Taking Thunder Road to Springsteen Night

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 - By: Chloe C, Allard ‘21

Some know him as ‘The Boss’, the hero in denim tank tops, others as a nostalgic father’s boy, or Mary’s young, working husband. But across the board, Bruce Springsteen will forever be known as the musical wonder who brought joy to our parents’ lives with his strong, lyrical voice and ageless songs.

It was Mr. Collis’ appreciation for the artist that brought to life an event celebrated by his Grade 11 AP English classes: Springsteen Night.

There are a few requirements for Springsteen Night: all attendees must show up in full Bruce costume (denim, ripped sleeves, red bandana, sweating etc.), pay an entry fee of non-perishable foods or money that will go to charity, and memorize some of the best (according to Mr. Collis) Springsteen lyrics. The lecture theatre in the Ross building was jam packed with AP English students, staff members, and performers alike. The room was alive with excitement and sweaty teenagers, all ready to belt their hearts out for Bruce.

The first performer of the night was Mrs Olszewski, singing the classic Thunder Road. This performance was exceptionally close to her heart, as it was her wedding aisle song. The emotion she expressed encouraged the room to sing with her. As the night progressed, a handful of performers including Alannah G, Janessa P, Didi O, Kenton L, and Mr. Collis’s daughter, Holly Collis no-hyphen Handford, took to the stage for songs varying from Used Cars to Born in the USA. Brentwood is constantly being surprised by the musical talent the students contribute to the programs.

As mentioned, our Head Prefect and member of the singing group, Almost Acapella, Didi O sang for the event. She attended the evening as a 11AP English student last year, and said that “To be able to continue the tradition and perform for the same event was really amazing.” She was also “Happy to see how much this year’s 11s enjoyed it”. One of those current grade 11s is Sean R, who claims that “Bruce’s majesty was showcased by Mr Collis’ enthusiasm in providing students with a unique experience”.

We are so lucky to have experienced the evening, as it opened our eyes up to some truly fantastic music and poetry that we may not have focused on before. As Bruce has become a happy part of our lives now and forever, Springsteen night will live on as a proud celebration of his sensational legacy.

Chloe C, Allard ‘21

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