A Springsteen to Remember

Monday, November 27, 2017 - By: Graeme M, Rogers ‘20 & Caitlin M, Hope ‘20

Last Friday, the Grade 11 AP English students attended a Bruce Springsteen night in the Lecture Theatre to “Educate our souls,” as Mr. Collis would say. The lyrics of the performed Springsteen songs are going to be used for a synthesis essay for the AP English 11 students, so the evening helped us understand the meaning behind the words. A dress code was mandatory: ripped sleeves, headbands, and as much denim as possible.

The night was a big success: $250 was raised for the Mill Bay Food Bank (Bruce does this for all of his concerts too) as well as the donation of many non-perishable food items, and the sea of denim was quite the sight. To kick off the night, the Brentwood Grade 12 band Gas Station Keychain performed “Dancing in the Dark," followed by a slam of “Thunder Road” by Mr. Collis. After that, guest and visiting author Adam Schroeder performed “Wrecking Ball” in tribute to his father and Brentwood's favourite bus driver Ryan Olszewski performed “The River". Dr. Martin Collis was next, but instead of singing “Independence Day,” he spoke of why he had chosen that particular Springsteen song; he told us about his childhood in England and how the words of "Independence Day" spoke to him on such an emotional level, as they would for anyone who has had to break free from parents, from cruel conservatism, and from closed mindsets. 

Following up Collis Sr. was the campus renowned Mr. Scott McGill performing “Factory” for us with his signature guitar licks. After that we had one very special Brentwood alum perform for us via video: Holly Collis Handford, performing “Used Cars". Then finally we had Ms Josie Olszewski play “Glory Days” accompanied by the AP English 11 students, with Abdullah H doing his best to drown out the good singers.

If you follow the Brentwood Instagram page, you would have seen a clip of all the 11AP English students up at the front of the Lecture Theatre just having a blast belting out “Glory Days” as loudly as we could, swaying side to side with our arms around each other. It is safe to say that it was a worthwhile event for anyone who attended the evening, all thanks to Mr Collis and the team of performers.

Graeme M, Rogers ‘20 & Caitlin M, Hope ‘20

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