Johnson University’s Student Government Association kicked off the annual Coffee House series Monday with a load of talent and friendship, and of course — coffee.
Starting at 7 p.m., the student lounge in the Eubanks Activity Center was energized with more than 100 students.
The first Coffee House of the year began festively with a rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The song filled the air as students took advantage of the $1 coffee and found seats among the couches and chairs.
“The atmosphere that we strive to create at Coffee House is one that embodies community,” said senior Hope Smyth, executive director of the Major Events Committee for SGA. “We want students to be able to share talents that may be hidden because day-to-day life doesn’t permit them to share their talents.”
Smyth said Coffee House is an opportunity to socialize and for students to take a break from homework and work.
Coffee House is not only a platform for music and singing. Non-musical performances included a speech on the importance and beauty of words and original poetry readings.
Sophomore Olivia Martin is not new to performing her own poetry. After encouragement from friends, Martin took the opportunity to showcase her work at Coffee House.
“I was nervous,” she said. “When I perform and write, it’s personal, but I want to share to help others.”
.Martin was pleased with the audience’s reaction.
“I’m glad what I write [can] resonate with them,” she said.
For those who do prefer music, a plethora of acts took to the mic to display their abilities.
“I like music — I like it all,” said freshman Matthew Snyder, who attended Coffee House to support his performing friends.
Beyond just supporting friends, Coffee House draws patrons who recognize the talents of the student body.
“I love the God-given talent everyone has,” junior Olivia Ingmire said. Ingmire said she most admired a rendition of “Shut Up and Dance with Me” performed with a looping guitar pedal.
Coffee House also serves as a platform for bands to self-promote.
One such band is the newly formed Before We Break, comprised of freshmen Abbey Carl, Chase King and Austin Spidell, who are often joined by freshman Dan Pate.
Carl said the group is always looking for opportunities to perform.
“We like playing music,” King said. “I feel good because people know we play.”
Before We Break aspires to share their talents on the Chapel stage in the future.
Another performer, junior Riley Morgan, who is a member of the band Far From Royal, embraced the opportunity to showcase an original solo song.
“I want to create the same community I get from listening to music,” Morgan said. “I try to be as transparent as possible in anything I write — it makes the best music.”.
Coffee House was coordinated by the Major Events Committee, an eight-student subset of SGA.
They plan events such as Coffee Houses and Founder’s Day. The committee also plays a major role in theatrical productions on campus.
Each Coffee House requires auditions, brainstorming, publicity, and selecting the order each act should go in to create the flow the committee wishes to achieve.
The next Coffee House is slated for Nov. 16. Auditions will be announced prior.
Staff Writer: Makayla Smith