Manhattan College students took time out of a busy school week to share their talents and a great time. The first Coffee House was held on Sept. 23 in a relaxed and chill atmosphere on the 4th floor of the new student commons building.
Coffee, tea and cookies were offered as students volunteered to perform in front of the audience. In a week filled with exams and homework, an “open mic” event where the audience spontaneously signed up to perform carried away the stress and tension of the academic week. Coffee House is mainly focused on performance arts like poetry, music, literature, comedy and musical instruments.
“The people come and just sit to enjoy the arts whether it be poetry or music done by other
students in any capacity,” Robert “R.J.” Liberto, a junior, said.
With the school year officially underway, students felt that this was a nice way to just hang out and be around good people during the hectic times that are the first few weeks of school.
“This [event] is a good way to be away from homework, it’s a nice atmosphere to hang out with friends and meet some new people,” sophomore Lucas Gilbride said. Gilbride plays guitar and expects to perform with “a couple of friends” in a near future. Although, he feels an improvement for the next Coffee House could be “a bigger venue with more seating.”
Everyone respected each other’s talents and abilities and the crowd appreciated each performer’s courage to step in the middle of a venue that was filled to its maximum capacity. The audience didn’t seem to draw attention to the fact that some of the performers forgot the lyrics, in fact, that made the whole event funnier and more interactive.
While different types of music genres were presented and different musical instruments were played, the crowd loved the diversity of each performance and most of all, entertained themselves with the mixture of musical compositions.
One of the biggest changes to Coffee House this year is that is was not held on the quad. Instead it was moved to a room in the commons, which some students feel as though took away from the magic of Coffee House.
“Coffee House on the quad seems a little more laid back, it has more room and the acoustics are better. It’s more enjoyable just because you have the breeze. There’s a special feeling and a different aura to just have the Coffee House outdoors,” sophomore Erica Rebussini said.
While the location of Coffee House changed, one thing that didn’t was the spirit of the event. Coffee House is a platform where anyone can step up and show their talents with their peers.
“Coffee House is for everybody. It’s not just about music; you can express yourself through poetry or however you like,” sophomore Siobhan Connor said. “It’s mostly about accepting each other and learning to be open because you really have to give a lot of yourself to do these performances.”
If you are interested in performing at the next Coffee House, contact R.J. Liberto and George Schlinck.