Students Show Love for Coffee House

Stuart Werner, junior, and Django Burgess, freshman, perform their set with Werner on the mandolin and Burgess on the keyboard.
Stuart Werner, junior, and Django Burgess, freshman, perform their set with Werner on the mandolin and Burgess on the keyboard.
Refentse Maselwa
Students display their talents at the Coffee House.

Thomas Gray once said: “Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn.”

If you want a breath of fresh air and a flame to keep you warm inside, the coffee house might be exactly what you need, including refreshments if you are peckish.

Students poured out their hearts on stage as they performed variations of original poems and songs. Students were so eager to share their poetry and music that many went to the stage multiple times.

Sean Folquet, freshman, who previously got first place for poetry in the Chrysalis Literary and Arts magazine, always comes to the coffee house and performs.

“We should do this more often. I enjoy performing and watching others perform,” Folquet said.

Attending events like this on campus can reveal any hidden gems our students possess. Stewart Werner, junior, one of many students who gave more than one performance, captured the room with his mandolin and voice, having the audience listening intently.

When practicing for performances Werner said he practices songs that speak to his heart, deviating from what he is supposed to be practicing.

“This is going to sound really cheesy but, honestly most of the time I go wherever my heart urges me to go, so a lot of times the things that I am practicing aren’t really the things I should be practicing. It’s just whatever I want to mess around with. There is no process to it. Using the word processes is really just a misnomer, because I am as disorganized as they come,” Werner confessed.

Werner performed songs with his fellow classmate Django Burgess, freshman–a student who acts, sings, plays several instruments, and commanded the attention of the room with his presence and music. He spoke about his enamor for music and how knowing and enjoying the craft as a musician helps a performer radiate that confidence on stage.

“It is super rewarding because obviously, the only way to get here is to practice, and it is very painful to have to practice music if you don’t enjoy it. It is already painful to practice music when you do enjoy it. There is no skipping steps,” Burgess explained.

Music, like any craft, requires hard work and many hours of practicing, especially if the person wants to obtain some level of success.

Famed high school basketball coach Tim Notke is credited for having said that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Burgess said he shares these views and says it’s easy to flourish on campus here with the support that he has.

“I don’t believe in natural talent. I have friends who have been playing half as long as I have but they are better because they have put in more than twice the hours with half the amount of time,” Burgess said. “Here at Ferrum, it is a super encouraging environment with being around Stewart all day and people in the Performing Arts, Theatre, and Music Departments.”

The Coffee House was held the day before Valentines Day and was decorated accordingly. The Chrysalis team tried to create that love mood.

“We moved tables closer to the stage and lit red candles on the tables to make for a more intimate atmosphere. It was Valentine’s Eve, so the Chrysalis staff tried to create a mood,” Chrysalis advisor John Kitterman continues, “It worked! We had a good mix of poetry, prose, singing, and great music.”

Kitterman was pleased with how the event went and the amount of students who performed and in the audience.

“We had 15 people perform, some multiple times, and we went from 8 to 9:30. I counted roughly 40 people in the PD, so that was a good crowd. We had coffee, soft drinks, pizzas, and cookies. Something for everyone. There was a mic issue, but that got resolved quickly.”

He also said that several performances stood out.

“My favorite performance was all the music. It was good to hear Gabe Alvarez (sophomore) play ‘Fly Me to the Moon’,” Kitterman says. “Stewart Werner and Django Burgess played a lot and Emily Walker (junior) played a haunting piece called ‘Strange’. There were others, too. We have some very creative people on campus. I hope they all come out again in March.”

The next coffeehouse is March 10, a Wednesday, at 8 pm in the Panther’s Den.

The March coffeehouse will be welcoming spring and will be on Wed., March 10 at 8 p.m. in the Panther’s Den

“I think we’ll have more performers and more energy,” Kitterman concludes.


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