A Fresh Breath of Airband

A Bishop’s tradition is revived


Jen Jordan

Seniors Aiden Guiterrez and Jackson Landa take turns dunking each other in water during their Airband performance. It made quite the splash.

Parading into the gym to the upbeat sounds of Katy Perry’s Roar, the sixth graders opened this year’s Airband with a bombshell performance. 

After two years’s hiatus, Airband finally came back on March 25 — students and faculty were ready to witness some serious school spirit right before spring break. This year is the first airband for many students including the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the class of 2026 lacked participation, so they didn’t perform in the Airband. 

Airband is a school-wide lip-sync battle that usually includes choreography where each grade competes against each other in hopes of getting first place. 

As always, the sixth graders opened this event. Their chosen theme was tigers to represent their class mascot. The sixth graders even ended their performance by turning around to reveal their class sweatshirt, which had a tiger on the back. The judges clearly seemed to enjoy the performance as the sixth graders won third place.

Next in the lineup was seventh grade. Although there was a severe shortage of willing performers in the grade, they pulled through with a great performance. Jack Lane (’27) said, “I think airbanding is a great Bishop’s tradition because it lets me connect with all grades,” after witnessing his classmates recreate fight scenes from Avengers. With students dressed up as characters like Spider Man and Black Widow performing cool stunts like aerials, the seventh graders’ theme was the Avenger super heroes. 

Following the seventh graders, the freshman based their performance on the movie Westside Story. There were some action scenes where students faked a fight, landing punches that never hit the face, thankfully. For students, Airband is another great way to induce school spirit that may have faded due to the pandemic. Nason Li (‘25), the organizer of the ninth grade performance, said, “I am glad Airband is back after two years.” 

The tenth graders’ performance revolved around the up-and -coming artist Armaan Damani, better known as just Damani. The other tenth grade participants also wore shirts that had Damani’s latest released album on them. The audience even joined in, waving their phone flashlights on onstage, creating a concert-like environment. “We ended up completely scrapping all dance choreography and went with the flow of the crowd while coming up with moves on the spot,” Jessica Luo (‘24), leader of her grade’s airband, mentioned. That meant that this act was mostly improvised making it quite impressive. 

Moving to the next contenders, the juniors based parts of their performance on the iconic movie, Frozen. Songs like “Let it Go” and “Love is an Open Door” were showcased with romantic dance choreography to match the kid-friendly Disney movie, but we can’t ignore the cool stunts like aerials that occurred. Aerials are incredible stunts that are cartwheels on steroids. No hands and feet are necessary for an aerial; the person is practically flying in the air until they hit the ground. Nearing the end of the performance, other grades joined the eleventh graders on stage like a mosh pit. With so much excitement for their performance, the juniors got second place in this year’s Airband.

Finally, the seniors experienced their last ever Airband at Bishop’s. Their performance was based on the famous SNL skits that make jokes about current events. The participants made jokes about senior assassin and ninth grade exclusions. A few days before Airband in an interview, Presley McDonald (’22), the senior to help set up the twelfth grade performance, gave her prediction on the results, ” I think the seniors have a pretty great chance of winning,” and she was right. 

This year, the panel of judges are Ms. Jasmine Tanner, the Director of Middle School Student Life and an English teacher, Mr. Jefferey Geoghagan, the Gretchen Stroschein Thomson ’59 Chair for the Teaching of United States History, Ms. Rachel Ching, a Science teacher, Ms. Melissa Kirchberg, the Assistant to the Dean of Students, Ms. Emily Smith, a History and Social Sciences Teacher, and Mr. Noble Kime, Balgrosky-Hinshaw Faculty Chair in Mathematics. These judges make the decisions and first place was the seniors. 

After winning, the seniors were treated to ice cream– a sweet moment to enjoy before heading into spring break.