York Prep Community Celebrates Diversity

York Prep’s gym was transformed into a festive venue celebrating foods and music from around the world at the school’s Fourth Annual International Night on Wednesday, November 14. The evening, planned by Parents’ Event Coordinator, Ms. Lisa Smith, was a wonderful display of York Prep’s creativity and spirit. Faculty, parents, and students joined together to make the night both memorable and enjoyable.

Parents and students contributed authentic food from different countries. The Kurtz family prepared a Brazilian dish of feijoada (black beans) and white rice, the Levinson family made lasagna and fried calamari to represent Italy, the Shigetomi/Kubo family served Japanese yakitori, the Lee family served homemade sushi, and the Osher family shared New York deli sandwiches. Attendees feasted on Korean vegetable dumplings; Trinidadian jerk chicken prepared by the Cottin/Munnerlyn family; and Israeli hummus, baba ganouzh, baby carrots, and pita slices provided by the Lubit family. Other specialty dishes included Polish pierogis, Chinese roast pork, Irish scones and jam, and Puerto Rican beef stew along with arroz con gandules.

Several musical numbers added to the evening’s international theme. Seventh grader Olivia Heskett opened the performances with our national anthem. Under the direction of Ms. Maria Getz, Chair of the Performing Arts Department, 6th graders sang a musical number evoking South Africa, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The 7th grade Drama class enacted a Japanese folk tale, “The Crane Maiden.” With guidance from Music teacher Ms. Gina Costanza, 7th and 8th graders sang “Lean on Me,” and pianist Thomas Nickell (Grade 9) interpreted a polonaise by Chopin. The newly formed Glee Club sang “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, while the 9th Grade Chorus created their own Afro-Cuban percussion arrangement of the song “Kwaheri,”which means goodbye.

A special thank you to the Upper School students who volunteered their time to set up and help out during the festivities. Thanks also to members of the Parents’ Association, particularly Ms. Katherine Lowe, the 6th Grade Parent Representative, who gave generously of her time to ensure that the night was a success; and Ms. Dawn Iseson, Chair of the Parents’ Association, who enthusiastically contributed time and effort to organize the Dinner and run a raffle that raised money for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Last, but not least, a big thank you to the York Prep Maintenance Staff for their assistance before and after the event.