St Michael's Country Day School | School News
archive,category,category-school_news,category-188,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,, vertical_menu_transparency vertical_menu_transparency_on,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-theme-ver-11.1,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive

School News

Navy Band Northeast (NBNE) will hold its third annual Alumni Concert at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport on August 17 at 6pm. Led by its Director, Lieutenant Joel Borrelli-Boudreau, the alumni-augmented NBNE Pops Ensemble will perform traditional works for concert band and feature vocalists who perform patriotic classics, operatic arias, and Broadway showstoppers. This special performance will also feature an Alumni Big Band led by Chief Warrant Officer (Retired) Terry Chesson and Lieutenant Commander (Retired) Carl Gerhard, performing jazz and swing favorites. The ensembles comprise all active duty members of Navy Band Northeast as well as past band members who come especially to play for this must-hear event. St. Michael’s Country Day School is located at 180 Rhode Island Avenue, Newport RI. The concert is free and open to the public.

Navy Band Northeast Director Lieutenant Joel Borrelli-Boudreau is from Methuen, Massachusetts. He holds a Master of Arts in conducting from George Mason University, a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from The Catholic University of America, and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. Borrelli-Boudreau enlisted into the U.S. Naval Academy Band, performing with the Concert Band, Next Wave Big Band, Brass Quintet, Trombone Quartet, and marching/ceremonial units. In September of 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and subsequently received his commission in October 2012. He has served officer tours as Director, Navy Band Fleet Support Unit and Training Support Officer, Naval School of Music. In November of 2014, he was assigned as Assistant Director, U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band, and in June of 2017, was promoted to Director, Navy Band Northeast in Newport, RI. LT Borrelli-Boudreau’s personal military decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, as well as numerous other unit and personal awards.

Established in 1974, Navy Band Northeast is based on board Naval Station Newport and is one of 11 official U.S. Navy bands worldwide, providing musical support for military ceremonies, recruiting, morale and retention programs, and community relations. This group of 30 professional Navy musicians supports more than 300 engagements annually throughout an 11-state area of responsibility, performing regularly for high-ranking military and civilian dignitaries, Navy Recruiting, public outreach and awareness efforts, and partnership in education programs throughout the Northeast United States. The primary components of Navy Band Northeast are: Pops Ensemble, Marching and Ceremonial Bands, Popular Music Group, Brass Quintet, Woodwind Quintet, and Woodwind Trio. All ensembles perform a wide range of music from patriotic, classical, contemporary, big band swing, country, and the latest top-40 hits.

Theatre at St. Michael’s is proud to present the final performance of the summer, “As You Like It” on Friday, August 11th and Saturday, August 12th at 7:00.  This performance will feature actors ages 9 – 15, who have spent the past two weeks studying and bringing to life William Shakespeare’s lively comedy, supported behind the scenes by tech campers who have built the set and will run technical aspects of the show.  Imagine a world with disguises and capers galore… add true love, banishment, and a bunch of wild and crazy outcasts living in the forest, and you have William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” In this production’s interpretation, the Forest of Arden is reimagined as a casino in Las Vegas where anything can happen – love at first sight, fortunes won and lost, old friends reuniting, and of course, Elvis!  Christina Johnston is directing the show, assisted by Jessica Reeg, choreography is by Nicole Chagnon, and technical direction is by Patrick Grimes.

The performance is in Hill House Arts and Athletic Center at St. Michael’s School, and is free and open to the public, with donations welcome at the door.  For more information, please contact Christina Johnston at (401) 849-5970 x411 or email 

Theatre at St. Michael’s is proud to present an original musical entitled “Showdown!“ on Friday, July 28th and Saturday, July 29th at 7:00.  This performance will feature actors ages 9 – 15, who have spent the past three weeks writing and rehearsing a show of their own creation, supported behind the scenes by tech campers who have built the set and will run technical aspects of the show.  The group worked with writing coach Andrew Katzman to conceive a musical about two rival theatre companies who ultimately decide that collaboration is better than competition.  The characters and scenes are filled with whimsical theatre references, making the show-versus-show-within-a-show concept thoroughly entertaining.  Campers are largely responsible for writing the original songs, and also helping to design and build the dual design set.  Chelsea Boergesson is directing the show, Kristine Langello is musical director, choreography is by Nicole Chagnon, and technical direction is by Patrick Grimes.

The performance is in Hill House Arts and Athletic Center at St. Michael’s School, and is free and open to the public, with donations welcome at the door.  For more information, please contact Christina Johnston at (401) 849-5970 x 41 or email at

Additional performances this summer will include Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” on August 11th and 12th.  For more information about Theatre at St. Michael’s camps and shows, please visit our website at

Theatre at St. Michael’s is proud to present William Shakespeare’s intense and tragic classic, “King Lear” on Friday, July 14th and Saturday, July 15th at 7:00. This performance will feature actors ages 13 – 18, who have been intensively studying the play in a two-week program under the direction of Christina Johnston. Assistant direction is by Chelsea Boergesson, and design is by Patrick Grimes.

Actors include Manny Maldonado as the noble and fraught Lear, Madison Palmieri and Angelina Leavitt as his two scheming and vengeful daughters, and Nastia Goddard as the loyal Cordelia.  Cece Brower is the tragic Gloucester, with Olivia Gravier as the true daughter Emilia and Kamran Bina as the devious son Edmund. The cast is rounded out by Aurore LeYoudec, Bridget Vanderveer, Sam Brower, Makenzie Lyons, Vika Huth, and Genevieve Masson. Christina LoPresti and Arthur Lindh are working with the camp staff to design and build the show.

The performance is free and open to the public, but deals with themes that may unsuitable for young children. Parental discretion advised. Donations are welcome at the door. For more information, please contact TASM camp director Christina Johnston at (401) 849-5970 x411.

Additional TASM performances this summer will include an original musical to be performed on July 28th and 29th, as well as Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” on August 11th and 12th.

IMG_6758-e1496679538861Congratulations to our Early Childhood graduates! Kindergarten students each shared something they loved about this past year and will surely take these memories on to 1st grade, where they will join the other lower school students in the Mason House. Prekindergarten students sang songs and stood before their families and friends, who were so excited to see them take the next step towards kindergarten. Congratulations to our students and a special THANK YOU to our teachers, who make it all possible.


DSC_0060-1080x675During the month of May, the first grade students learned about six animal groups: birds, reptiles, fish, insects, amphibians and mammals. After learning about each group’s unique characteristics, predators and habitats, the information they learned gave the children background knowledge on how to look for facts about their mammal. The children went through a beginning research process.

First they chose a mammal, then found the book in the library. They used the table of contents and index to locate information including: appearance, habitat, family, predators, diet, and other interesting facts about their animal. The students learned to rewrite the facts into their own words. They went through the editing process, then put their information into a report. The children also used some websites to gather additional facts.

The final project included a clay puppet they each made in art class, a poster of images and maps, and created a puppet show that showed each child’s knowledge of their mammal. They loved sharing their research findings with their parents and students in the Lower School.


Kindergarten is studying the pond habitat and life cycle of a frog. This week we traveled to Fessor’s Pond in Bristol to experience the habitat and search for creatures. We were hosted once again this year by Shawen Williams whose children graduated from St. Michael’s and are now both in college. The children got a quick lesson in net dipping and then got right down to work. They scooped up muck and hunted through it looking for the animals we had learned about in class. There were squeals of delight as we uncovered snails, dragonfly larvae, cadis fly nymphs, and two humongous tadpoles! The loudest cheer of all came though when we found a baby turtle (thanks to Henry’s dad who scooped it up!). We brought the creatures back to our classroom to observe for a couple of weeks and then we will return them to their pond home. It was a great day for students, teachers, and the parents who joined us!​


Jambo! Each year the 4th grade embarks on an educational journey to explore Africa. They begin by covering the continent as a whole, then delving deeper and focusing on a week long study of each region. They discuss the countries, climate, landforms, historical influences, languages, and cultures. To accompany their regional work, they also explore a tribe that resides within that part of Africa. Afterwards, they select a country of choice and begin to study this location by researching landforms, languages, currency, location and borders, and places.

The students are asked to devise an itinerary for their country of places that would be most interesting to visit. Places such as museums, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, national parks, and safaris are researched and information is written into “postcards” detailing their excursions. This year, they also created video postcards, in which they utilized green screen footage to superimpose photos of their “trips” behind them, while they dictated their postcards in a voice over. The 4th graders wrote advertisements for their country, and also wrote Diamonte Poems to describe the beautiful and exciting countries that they were studying.

While all of this went on in the classroom, they rehearsed African folktale plays in drama, and batiked clothes in Art class, which would be used as their costumes. During technology classes, students learned how to create a pages document with an informational table, which served as their brochure. This 5-month study culminated on the day of the “African Travel Agency” where the students showcased the fruits of their labor to their families and the St. Michael’s community. They presented their plays in the morning, shared their research, and even had an African feast for lunch. It is a day treasured by the students and brings a cultural experience to life at St. Michael’s.


IMG_4814The past two weeks have offered the St. Michael’s theatrical audiences some wonderful viewing, as Mrs. Johnston’s young actors presented the culmination of their work in drama class.


Grade 3 Presents: A Chinese Tale
“Single Grain of Rice”

Last week, the 3rd grade presented the Chinese tale “A Single Grain of Rice”.  The story about how a clever peasant convinced the royal family to let him marry the princess was entertaining and fun for all.  Actors in both grades worked hard to learn lines and blocking, created interesting characters, collaborated to bring their scenes and stories to life, and gave very entertaining performances.


Grade 4 presents: African plays

“Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” and “Why the Sky is Far Away”

This Thursday morning, the 4th grades enacted a pair of plays in conjunction with their study of the African continent.  Mrs. Joubert’s class performed the folk tale “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters,” while Mr. Tutino’s class offered the allegory “Why the Sky is Far Away.” Both plays were presented in the round, with creative staging and choreography, and actors looked fantastic in the African cloth costumes they had created in art class! We want to echo the audience’s enthusiastic applause and say once again – great job to all the actors!

Second grade parents were introduced to some very special ‘people’ last week during C.A.T.-Children are Teachers. Each student selected a notable person to research. After reading their biographies, the children wrote reports which included facts about their major accomplishments and observations related to our Traits for Success. Each person studied used several Traits for Success in order to achieve their goals.

They also suffered a variety of setbacks which they had to overcome. Knowing that even these noteworthy, accomplished people struggled in some way was truly eye-opening for the second graders. After completing their written work, the children created ‘hanger people’ which was a creative visual representation of each person. It’s amazing what you can do with hangers, oaktag, construction paper, buttons, yarn and in some cases, neckties! We are so proud of the work done by the second graders!