Stonington High School Music Department Holds Annual Coffee House

Freshman Eleanor Gross plays guitar while singing a heart-wrenching song titled “Daughter” by Youth.

Freshman Eleanor Gross plays guitar while singing a heart-wrenching song titled “Daughter” by Youth.

Story by Jessica Weber, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Saturday, January 20th marked one of the most beloved nights of the year for the Stonington High School music department. The Coffee House is an annual event organized by Mrs. Gottlieb, Mr. Stanley and members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society that showcases the musical ability of some of Stonington’s most talented students. Performances consist of solos, duets, instrumental groups and a mixture of both voice and instruments. Coffee House provides Stonington High School with some of its most memorable acts, such as the infamous steel drum band that was greatly missed this year.

While the talent is always extraordinary, what sets Coffee House apart from the rest of SHS’s concerts is not the ability of its performers, but their open acceptance of every singer and instrumentalist. There is an audition prior to performing, but its requirements do not inhibit anyone from participating. The musical and experience of each performer varies greatly—some perform in the Chamber Choir or Saxophone Ensemble while others sing in Concert Choir and play guitar for fun—but what does not vary is the audience’s positive reaction to each performance.

Coffee House serves as some students’ musical debut, such as freshman Eleanor Gross who performed both “Youth” by Daughter and “Night Train” by Jimmy Forrest with the SHS Saxophone Ensemble, as well as arranged a rendition of “House of the Rising Sun,” for which she played the clarinet.    

For others, such as seniors Ivy Allik and Piper Meyers, Coffee House marks the beginning of the end of their time with the Stonington High School music department. For both Meyers, who performed “Creep” by Radiohead, and Allik, who sang a duet with freshman Chloe Kolbenheyer, this was their fourth and final Coffee House.

“It’s bittersweet,” explained Meyers. “But it marks the start of a new era for the department.”

The rampant sickness that spread through Stonington High School the week before the concert rendered some of Stonington’s best—Christopher Caraballo, Grace Gilbert, and Jacob Whewell—unable to sing, but for both performers and audience members alike, Stonington High School Coffee House 2018 was one to remember.

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