by Kelly Kennedy, Social Media Editor
Coffee House recently hosted their popular “Open Mic Night” in a new location, Café 1853, on Friday, April 1. This event allows all students to come perform, dance, sing or hang out with friends. Anyone can sign up to perform, or even decide then and there to get up on stage.
Coffee House is organized and run by the two co-hosts, Luis Chavez and Emily Peters. This role was passed down to Chavez when he was a sophomore, who has continued to run Coffee House because of how much he enjoys bringing people together.
Chavez is both involved with MC Players and Coffee House, and so recently decided to combine those two groups. Last month in conjunction with the MC Players, Open Mic was hosted at An Beal Bocht, a local bar.
“It was my idea to try and kind of bring the groups together and perform at An Beal. Coffee House is very relaxed, where you can just chill and sip and listen to soft music. An Beal was a much different experience, where at a college bar we’re loud, having fun and playing everything,” said Chavez.
After the success of the players’ event, the organizers decided to return to their roots and host their most recent event in Café 1853. Coffee House has previously been held in a lecture hall, Hayden 100.
“I actually really liked the change. I didn’t get to go to the open mic night that was at An Beal but the usual location of Hayden 100 is like a lecture hall so it’s a little bit impersonal. Café 1853 was more like a lounge so it felt more personal and there was a more social aspect to it since we were sitting in groups rather than in a line like in a classroom,” said junior Isabel Cameron.
The trademark style of Coffee House is that it’s a place where anyone can come and anyone can perform. Students are invited to perform comedy routines, read poems and play music. It’s an inclusive environment on campus that invites a crowd.
“Coffee House has this atmosphere where really anything could happen. I’ve had people come in and dance. I hope people come and play classical piano. I thought people would even show up with a band that played styles from jazz to now heavy metal,” said Chavez.
Junior Zachary DiRenzo performed two songs at this past Coffee House, “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen and “August” by Taylor Swift. DiRenzo both sang and played guitar.
“My favorite part of open mic is creating an eclectic setlist that both excites the crowd and challenges myself on guitar and vocals. For example, I like to create medleys of songs I enjoy from different eras and try and match them up together, like the Springsteen-Swift set I did,” said DiRenzo.
DiRenzo has performed at many Coffee Houses in the past, and he is looking forward to performing at the next event.
“For the next open mic, I am trying to match up a Maggie Rogers song with a Martha Reeves & The Vandellas song, or maybe a Beatles song,” DiRenzo said. “I’m always open to requests, as well! It’s also cool to see nervous first-time performers and how the crowd supports them and gives them the confidence to perform. I was very nervous for my first open mic, and it was also my first time singing in front of an audience, but a ton of my friends came to support and are regular supporters, and I’m extremely grateful for them.”
Coffee House gives students a place to express themselves and be creative, which is Chavez’s favorite part about hosting the event.
“It’s so creative and so open and so it’s a no judgment zone. So it’s really nice to really see people be free to really see people express themselves as much as they want,” said Chavez.
Even students who are not performers come to Coffee House as well. Cameron attended to support her friend, DiRenzo, and cheer him on during his performance.
“My favorite part of open mic night was getting to see my friend Zach perform,” Cameron said. “He’s a really talented guitarist and I love watching him play. The other performers were also amazing. There was one girl who sang a song from the musical Waitress that was really beautiful. One of my other friends, RJ, also performed but he did stand up. It was really funny and he was also one of my favorite performances.”
Coffee House is looking to host one more event this semester, while the date is still undecided. Those interested can check out the new Instagram @mccoffeehouse, to learn more about the events and see highlights of some of the performances.