American Senior High "Coffeehouse" labeled 'big success'

Education Wednesday, December 18, 2013


“Coffeehouse” has been a big thing for a few years at American High and this year may have been the best ever. Students passionately sang indie songs, pop and R&B, rapped and performed spoken word poetry. 

The cafeteria at American High underwent a big change on the day before Thanksgiving as the American Art Club transformed it into “Coffeehouse: Kandy Kingdom." It was a celebration of music, the visual arts, and the culinary arts, and students packed the cafeteria for the sold-out performance. Preparation for the event had gone on for weeks before the event and after lunch on that day, the Art Club students swarmed into the cafeteria and transformed it into the Coffeehouse within 45 minutes. 

Carrying artwork and masking tape, lugging big stage risers, boxes of brownies, cupcakes, cookies and musical instruments, decorations, streamers and audio equipment, the cafeteria was quickly transformed. The actual event was electric as the doors finally opened, people took their seats and the performances began. 

There was plenty of delicious food, and of course coffee available, and students checked out the exhibits of students’ artwork on their way in. When the music started the audience was totally locked into the students’ performances including a  rockabilly performance by Bryan Castellon, R&B by Cinnevia Knight, a stirring rap by Ja’Ron McKinney, spoken word poetry by Kania Davis, and an incredible rock guitar performance by Kelvin Bello. 

Other great performances were delivered by Kelcy Phanord, Steven Espinitia, Alina Ogando and Alexandria Fernandez. In addition to the sold-out crowd of students there were various teachers and administrators rocking out along with everybody else. 

Assistant principal Chantel Osborne said “I love the arts! This is wonderful!” Intern principal Francisco Garnica commented “This is so great! The kids are doing such a great job!” 

And principal Luis Diaz added  “Coffeehouse is great, it’s always a really good thing!” 

The Art Club Officers who were instrumental in planning and organizing the event were Jose Galindo, Tabitha Wagon, Kathyrn Ramos, Caroline Ramos, Kevin Hernandez, and Amy Lacayo. 

The Art Club sponsor who coordinated Coffeehouse was art teacher Ron Laffin, and art teacher Gloria Rosa. Rosa's students created the Kandy Kastle stage backdrop. Audio support was generated by Caroline Ramos, Carlos Romero and Felipe Tomes and directed by Fine Arts Academy lead teacher Shenita Hunt. 

The entire event was a Fine Arts Academy production. As the final performer finished to a rousing ovation, Student Activities director Lyn Eimer said, “That was really good, you guys should do another one!” 

But, while cleaning up afterwards, the Art Club officers agreed that while this was an incredible Coffeehouse, the club will be moving on to other new things this year – public service projects, art field trips and, of course, creating art.

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