Giardini rouses the spirit of East seniors with “El Vivo” chant

Jonathan Dumois

The 1986 yearbook opens with these words; “A senior cries out ‘El Vivo!’ and a throng of E-Rabs reply. So starts the spirit rousing cheer belonging solely to East – EL VEVO!!!”

The famous El Vivo chant has been recited by every E-Rab class for decades. How many decades? We don’t know, as the exact origin has been lost to time. However, with words like “Go you E-Rabs Sis-Boom-Bah, Go you E-Rabs Rah-Rah-Rah!” it seems like it came from the 1940s and 1950s. The chant is the property of the Senior class, and cannot be started without a Senior saying the opening words, “El Vivo!” This year, the chant needed to be taught to the graduating class by a previous graduating E-Rab. So who could teach these young E-Rabs the El Vivo chant? None other than Doctor Terri Giardini himself.

Giardini graduated from East in 1973, but his family’s history with “the school on the hilltop” goes back decades.

“My mom and dad went here, my brothers went here, my wife, don’t tell her, she went here!” Giardini exclaimed to the packed auditorium full of Seniors.

He went on to explain some history of East and the decades that it has seen. Giardini then explained, word for word, the meaning of the words in the El Vivo chant, starting with the first two words.

“El Vivo, to live! To live! You continue to live! You must live! Don’t let a TikTok video tell you how to live your life,” Giardini said.

After he explained what the words in the chant meant, it was time to lead the Senior class, with the help of the class officers in reciting the chant, passing down said chant to this generation of E-Rabs. The entire auditorium chanted the words with enthusiasm, and ended with a round of applause.

After reciting of the chant, the class advisor leading the meeting, Ann Beksel, was getting ready to wrap up the meeting. But Dr. Giardini had a few more stories to share, from the time someone spent $1,000 on a brick from the school’s old chimney, to the time when he and a group of friends pulled a prank on Guilford High with a fish.

Giardini also gave a piece of advice to the senior class, “The table is set for you,”  he said, “and you are going to set the table now for the next generation of E-Rabs.”