Blue & Gold Chapel and the Pep Rally

Sukhroop Singh ‘24, Staff Writer

“In a way, it was extra important to make this Blair chapel, and this Blair Week in general, special, so that the freshmen and sophomores could embrace it so that we could continue this tradition,” said Mr. Cirnigliaro, a theater teacher at Peddie. Along with science teacher Mr. Frost, he performed a skit during Blue & Gold Chapel, in which he played an avid Peddie supporter while Mr. Frost advocated for Blair. Mr. Cirnigliaro yelled passionately about everything that’s great at Peddie while making good fun of the rival, Blair Academy.

“What Mr. Roach and Mr. Bennett [who warmed up the crowd before him] wrote was just layups … anything I said I knew was going to get a reaction out of the crowd,” he said, referring to the blistering yells, shouts, and bell-ringing every sentence he finished received. “It was my job to make sure that I delivered it in a way that got the reaction they were looking for.”

Out of the entire event, Mr. Cirnigliaro said, “the only thing missing was the chapel.”

In the spirit of Blair Day, Jimmy O’Neill ’22, a senior leader of the Blair pep rally, shaved his head during the pep rally to get people excited. “In a normal week, I would’ve gotten a haircut,” he said, “then they told me I was going to be hosting the pep rally, so I was like, well … I could embrace the spirit of Blair Day and just shave my head. I’m getting a haircut anyway. Why not just shave my head in front of everybody?”

O’Neill losing his hair quickly became a highlight of the pep rally, especially because of the addition of Winston Kelenc-Blank ’22 and Riley Rosenberger ’23. “It seemed to be one of the highlights of people’s nights … people keep posting about it on their social media.”

One of the topics O’Neill ’22 emphasized was the pressure on the upper classes to make this Blair Day special. “On top of the already weird layer of missing a year, there was the added layer of having half the class having never experienced a Blair Day. The entire senior class – our goal was to get the rest of the school excited, and I think you really see the transformation of those two classes that had never seen a pep rally, a bonfire, a Blue and Gold chapel, a Blair Day. I think they’re going to be just as passionate as any other Peddie class. They get it now.”