Winter Coffee House Provides Great Opportunity For Talented Students

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Walpole High students perform at the winter Coffee House

Andrea Lee

Walpole High students perform at the winter Coffee House
Walpole High students perform at the Winter Coffee House.

Singing, instruments, talented high school students, and, of course, coffee, were just some of the features presented in the high school library at the 2nd annual Coffee House this year. After a very successful fall show, the same musicians and more came back to showcase their talent in a very casual environment in front of an equally large crowd.

During the fall, the performers were placed in the back of the library; however, this time, the chairs were facing the front of the library as the artists and groups performed in a corner of the room. The dim lighting and lamps only added to the relaxing setting that appealed to both the performers and the audience.

The first act of the night was “Clocks,” by Coldplay, with junior Brian Hazerjian on the piano and senior Brandon Chin on vocals and guitar. Even though the piano overpowered Chin’s voice at times, the instrumentals provided a beautiful start to the night. Following them was freshman Angela Pyne, singing and playing guitar to “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran. At the fall Coffee House, this powerful singer performed for the first time and impressed the audience, and this time was no different.  Pyne used her surprisingly soulful voice to gain a very strong reaction from the crowd afterwards. The next duo was juniors Jimmy Martin, on guitar, and John Barry, on bass, as they performed an entirely instrumental song. Despite it being Barry’s first time performing, the two showcased a very strong dynamic between them as they fed off of each other throughout the music.

Senior Andrew Myers was the next artist, and was the only one to perform an original song. Even though he was simultaneously playing the electric guitar, he was completely focused and calm, quite different from some of the others. Senior Alex Marcinkowski and junior Mike Griffin then took over, and after dedicating their performance to senior Nick Leppo and junior Frank Deblasio, they began. Singing “Prayer of the Refugee” by Rise Against,  Marcinkowski was very confident and charismatic as he also played the guitar. Next to him, Griffin played guitar as well, and the two of them gave a solid performance with another loud reaction. Afterwards, another freshmen—Joe Feldman—sang and played guitar to “And I Love Her” by the Beatles. Although it was Feldman’s first time, he remained surprisingly composed and impressed the crowd with his confidence.

Junior Ray Brower and junior Brian Hazerjian then gave what was the most popular and interesting performance of the night. They both played guitars in an instrumental song of the Mario theme song. This was such a unique and shocking choice that earned them the loudest applause of the night. Another interesting performance followed, because returning performer and junior Jenna Donahue brought her 8th grade sister as well, Erin Donahue. Jenna sang while Erin played guitar and sang backup to “State of Grace” by Taylor Swift. The two were very happy performers, and had two talented voices; yet, they were interrupted twice by applause when the audience thought that the song was over. Two popular perfomers, junior Nikki Mich and sophomore Kayla McBrien, once again were a favorite of the night with their melodic voices singing “Ever Enough” by A Rocket To The Moon. McBrien was vocals and guitar, and Mich was just vocals, but the two together created a match up with their voices that was liked by the crowd. Both of the girls are involved in the music department, like many of the performers are as well, and enjoy what the Coffee Houses do for high school students. Mich said, “There are so many talented kids in the music department and they should definitely get more credit for it.”

Another first time Coffee House performer, freshman Mary Healy, took the piano and sang “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. Healy used her light voice to perform the slow yet powerful song very well. Everyone was very excited to see her sing and portrayed this with their very loud clapping. Then, Chin took the stool again with his guitar, alongside him senior Evan Parsons who was on guitar and vocals. “Thanks to everyone who showed up, this is fun,” said Parsons before they started their performance. The duo did “Stranger Things Have Happened” by the Foo Fighters, and they were very synced up and into their performance, making it another night favorite. Another returning duo, McBrien and freshman Jenny Salvant, sang “Ave Maria” by Beyonce. The girls gave a very solid song, with good vocals by both of them.

Junior Andrew Hazerjian was next, and he went up solo with his ukulele as he sang and played to a mix of the well known songs “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What  A Wonderful World.” He portrayed a good control and range of his voice, and transitioned seamlessly from one song to another, giving a great performance. Then, senior Caleb Cofsky, who also helps run the Coffee Houses with Mr. William Hahn, came up to the stand. A very seasoned performer at Walpole High, Cofsky sang “Welcome Home Son” by Radical Face; only after saying, “I just learned it last night so go easy on me.” He also had an impressive range and once again had a very good performance.  The last group of the night was by far the most entertaining, as seniors Becky Chariton and Ali Ajemian, junior Mich, and sophomore McBrien took the stools. Before their song, they informed the audience that they probably would not know what song they were singing; however, their joke was clear as soon as they began singing the lyrics to “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. They gave a great, funny, upbeat performance as Chariton took on the rap and Ali took on the awkward spoken parts; overall, it was a great way to end the night.

The Coffee Houses appear to be very successful and both the performers and audience members enjoy them immensely. Mr. Hahn said that he would like to do another Coffee House in the spring, and that this will perhaps be outside. Even though the plans for the next event are unsure, the Winter Coffee House was another great one that gave talented kids at Walpole High a chance to show what they can do.