Sophia Goldberg Business Manager
Lauren Hannani staff writer
Ben Shofet co-editor-in-chief
As an annual tradition since 1927, visiting Albion Street still continues to be a highly anticipated event for many students.
Although it is still unclear as to why the school began participating in this event, there might be some connection to Beverly Hills’s sister city, Cannes. However, one thing that the Service Learning teacher Jamie Marrs is sure about is the field trip’s popularity among students every year.
“[Why we started going to Albion] could have been something personal, that someone knew somebody, or it could be something related to our school. I think that Beverly Hills’s sister city is Cannes in France, and Albion is a French word, so there may be some connection there,” Marrs said. “But we know, going all the way back, that it has always been a similar idea for students, mostly seniors, that the kids at Albion look forward to it every year.”
Since the first year students took time off from school to visit the less privileged children in Albion Street, they have touched many elementary students’ hearts and have created many memories with them.
“There was a man who pulled up right in front of Albion Street Elementary School while we were out there one year, in a really nice town car or something. He was just looking around and brought up that he went to that school 50 years ago, and that he remembers this day,” Marrs said.
Students who have been on this field trip for a few years now are also aware of how appreciative these children are to see them every year.
“Although I haven’t seen the kids opening the gifts in person, I’ve seen many videos, and seeing them wait for Santa to come and them opening their gifts is extremely heartwarming,” Madrigals member Eden Messick said. “They look at the kids from Beverly as superheroes. Every year it is so clear how grateful they are to have us there.”
Performers from Madrigals, band and cheerleading are given the opportunity to visit Albion Street more than once in their high school career. Madrigals captain Tianai Xiong has participated in this event for three years and has enjoyed each successive year more than the last.
“Mostly things stay the same. For example, you always feel the excitement the kids put out. I always have this doubt that maybe this time the kids are a bit older and may not be as interested as they were a year ago, but their pure excitement they unleash when they see us getting off the bus is just heart-melting,” Xiong said. “I wouldn’t want Albion kids to change a bit though; they are so genuine and pure, it would be a shame for them to stop believing in Santa.”
Students in drumline have also visited Albion Street every year, and they are just as grateful for being able to help the community as Madrigal members are for performing in front of the children.
“BHHS sends the message that how anyone can make a difference,” senior Austin Fuhrman said. “The fact that we’ve been going since 1927 shows our consistency and that we always have open hearts and are willing to help other people at the expense of our own time. Lots of kids didn’t even go once in four years, so I’m thankful to be in drumline because going to Albion is always fun.”
However, the students at Albion are not the only ones who feel grateful for this long and special tradition.
“Nobody wants to end a tradition that is so old. It’s something that you just have to experience to understand why it’s so special, and I think that now when people get to see their friends’ Instagrams, Snapchats and all these great images of what it is like, it means even more to them,” Marrs said. “I think we continue it because no one wants to let it go. Service Learning has done it for the past five years or so…it’s been all this time, but no one lets it go.”
In fact, keeping this tradition alive over the past 89 years has allowed students to continue to feel the joy and excitement from visiting Albion Street.
“Getting the kids to sing with us is my personal favorite part of Albion. Think about how often a choir, a singing group, puts up a show just for the kids’ entertainment. And to have those kids sing along with us? It’s not only special to the kids, but it’s also an unparalleled experience to the Madrigal singers, reminding us that an audience comes in all shapes and sizes, and that the purpose of music is to bring all people joy,” Xiong said. “It’s been a unique journey the three years I spent caroling at Albion, and I would also encourage my future kids to have this kind of experience to get to know the people outside of our small Beverly bubble.”
Multimedia for the 2016 Albion Street Elementary Holiday Trip