by Ani Janakiraman ’26
Last Sunday, October 29th, Bellarmine opened its doors to many enthusiastic young minds and their families during the highly anticipated open-house. The event was hosted with knowledgeable teachers, national winning extra-curricular programs, competitive sports programs, and thoughtful tour guides. Annually, Bellarmine hosts this event for students aspiring to attend the Jesuit institution to better showcase Bellarmine’s unique educational experience. Smiles, laughter, joy, and excitement were about throughout the vibrant day.
It has often been said that the Bellarmine journey starts at this very open house. First impressions are crucial in determining where one wants to attend school and when one is better able to connect with a school like Bellarmine, the more seamless the transition is. The eighth graders and their families initially started by exploring the various tables set up on campus, highlighting the nationally acclaimed Speech and Debate, Robotics, Theater Arts, or Maker Lab programs. The common notion is that at Bellarmine, “there is something for everyone.”
There, the chamber orchestra and band performed their early year repertoires. Students curiously explored the campus while also listening to the skillful musicians. A key part of the orchestra and San Francisco Youth Orchestra violist, Bryan Im ‘26 explained, “This past Open House was a massive success. We got to experience drastically different types of music, ranging from Mozart to the infamous Bartok String Quartet. With the help of the talented drummer, we were able to perform the Bartok String Quartet and entertain many people at the Open House.” The orchestra performed a unique piece from Bartok with skilled drummist Ayush Shah ’24, who added a more robust sound quality. Personally for Bryan, “the Open House was a fun experience where both the players and the audience enjoyed being part of the performance. [He] hope[s] that our Open House performance inspired prospective Bells to join BCO in the future.” Continuing to grow already, according to conductor Mr. Kim, he hopes that the orchestra contains at least 35 members by next year.
Throughout the morning and afternoon, tours continued. Shadow guides provided prospective students and interested families with accurate tours of the campus, highlighting the various buildings and their purposes. Bellarmine’s campus unquestionably holds a great legacy and is continuing to evolve with plans for a new building to replace the storied O’Donnell Hall.
Despite personally not attending Bellarmine’s open house as an eighth grader, being present as a part of the orchestra allowed me to understand how pivotal the experience is for eighth grade students. Let’s hope that next year’s open house is just as successful!
Ani is an Arts Editor for the Bell Online. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports with his friends. He consistently publishes articles about campus events, clubs, and a variety of topics.