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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Life + Arts

Brewing up a good time

The Commons at The Honors College will be transformed into a coffee house today, complete with free refreshments and original performances by UH students.

The Honors College Coffee House is an event that’s held twice a semester. Since its creation two years ago, the shows have been steadily gaining in popularity.

English junior Andrew Thomas is one of the organizers for the event and says it has gone from only a few attendees to standing room only.

‘In the past, there wasn’t a very big turnout,’ Thomas said. ‘It was typically about 40 students. It just wasn’t as well publicized and I really wanted people to get involved with it. The turnouts we have now – it’s usually standing room only and there’s always free food, like coffee, tea or whatever they would have a Starbucks.’ ‘

This Coffee House will feature mostly musical selections, but Thomas said in Coffee House’s past there have been poetry readings and dance performances as well.

‘If we have 10 performances, 80 percent are usually music,’ Thomas said. ‘The other 20 percent are usually dancing and poetry readings.’

Business management junior Kat Denson will be belly dancing at the event. Denson has been dancing for six years and is also part of professional belly dancing group Gypsy Dance Theater and the UH Hour Glass Girls.

Denson has previously performed at three The Honors College Coffee House events and loves the experience.

‘Once you do it, you either like it or you don’t,’ Denson said. ‘I kind of got addicted to it. The thrill you get is exhilarating – from the crowd and performing to music, having an audience there appreciating it justifies your work. There’s no way I could ever quit.’

At least seven performances will be featured at each Coffee House. Though most of the performances will be musical, each band is unique.

‘We have a bluegrass band, June Apples,’ Thomas said. ‘It’s really cool because they have a banjo and a fiddle player. We’ll also have a rock band called Radio Ark. A lot of the time, the students write and perform their own stuff.’

Thomas said events like the Coffee House help foster a sense of togetherness at UH, where most students are commuters.

‘You’re still on campus, but it isn’t nearly as academic,’ Thomas said. ‘(Coffee House) creates a community feel on a commuter campus.’

The event has gotten so popular that there is a waiting list for performers. Performers are limited to participate once a semester to allow for fair exposure.

Despite the wait, Thomas still encourages budding artists to come perform.

‘You don’t have to be amazing,’ Thomas said. ‘If you have a talent, just get up there and do it.’

The Honors College Coffee House will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight in the Honors College Commons. The event is free to the public, but space runs out quickly, so get there early.

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