With the lights in Lower Right turned off, Claudia Pollock ’20 stood onstage illuminated solely by waving cell phone flashlights. Pollock was the last act of Coffeehouse, performing Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
“Everyone was up; everyone was yelling; everyone was cheering. At the end, when they turned the lights off and everyone had their phones on doing the wave, that was really magical. People really came together then, and that’s why we do these events in the first place,” said Hugo Solomon ’19, one of the event’s emcees and Student Activities Board member.
The Fall 2018 Coffeehouse, sponsored by the Student Activities Board and emceed by Solomon and Aliesha Jordan ’19, took place in Lower Right of Paresky Commons last Friday night. The show featured a variety of acts, including ukulele, guitar, and violin performances. The event also offered apple cider doughnuts, coffee cake, and hot chocolate.
Jan Rangsisingpipat ’19, an audience member, said, “I’m a Senior this year, but this Coffeehouse was actually the first Coffeehouse I ever went to, and now I regret not going to make Coffeehouses earlier in the years before because it was really a lot of fun. I got to see this new side of the performers… I knew most of them previously, but I got to see them perform and see their onstage personas.”
Many students performed original pieces. Henry Crater ’20 sang and played a self-composed song titled, “Choose,” on his guitar. At the start of his performance, Crater revealed that the song was inspired by an incident earlier this year that made him angry.
Crater said, “I’ve been on this journey of writing songs… over the past year or so. [This] was the quickest song I had ever written. In 24 hours, I had basically finished the whole thing, and I added in guitar details a week later. I think the best songs I’m ever going to write are the ones that come from sudden and powerful moments and feelings.”
“I really like how Henry’s performance was so different from everyone else’s, and how he genuinely poured his heart out on the stage. That was some angsty stuff,” said Sophie Liu ’20, who accompanied Junah Jang ’20 on the piano.
Between each act, Jordan and Solomon made jokes before introducing the next performer. Jordan considers the performance a successful and remarkable one, even compared to past shows.
“I sat down with Hugo, the other emcee, and we made a couple jokes to say in between every act so the show could run smoothly and everyone could have a good time. It was definitely one of the best Coffeehouses we’ve had, and I’ve been here for four years, so I’ve seen a lot. I think it was a good collection of performances,” said Jordan.
According to Shyan Koul ’19, who sang “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, Coffeehouse presents an opportunity for students to have fun performing in a supportive and relaxed environment.
“What I love about Coffeehouse is that even if you mess up or fumble a bit, everybody supports you 100 percent. It’s an incredible feeling to have a community so caring and supportive — it let me take risks during my performance… to expose a bit of vulnerability and trust that they will take it in the best way. Coffeehouse and the community it creates makes me feel proud of this school and makes me remember what’s really special about this place,” wrote Koul in an email to The Phillipian.
Editors Note: Hugo Solomon ’19 is an Associate Video Editor for The Phillipian.