Monthly Coffeehouse Provides the Stage for South Campus Talent

On Oct. 21 the RAs of Harwood Court organized Harwood Coffeehouse, an open mic event that was held in Harwood Lounge. Harwood Coffeehouse began in spring of 2010, and has been held monthly ever since. Performances at the event included music, poetry recitations, and craft displays.

“I was pleased to see the variety in the performances we got with poetry, dance, original songs, and covers being performed,” said Frank Sánchez PO’13, a RA organizer, who was emcee of the event.

Harwood Coffeehouse was an opportunity for students to display their own performance skills and appreciate performances of others in a relaxed and informal setting.

“Harwood Coffeehouse was a ton of fun: a really casual setting to play music with my friends, for my friends,” said performer Jake Morris-Knower PO ’14.

Due to Harwood’s location at the south end of Pomona’s campus, where most freshmen residence halls are located, the event was primarily attended by first-year Pomona students.

“It brought out talent from the South Campus. I [saw] familiar faces mostly,” Sydney Vega PO ’15 said.

Although organizers had some volunteers sign up in advance to perform, many of the performers were students performing on-the-spot from the audience. Several times Sánchez went on stage and asked members of the audience to sign up spontaneously.

Naomi Bosch PO’15 was in the audience until she decided she wanted to step up and sing a song.

“I didn’t know much about the Harwood event, so I hadn’t planned to perform—when I got there, things were starting to wind down slightly, so I decided to go get my ukulele from my room and help fill in the space. I really like sharing my original songs with people, so when I realized I’d have a chance to play, I jumped on it,” Bosch said.

Wes Haas PO’15, one the most enthusiastic performers of the evening, gave three separate performances. Haas first performed with his band Wig Base Beach on the guitar.

“For the band for Coffeehouse, most of the guys live in my hall. We started jamming at the beginning of the year just for fun and decided to put something together for Coffeehouse. We had planned to play the ‘Ballad of Zeke Bridges’ and ‘The Cave’ by Mumford and Sons, but everything else I did that night was just spontaneous,” Haas said.

Jake Morris-Knower PO ’14, also member of the Wig Base Beach, gave a solo performance on the viola.

“The second little piece I played, was very loosely based on an Appalachian folk tune… And out here in California, whenever I play songs like that I’m transported back to Upstate New York, jamming in Judy’s (Morris-Knower’s music teacher) attic, looking out of the windows at snow falling on the beautiful countryside,” Morris-Knower said.

Sánchez was optimistic that the event will gain popularity in the future and hopes to organize it somewhat differently next time.

“I thought the event went really well, we had a great turnout… In the future we will hopefully have more people sign up ahead of time, but I was certainly pleased with the event,” Sanchez said.

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