Zach Gartner and Yoni Zacks

The Blake community is singing the same old tune but now with a new verse. The school’s alma mater will continue to honor Blake’s history by retaining its original melody and first two verses and represent the school today with a new third verse, written in collaboration by current students from all divisions.   

Earlier this school year, PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts Director Ilah Raleigh introduced the Alma Mater Project, which invited students to participate in the lyric writing process. In Lower School, students created “word banks,” or lists of words that describe Blake and what it means to be a Blake student. Next, Middle School students completed creative writing exercises inspired by the Lower School word banks. Upper School students formed teams and worked together to create various drafts of the third verse, which were then voted upon. 

Five teams participated in the competition, writing lyrics inspired by the Lower School words and Middle School free writes. The arts department selected two finalist teams and both received feedback and coaching from arts faculty. Head of School Anne Stavney and Associate Head of School Anne Graybeal selected the verse they felt best represented The Blake School of today:

Striving to embrace the future
As it brightly glows,
We will stand by one another
While we learn and grow.

Now we focus on our sterling
School community,
With respect for one another
Now in unity.

Congratulations to the winning lyricists, Zach Gartner ʼ25 and Yoni Zacks ʼ25 (pictured above), and to the runner up team of Lorraine Pidot ʼ26 and Faith Zhao ʼ26. Blake students will perform the new verse at the Lower School and Middle School closing ceremonies and Commencement in early June, as well as at the Early Learning Center opening this fall.

Listen to the verse sung by the Upper School a cappella choir.