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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jackson's First Palio!

Bampa and Jackson with the Palio banner!

Hands down, my favorite part of each school year was Palio!  In Lower School, the months leading up to Palio meant it was time to "play" on the apparatus (rings, ropes, balance beam, horse, and mats) during P.E..  We would practice our skills and get really excited to show them off to the audience on the night of the show!  We also got to show one of the games we played during P.E.  In second grade, however, we got to learn our first ever dance routine with Mr. White!  That was one of the first "special" things we got to look forward to over the years.  Once we were in Middle School, P.E. class would be dedicated to learning dance and tumbling routines, and our Creative Arts period each week would be spent working on even more routines.  We would stay after school for rehearsals, and as a Middle Schooler, it was really exciting when we got to combine our practices with the Upper Schoolers to bring everything together!  The day before the show, we would have an all-school dress rehearsal in the afternoon.  The day of the show we had a half day and then came back in the evening for the program.

Here is the description of how Palio came to be from the program last night: 

"The concept of Palio was initiated at Roycemore in 1919 when a teacher returned from Sienna, Italy, where she had observed a magnificent civic celebration.  In Sienna there are seventeen different "contrade"-each represented by a banner--who compete for the honor of winning the Palio (a large white banner).  In 1919 each Roycemore class designed its own banner which it defends with skills and sportsmanship throughout its twelve years at the School.  These banners have been passed from Seniors to Kindergartners since that time, and are the ones proudly displayed by the representatives of the classes during the "banner presentation" at the beginning of tonight's Palios."

We handed down our class banner to the Kindergarten class in 2000--that class is now the Junior class!!!  It has been almost 12 years since we graduated high school!  Yikes!  

Last night was Palio, and my mom and I took Jackson to the Lower School Palio.  He LOVED it!  He sat for over an hour watching the kids perform :)  I was really not prepared to be emotional over this since it's been so long since I graduated or attended a show.  Well, the Lower School does an awesome serpentine entrance: a senior leads carrying the American flag, a junior follows carrying the Roycemore flag, three members of the previous year's winning class follows with the Palio banner, and then the whole Lower School follows in single file line.  The classes are divided by their individual class banners, and they wind through the gym in a neat way.  They all stop for us to sing the National Anthem and the Roycemore Song.  I definitely got teary and felt goose-bumpy when the serpentine started and while we sang.  I ended up being able to just really enjoy the rest of the show and didn't feel very weepy--phew!  After the Lower School Palio, my mom was awesome and took Jackson home to bed while I stayed to watch the Middle and Upper School Palio.  It was SO fun to watch the routines because I totally remembered performing to many of the songs (the songs definitely are not the same each year, but the good ones get repeated!).  I didn't plan our trip purposefully to coincide with Palio, but I'm SO glad we were here to attend--especially since it was the last one in this building!
 Jackson and me with my class's banner :)
Mrs. Wunder, Jackson, and me with my old banner

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