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This Month at TASIS

The Holiday Season at TASIS: December 2023

December 2023

We take a photo-driven look at the many festive events that have taken place during a wonderful holiday season at TASIS. Happy holidays to all!


Spreading Cheer on Campus

As part of an annual TASIS tradition, High School students were allowed to wear Christmas sweaters in place of their usual uniforms in the weeks leading up to the winter holiday, and the prefects got in on the action early by wearing matching sweaters on November 28. 


The Singing Christmas Tree

The Middle and High School Choirs and Ensembles—under the direction of Performing Arts Chair Erika Cramp and Middle School Music Teacher Angela Dusing—had the unique opportunity to perform in the famous Singing Christmas Tree at the Zurich Christmas Market on November 29. See more photos.


Villa Principe Leopoldo Tree-Lighting Ceremony 

The Elementary School Choir was invited to sing at Villa Principe Leopoldo’s tree-lighting ceremony on the afternoon of December 2, and Elementary School Music Teacher Melody Zanecchia’s group did a fantastic job performing a series of popular holiday numbers. See more photos.


Montagnola Tree-Lighting Ceremony

The following afternoon, the Elementary, Middle, and High School Choirs and Ensemble treated the local community to several holiday classics at a tree-lighting ceremony and holiday market in Montagnola’s Piazza Brocchi. See more photos.


Singing With Santa

Santa and his elf paid a visit to the Elementary School on the morning of December 6. Students in grades 2–5 joined them for a spirited sing-along led by Ms. Zanecchia and Mr. Matthew Frazier-Smith in the Palmer Cultural Center while the youngest TASIS students enjoyed a visit in Al Focolare afterward and sang along with Ms. Zanecchia and Ms. Dusing. See more photos.


Winter Garden

The dedicated members of the TASIS Parent Association (TPA) once again transformed the Kay Hamblin Terrace into a delightful Winter Garden for the holiday season, and they expressed their appreciation for faculty and staff members by serving delicious aperitifs, panettone, and vin brûlé on the evening of December 6. They would later use this same cozy space to host holiday events for Middle and High School students on December 12 and 13.


TASIS Christmas Service

The annual TASIS Christmas Service was held at the historic Church of Sant’Abbondio during the school day on December 7. Under the direction of Ms. Cramp and Ms. Dusing, the service included beautiful musical performances and readings from Middle and High School students and faculty members. Watch the full service, see a photo gallery, and learn who was involved this year.

To learn more about the origin and history of this important TASIS tradition, read this thoughtful piece from TASIS Foundation Board member Dr. Michael D. Aeschliman.


TASIS Tree-Lighting Ceremony

On the afternoon of December 8, the TASIS community gathered outside the Campo Science Center to commemorate the lighting of the TASIS Christmas Tree with remarks from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff and carols sung by members of the Elementary, Middle, and High School Choirs. See more photos.


Santa’s Village

Right after the Tree Lighting Ceremony, a huge group of Elementary School students and parents moved inside the Palmer Cultural Center, which was converted into a spectacular Santa’s Village by the TASIS Parent Association. The fun-filled event included photos with Santa, a dance party with Santa’s elves, a magic show, holiday craft stations, and more. See more photos.


Holiday Market

While the younger members of the TASIS community were enjoying Santa’s Village, High School Service Learning groups sold holiday gift options, crafts, and lots of treats in the Winter Garden to raise money for the organizations they partner with. See more photos.


Middle School Christmas Celebration

Later that evening, the Middle School held its annual Christmas Celebration on campus. The Student Council and Fun Coordinators Service Learning groups took an active part in the organization of the festive event, which included a Christmas dinner, dancing, games, and lots of holiday treats. See more photos.


Lynch Global Service Program Extension Award

At a High School assembly on December 11, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations Michelle Arslanian presented Mara Zec ’24 with the second annual Lynch Global Service Program Extension Award. This award was initiated in the spring of 2022 by Ned Lynch PG’66 to honor the memory of his parents, who recognized the importance of the TASIS international educational experience. It comes with a $1000 scholarship and is accorded to a senior who wishes to continue working on an Opsahl Global Service Program (GSP) project or go on a second service trip abroad. (Alejandro Orozco ’23 was the inaugural recipient last December.)

This is the citation Ms. Arslanian delivered before presenting the award to Zec:

The Gram Vikas trip leader said, “This student’s horizon has clearly been broadened by the GSP trip to India. She was deeply inspired by the accomplishments of the founder of the program and intrinsically motivated to fundraise for Gram Vikas, and she wanted to make a difference as much as she personally could to support the program. She stood up and shared her experience at a High School assembly and spoke at the Global Service Banquet in October. This student has remained in contact with one of the Indian people she met through the project.” 

GSP Director Patty Clardy added, “This student has been a superstar with the GSP program and is very deserving of this honor.”



Winter Sports Season Begins

The Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams kicked off the 2023–2024 winter athletics season on December 12. The boys traveled to Milan to take on rival American School of Milan (ASM) while the girls hosted ASM in the Palestra. See more photos from the home game, have a look at what’s on tap for our teams following the winter holiday, and take a look back at the fall season.


A TASIS Tradition

On the morning of December 13, a group of faculty members and High School students sang Christmas carols in Villa De Nobili for the TASIS personale. This annual tradition is one small way in which faculty members and students express their gratitude for everything the hardworking personale do behind the scenes to keep the school running smoothly all year round.