By Tajwar Ahad
(Check out more photos below the story.)
At the second annual Not-So-Quiet Coffee House on Friday, December 7, students and faculty shared their artistic talents with peers and teachers, who watched and performed acts ranging from poetry readings to jazz jams.
The Coffee House, which was first held last year as a collaboration among all of the librarians, took place in the Quiet Room during X block. Assistant Librarian Ms. Donohue said, “We wanted to do a coffee house because we kept hearing the buzz from the student body that they wanted to share different kinds of talents. We have an immensely talented community.”
According to Alison Saparoff ’13, last year’s Coffee House included more monologues, but this year there were more readings of short stories and poetry. “There were also more freshman performers and more represenation from all grades, which is a nice showing of our community,” she said.
According to Alison, even though the Coffee House is one of the rare occasions when food is permitted in the Quiet Room, the turnout was the same as last year.
Audience member Liam Jolley ’16 noted that the space seemed filled, even cramped. He said he attended because he wanted to see what it would be like. “Everyone had their own time and they had a good amount of time,” Liam said. “Nothing seemed rushed. The atmosphere was really relaxing.”
The Coffee House included readings of excerpts of short stories and poems by Math Teacher Mark Fidler, Maxine Phoenix ’14, Julia Vance ’14, and Catherine Cuddy ’14, a duet of “One Day” by Mastisyahu sung by Demetra Vernet ’16 and Katie Massie ’16, accompanied by Adria Alexander ’16 on the guitar, and a closing performance of “Take Five” by the Music and Composition club.
Math Teacher Mark Fidler kicked off the Coffee House with an excerpt from Baseball Sleuth, a children’s book he wrote. He emphasized the importance of including literature in performing arts and said, “People do perform in the arts publicly, except for reading.”
Maxine Phoenix ’14 read her short story entitled “Thanksgiving.” She said that she loved the sense of community that she experienced both as a performer and a spectator. “I wish more people came to it,” said Maxine. “We don’t get to see people perform individually often, but it is important that we show our support.”
Katie said, “It was fun. It was a smaller environment than some of the other places that I performed with Demetra. It was a personal environment and I could see everyone’s face and how they were reacting. That was a good thing and a bad thing, because it was more nerve-wracking but also more unique.”
According to Ms. Donohue, in order to draw in as much of this support as possible, the Coffee House was rescheduled from its original date on November 30 to accommodate a Color Wars event. Ms. Donohue said that she was approached by school Co-Presidents Nate McLeod ’13 and Sarah Jolley ’13 because the Color Wars dodgeball tournament was scheduled for the same day. She said, “We decided to bump the Coffee House back so their event would be a success, too.”
Demetra felt that the Coffee House was an overall positive experience. “We choose to perform at the Coffee House to show BB&N what we’re capable of, and it’s fun, too,” said Demetra.
Featured photo: The Music and Composition Club enlivened the Quiet Room with jazzy jams. Featured and gallery photos by Elaine Forbush.