Students take their seats in the auditorium as junior Sofia Barreiro steps onto the stage. They watch her take a deep breath as she begins to sing My Once Upon A Time by Dove Cameron. Everyone in the audience silences to enjoy her performance, and after everyone gathers around to hang out and have a good time.
“Coffee House is super chill. It is a setting where you can eat and talk to your friends, but you are also enjoying a show. The students get to connect with people from other choirs and share the same interests as them,” said Barreiro.
Coffee House is an annual talent show at Tompkins that features choir students’ abilities to perform songs that best fit their vocals. It brings together people from different choirs to listen and entertain people through a variety of music, and it allows for students to display their talents in a unique way.
“I have enjoyed doing Coffee House my whole life,” said Barreiro. “I have always auditioned and it’s great to get to know so many new people every year, it’s a really great experience each time.”
Barreiro is a member of the Choral choir and she also specializes in Sound FX. Coffee House usually starts at 7 p.m. on a Thursday and it takes place three times a year. Once every fall, winter, and spring the talent show is held where students meet in the cafeteria to drink coffee and relax.
“Coffee House is usually a little smaller and more relaxed than a talent show,” said sophomore Camila Garcia. “There is food and you can talk to people and do your homework, while a talent show is more performance and it includes a variety of talents.”
Coffee House is an especially great experience for choir students that want to continue with the singing path in the future. It provides an opportunity for students to practice and audition for something small, so that they are more prepared for bigger auditions later on. Friends can even come to support and listen to them as they perform what they’ve been perfecting for weeks.
“First I take a week or so to search through music that I have on my playlist. Then I see what fits my voice range best at the time, and I’ll just pick from there,” said Barreiro.
Choir students will prepare their songs in advance for Coffee House so that they will be ready when it is time to get up on the stage. Students can go into one of the practice rooms or go home to play their track or instrument and decide what they want to do different in the song to improve it.
“I love performing and I love making music and playing on my Ukulele, I just like to share my music with others. It helps me grow individually and I love what I can discover through playing different songs,” said Garcia.
The audition process is nerve- wracking for some students, but being able to hear how their hard work has paid off is worth it after the show. Coffee House provides a sense of stability and a comfortable environment for students that just want to share their ability to sing music with people that they enjoy being around.
“I use these opportunities to grow, I really do,” said Barreiro. “I like to hear the notes back, and I hope to find more music that I can grow with. Different kinds of music whether it is musical theatre, opera, or even a simple pop song could be something I’m interested in doing later on.”