The rich scent of coffee grinds hangs in the air, warmth emanates from a small Styrofoam cup and a sweet melodic voice carries over the crowd. Coffee houses have been a tradition for Ledyard High School students for years. A coffee house is a time for students to congregate and listen as their peers perform songs they’ve worked hard to perfect and the coffee is an added bonus.
“I love the supportive environment and the community feeling,” senior Molly Barnett said. “I also love listening to live music, especially by my friends and peers. There are some very talented musicians and performers at LHS.”
Coffee houses were created as a place to appreciate musical talent. Young beginners and old pros alike make the journey to world language teacher, Kurt Jannke’s classroom, to sign up to perform.
“If you like music you should definitely come. It’s really just a great place to relax for an evening with your friends and enjoy the music,” he said.
There have been approximately 60 coffee houses hosted at Ledyard. With generally four to five every year, crowd attendance depends on the time of year. The December coffee house is well known for its holiday songs. The May coffee house is believed to be the most popular, hosted outdoors in the courtyard.
“I would say my favorite part would be the growth of the performers,” Jannke said. “You see them come in rather timidly as freshmen or sophomores, but by the time they’re seniors they’re the stars of the show.”
Junior Amanda King is one of those students who jumped at the opportunity to improve in front of her peers. “I most enjoy being able to conquer the anxiety to perform. There are small parts of songs I perform like difficult chords to play and raps that take a lot of courage to do in front of others,” she said. “I can worry for weeks over how it’ll go in the real performance, and once I finally do it, I feel great. And I love to listen to my friends’ music and get to admire their talent and hard work that goes into what they do.”
For senior Tom Bora, having an older sibling encouraged him to display his talents. “My amazing sister was an MC when I was a freshman and always forced me to go so I figured I might as well play music while I’m there. A lot of the older musicians there I had gigged with before so it made sense for me to play with them too,” he said. “It’s also great because one can get more objective and constructive criticism, which is very hard to get from random crowds at other venues, and very important for developing musicians.”
“It’s a chance to see classmates shine,” senior Tricia Tolles said. “It’s incredible to see someone you pass in the hallway everyday go up and perform an incredible medley. There’s so much talent in this school and I think this is one of the best outlets for that talent and creativity. It’s very low pressure, but you can really put yourself out there.”
Savannah Houdeshell, staff writer
Freshman Savannah Houdeshell is a staff writer for the 2015-2016 Colonel. She participates in Operation Smile and is on the soccer team.
Megan Brawner, Editor -in- Chief
Senior Megan Brawner is the Editor-in-Chief of the 2015-2016 Colonel. She is the captain of the cross country team and runs Indoor and Outdoor Track. She participates in Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA) Club and is the secretary of the Senior Class. She is the Editor of Key Club.