The Winter Coffeehouse


Photo Credit: Julius Schorzman

There are many fun and memorable events here at Cistercian, but Coffeehouse is arguably the calmest and most stress-free out of all of them. At Coffeehouse, Cistercian students get the chance to unwind and watch/listen to other Cistercian students perform in multiple ways. Performances range from stand-up comedy (a new personal favorite of mine) to musical numbers (the majority of performances). Keeping coffeehouse judgment-free, fun, and most importantly, “chill,” has always been the goal of the Art Board, but it all starts with good preparation.

The day before Coffeehouse, the Art Board (the presidents of which are me and Joel Kattady (’20)) clears the cafeteria and sets up chairs. The next day, starting at around 10 in the morning, the entire Art Board meets at Cistercian to get the real work done. Setting up for Coffeehouse includes creating the stage up front, putting up the stage lights, setting up the sound system and speakers (and making sure they actually work!), laying down the carpets, getting the food in order, and making sure the room has a “good vibe.” Since this last Coffeehouse was Christmas-themed, getting what Joel and I call “winter vibes” included hanging up string lights that shined a nice, mellow blue and white color. This, along with many other subtle decorations and little things, really tied the cafeteria together, transforming it into a whole different place altogether. Rather than the busy Cistercian cafeteria, this room was now a place to enjoy the arts in a nice, calm, and beautiful environment (very much like a proper coffeehouse should be).

With all of the setup and decoration completed, the only thing left to worry about was the food and drinks, a job that is taken care of by wonderful and generous Cistercian mothers (specifically Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Ardemagni). As the name implies, coffee is served at Coffeehouse, but many other foods and beverages are as well. Hot chocolate is a popular and favorite beverage that is served, and churros and kolaches are popular foods that are served. With setup and food all taken care of, all that was left to do was wait for the night to start at 7.

Winter Coffeehouse 2019 was special fora multitude of reasons. To start, this was undoubtedly the most full Coffeehouse Cistercian has ever had. There were over 100 people at Coffeehouse this year, and it seemed as though every single chair was filled, possibly even leaving some without proper seating! The night was also filled with several incredible, memorable acts. Kicking off the entire event was the dark and hilarious stand-up act of Thomas Leahy (’21) and Michael Wilson (’21). The two juniors’ act very much set the comedic tone of the night, and several other funny acts followed theirs, such as John Lesage’s bad poem, “Lesage at the Calc Test” and an act full of improv games (led by Mrs. Magill). The night was also full of several incredible musical acts though, led strongly by the senior class. Seniors Patrick Geary, Joel Kattady, Davis Jackson, Alex Banul, and Ethan Barhydt all took turns showing off their musical talent. Because of the abundance of acts, this was certainly one of the most diverse Coffeehouses up to date. Although this Coffeehouse only had 17 acts total, they were all unique and fun in their own ways.

For anyone who hasn’t ever been to a Coffeehouse, I strongly recommend coming to one. The intimate environment, free admission and food, talented performers, fun performances, and “vibes” make it a next to nothing experience that is truly a pleasure to be a part of. There aren’t any other Cistercian events that can capture the Coffeehouse experience, so with it only coming around twice every school year, it’s not something you want to miss.