Saturday night dinner out

Saturday Program

After Saturday morning rehearsals, parents who are able are invited to pick up their son for the day. To make sure that the boys who stay with the school on Saturdays don’t miss out on a fun weekend, the duty faculty put together weekend activities that are sometimes educational and structured, and sometimes not, but always have a focus on fun.

Boys who are staying for the day have the opportunity to call their families and spend some time hanging out. After lunch, the boys participate in a fun group activity. Each week features something different: from an ice skating excursion in Central Park to a new museum exhibit, or even a day spent in the school building an elaborate gingerbread house. No matter what the activity is, it gives the boys an opportunity to spend time with each other and with their teachers relaxing and having fun.

On Saturday evenings dinner is either take-out or eaten at a restaurant. Once the boys who were with their parents return, it is time for study hall, showers and bed.

Holidays

The boys look forward to the many fun traditions surrounding holidays at the Choir School.

Halloween

When Halloween falls on a school night, the Choir School goes through a spooky transformation. We have pumpkin carving contests leading up to the holiday, adorning the windowsills in the dining room. On All Hallows Eve, the 14th floor transforms into a haunted house, complete with ghosts and ghouls. Afterwards, the boys and faculty members ply their ingenuity in a costume contest.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving celebrations at the Saint Thomas Choir SchoolThe boys sing a morning service on Thanksgiving before going home to their family celebrations, so our school Thanksgiving begins the night before. This beloved tradition is a testament to the strong bonds between Saint Thomas students and their classmates, their teachers, and their school. Recent alumni are invited to join us on Wednesday night and play dodgeball with their former classmates, followed by a hotly-contested alumni vs. student basketball game. After this friendly competition has worked up their appetites, the students, faculty, and alumni all enjoy a decadent Thanksgiving-style dinner together.

Christmas

The weeks just before Christmas are always festive, full of special services and holiday events at the school. In addition to all the special liturgical events, the boys sing two concerts of Handel’s Messiah and perform Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols.

A Saint Thomas Choir School student shares his gingerbread houseA few weeks before Christmas, a giant Christmas tree overtakes the library. With the tunes of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in the background, and with cups of hot cocoa in hand, the boys decorate the tree with trimmings, tinsel and ornaments. As a final touch, they throw countless paper airplanes from the rafters into the decorated tree.

In the days before Christmas, the boys wrap Secret Santa presents for each other, and their advisors shop for gifts they think each boy would like. On Christmas Eve, the boys sing an afternoon service followed by a Christmas dinner to which all of their families are invited.

A midnight service on Christmas Eve kicks off Christmas Day, and unwrapping the presents under the tree on Christmas morning is always a much-awaited event. Following the Christmas morning service, the boys go home for a well-deserved two week holiday.

Easter

In Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, the boys sing a number of special services which are both musically challenging and quite dramatic. On the Saturday before Easter, the boys participate in a school-wide Easter egg hunt, looking to see who can find the most candy and searching for the special prizes hidden for each boy around the school.

Easter Sunday has three sung services: two Eucharist services in the morning, and one Evensong service in the afternoon, with a break in the middle for an extra-special Easter lunch with the families. As at Christmas, after the last service is over, the boys head home for a week of rest and relaxation.