By Isabelle Todd
It is 6 o’clock on a Tuesday evening in early April. The sun is slowly setting and the multi purpose room stage at Oyster River High School is filling in with students and staff.
On Tuesday April 5th, Mouth of the River held their third annual coffee house at ORHS. The coffee house ran from 6-8 PM, students, staff and community members came to enjoy two hours of music from various students while enjoying coffee and homemade baked goods. There was a total of nine groups that performed at this coffee house with various genres of music.
“I like going to coffee houses because it’s a judgement free venue where people can express themselves and have a good time with friends,” says Benjamin Harrington ‘18.
The night kicked off with a performance by Micah Kelly who performed two excerpts from Metal Gear Solid. Kelly has been playing the violin for 8 years and says that “I’ve only recently started performing for events like this, where you pick the piece, practice, and perform it yourself.”
Following Kelly there were performances made by ORHS science teacher Mark Lawrence, and ORHS economics teacher Mrs. Healy’s daughter Cam Healy and other students.
“My favorite performance was definitely Mr.Lawrence on the guitar. I’ve seen him around the school and I heard he had performed at coffee houses in the past, so it was a treat to see a new side of him,” says Ryan Coxen (‘17).
Seniors Caitlyn Miller and Nina Messer performed a few popular numbers. Including Realize by Colbie Callait, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac and Love Yourself by Justin Bieber with Kobi Hackenburg (‘16) on the acoustic guitar.
Messer additionally sang and played the piano for Lead Me Out of the Dark by Crown the Empire, and performed alongside Meaghan Campbell (‘16) and Evan Gordon (‘16).
This was Messer’s first coffee house performance while Gordon, Hackenburg and Miller have performed multiple times in the past.
“I’ve been singing since I was little and I was never shy about performing for voice. As of 2 or 3 years ago, I taught myself how to play piano but I still can’t read sheet music so I have to use guitar tablature. I started performing piano and voice in 8th grade and only recently have I started performing for crowds outside of school at karaoke in bars and other events like that,” says Messer.
It was also Campbell’s first time performing at a coffee house. “I like it because I don’t feel pressure to be perfect, I don’t feel nervous if I make a mistake. It’s a calm vibe with a forgiving crowd,” says Campbell.
Campbell continues saying, “I’ve always had an interest in performing because I have loved singing and music for as long as I can remember. It’s an amazing rush that I get performing live and sharing my passion with other people.”
A fan favorite by spectators was Katie Schmitt (‘17) and Hackenburg’s take on Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. “I love the song in the first place, and Katie has an amazing voice. I also liked that one because they didn’t use any of the microphones or speakers or anything and I thought that it sounded more natural, and overall better that way,” says Eleanor Zwart (‘18).
The night continued with performances by Bella Dempsey (‘17), Sarah Corrow (‘17) and ended with songs from a band performance by Brandon Buteau (‘16), Christian Burt (‘16), Zach Kaplan (‘16) and Justin Clothier (‘17).
Interested in performing at Mouth of the River’s last coffee house of the year? Contact Andrea Staples or Mr.Kelly!