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The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Choir Coffee House Auditions: A Piece of Coffee Cake?

Cypher, Shetye S (OTHS)

An excited yet quiet buzz fills the main cafeteria, the first Coffee House of the year is about to start. Christin Reinartz, the head Choir Director, walks onto the stage and declares the start of Coffee House 2018. A girl in a black sparkly dress walks onto the stage. Her half-hearted smile reveals how nervous she really is. The music starts as she waits for the song to begin. She breathes in deeply and belts out the first few sentences of the chorus. Her nervousness seems to disappear as she continues singing, and the audience watches in awe. Little do they know that each performance will be just as magnificent. The Choir Directors look up at their students with joy; they have never heard any of the students sing songs like the ones they are singing today. It is what Coffee House is all about.

“I think Coffee Houses are awesome. The reason why is because it gives opportunities for our singers to sing genres that they would not normally sing in class. It also provides a platform for songwriters to have their music be premiered,” said Reinartz. “And for the general public, Coffee House is great because it gives some exposure for the choir and music department to people who are not in choir”.

Students can try out with almost any song, as long as it is appropriate and within Katy ISD guidelines for Coffee Houses. This includes their own written songs for songwriters, popular songs on the radio, songs from musicals and many others. Although any choir student can try out for Coffee Houses, and usually 40-50 people try out, there are only around 20 people who actually make the event. This is because they have to let the students audition, hear everyone thoroughly and write notes about their audition. Then they have to make the hard decision of choosing the performers. Many students believe that there is a lack of boys who audition for Coffee Houses, but that is not the case.

“There has never been a lack of boys trying out for Coffee Houses, and the number has been consistent recently,” said Austin Hart, the Assistant Choir Director. “We take whoever is the best out of everyone. We do not take specific amounts of boys or girls.”

Senior Olivia Smith is in Chorale.Smith usually plays a guitar and sings songs from other artists or sometimes a song that she writes herself. Last year, she tried out for all of the Coffee Houses that the Choir put on, but she did not make it every time.

“I think it was easier for me than other people because I used an acoustic instrument. This is more unique than others,” said Smith.

Some choir students never try out for any Coffee Houses for many reasons. Sophomore Alyssa Duffy, in Cantabile, never tried out for any Coffee Houses her freshman year. She is trying out for this year’s first Coffee House on Sept 11, 2018.

“I feel very nervous and I do not know how it is going to go, but I hope that it does go very well,” said Duffy, “I am too shy to go alone, so I prefer to go in a group. I have never really thought of trying out either.”

Nervousness and other factors like time management or schedule issues may stop someone from trying out for Coffee Houses. And even though there are a lot of people who do try out for Coffee Houses, there are ways to stand out in the crowd. Smith has some tips that she, and anyone else, can use to make Coffee Houses.

“Do not do overused songs. Try to find ones that many people haven’t seen before or give it a twist so people are not seeing the same thing. For my first Coffee House, I put my song in a lower key than it typically is and played an acoustic version. Give it your own twist and make it your own. It makes it interesting,” she said.

There will be around four Coffee Houses this year, the amount may change throughout the year.

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