SAB Hosts Fall Coffeehouse

On Friday Oct. 2, Eastern SAB kicked off the first coffee house of the 2015-2016 school year. The coffee house was planned to take place outdoors on the Walton Patio, but Hurricane Joaquin had other plans in mind. Instead, the event was held in the Gough Great Room, a venue that provided coziness and warmth after a dreary, rainy week. Three long tapestries hung as the backdrop of the stage with a string of white lights delicately draped overhead. The scene was simple, yet tasteful, and created an easygoing environment for the audience to kick back with a cup of joe. At 7:30 p.m., the show began as hosts Jake Hughes and Shaune Lewis took the stage and welcomed the audience. Hughes and Lewis were clever and funny in their between-performance spiels and were very encouraging to the performers.

The first performer of the night was freshman cellist Jesse King. Back on Aug. 28, King claimed first place in the Eastern talent show, EU’s Got Talent, for an original piece he performed with his electric cello and looper pedal, used to layer sounds and create a “one-man band” effect. Once again, King performed with his electric cello and the student body was very receptive. He performed two different songs, incorporating some familiar tunes like “Demons” by Imagine Dragons and “Hey Soul Sister” by Train. The perfect balance of well-known songs with an original sound made King’s performance both relatable and engaging. King made for the perfect act to start of the night.

Up next was an original spoken word performance by MJ Smith. Her piece was titled, “One,” and was written “for the victims of educational injustice,” as she put it. Her clever rhymes and bold diction made the poem both melodious and inspiring. After the performance, Hughes exclaimed, “I can’t even talk that fast—literally spitting fire.”  A few other spoken words were performed throughout the night, including two poems about God’s creations by Anne Roskowski and a dual performance by Doxa Zannou and Shantel Anderson that called for the awareness of mental illness. Also in the literary category was a reading by Alysia Green from her debut novel, “Unencumbered.”

Several other musical acts were performed during the course of the show, including a duet by Jordan Kolb and Sara Hart, and another by Hector Davila and Janay Middleton. Solo performances by Katelyn Rediger, Sam Kulp, and Tommy Neilson added to the night. One solo artist that particularly stood out was Alanna Woody, who performed both vocals and the ukulele. She covered the songs “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine as well as “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses. The ukulele gave Woody a sound that separated her from the other musicians and allowed her to cover the pieces in a way that was entirely her own. Her beautiful inflections and wide vocal range made for the perfect soundtrack to a cozy coffee house.

One unanticipated performance happened at about mid-way through the show when Hughes announced that he needed four volunteers. Unsuspecting students jolted their hands into the air, and Hughes called them up on stage. When the four volunteers—Summer, Debra, Katie, and Ian—arrived on stage, Hughes declared an impromptu dance battle. The song “Watch Me” blasted from the speakers and the volunteers were presented with a tough decision: to whip or not to whip? Ultimately Debra was crowned victor after blessing the audience with her ingenious stanky leg.

The coffee house was an entertaining and relaxing evening for all in attendance.  For information on future student activities, follow Eastern SAB on Twitter and Instagram: @SABeastern.

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