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Night At The Rock Informs and Entertains Prospective Families

Principal Father Vincent Giacabazi addresses prospective students and parents at Night at the Rock on Sept. 26, 2023.

Drum line. Spirit Chants. Controlled Explosions. Sounds more like a pep rally than an admissions event, but at Night at the Rock, held Tuesday, Sept. 26 for 8th graders and their families, Rockhurst students and staff did all of this and more. The hour-long event showcases Rockhurst clubs and classes to give families a closer look at everyday life at the Rock.

“The purpose of the event is for prospective families to get to know Rockhurst and see what goes on here in daily life along with what our students and our faculty are doing that makes it unique compared to other high schools that they’re looking at,” said Director of Admissions Mike Comiskey.

Comiskey and Beth Jerome, assistant director of admissions, have organized the event for the past five years.

“It just provides a unique scope,” Comiskey said. “With so much that goes on here, it’s really hard to quantify or display the unique aspects of Rockhurst, and that’s what makes it pretty cool to be a part of this.”

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Comiskey also noted that Night at the Rock supplements a student’s Rockhurst admissions experience, which can also include a Shadow Day, the Rockhurst Open House and personal family tours.

Emceed by speech and debate coach Phillip Helt, the Night at the Rock included science experiments, pottery demonstrations, music ensemble performances, multimedia presentations and much more.

To begin the evening, the drum line entered from both sides of the gym. Maneuvering through the crowd, they played two songs before exiting to applause and the start of an admissions video.

The Chamber Choir then rose and performed a rendition of “Let All Men Sing.”

SGA then took an opportunity to teach the prospective students some chants.

Fine Arts Department chair and pottery teacher Tate Owens followed with a competition between two AP Studio Art students. The competition was a 5-minute timed wheel pottery contest to see who could make the best pot in the time allotted. While that was taking place, Owens discussed aspects of the Rockhurst Fine Arts program.

Up next, biology and chemistry teacher Patrick Doyle ran an experiment that used 8th grade volunteers. The teenagers  were asked to ignite the air under an upside-down bottle that appeared to be empty. Once the flame ignited the gas mixture that was actually inside the bottle, the bottle shot into the sky to the amazement of the crowd.

Night at the Rock incorporates many students who volunteer their time to be part of the event. Ping Pong Club, SGA and the music ensembles were among the many student groups who participated in the event.

“Rockhurst has done so much for me, I’m alway willing to share that with others and try and allow them to experience what I’ve experienced,” said sophomore Ted Henning, member of the Chamber Choir.

Comiskey said he and Jerome began planning this year’s Night at the Rock in late spring. It’s an always-evolving event as its acts and events change every year.

“We’re two days past it, and we’re already thinking about next year.”

Brainstorming more exciting ways to showcase everything the school embodies. Night at the Rock has become a Rockhurst admissions staple that shows off all the Rock has to offer.


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About the Contributor
Eli Rourke, Staff Reporter
I’m a senior member of the Prep News Staff. I joined Prep News at the recommendation of fellow staff reporter, Mitch Forbes. I attended elementary school at Cure of Ars in Leawood, Kansas. This is my first year as a Prep News Staff Member. I joined Prep News because I want to know more about my community and maybe inform Rockhurst students about the happenings in and around the building. Outside of writing for the newspaper, I am a member of the basketball team, a Freshman Retreat Co-Chair, and an NHS Officer. I’m currently undecided on where I want to attend college. However, I am interested in studying finance.
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