Brewing up the First Cup: behind the scenes at Coffeehouse


Lillianne Hogsten

Reese Daughterty plays with her band, Virago. Virago was one of the groups that performed in Coffeehouse: the First Cup.

Behind the brewing of Coffeehouse, and the chaos of preparation, there are students and teachers making sure it is just to taste.  

Since the beginning of the school year, students and staff have been preparing for the first Coffeehouse, which took place on Sept 29. Introductory meetings started the first week of school, auditions during the third week, and a performers’ meeting during the fourth week.  

“We have a lot of students who step up to the plate [during Coffeehouse planning],” said Coffeehouse staff adviser and CHS biology teacher James Wilkinson. From performers to student staff, everyone worked together.

Senior Ava Wendelken is the president of Coffeehouse as well as a performer.  She said that as president she has been preparing for weeks, as a band member she started practicing four weeks before the beginning of school.  In the midst of preparation, advertising is crucial.

“[We] use posters and post them all around the school, we also have announcements and a lot of times we use Herd Tv,” said Wendelken.  

The Coffeehouse officers, or, as the organization calls them Cofficers, run an Instagram page, @chs_coffeehouse, and a Twitter page, @chs_coffeehouse, to get the word spread around.

Advertising and setup led to the main event, Coffeehouse: the First Cup, which took place on Sept 29, in the Fowler Courtyard. Over thirty performers played at the event, making up 17 acts spanning over two hours.

The band Virago, made up of Reese Daugherty, Josetta Checkett, Anna Crawford all sophomores as well as Ashytn Daugherty (who does not attend CHS), was one of the bands who performed on the 29th. It was not their first Coffeehouse performance: Virago participated in all three of the shows last school year.  The band has been preparing for over a month and feel that a good performance is crucial to their growth.  

Checkett, who is also one of the poetry representatives for Coffeehouse, said that ever since they began playing in Coffeehouse, “[The event] has motivated us to play in other venues and branch out with where we play and where our sound is.”  

Reese Daugherty, who serves as the other poetry representative, feels similarly.

“We have developed a more complex sound and we’ve added a lot of more elements to our music and in general [because of Coffeehouse],” Daugherty said.

The next Coffeehouse will take place in January, and the preparation has already started.