As I walked up the stairs towards CoGro on Tuesday evening, the rhythm of my footsteps were replaced with the sweet sounds of creative expression.
My ears were greeted by the voice of the brave young poet who was concluding her piece on stage.
The coffeehouse event was hosted by the Undergraduate Review. The poet exited the stage and I joined the queue for my drink, but the show wasn’t stopping for anyone. Next up was the Caledonias A Cappella Group — stylishly dressed in all black and adorned with patriotic poppies.
Their rendition of Ingrid Michaelson’s The Chain was heavenly and uplifting, but the girls truly demonstrated their great range, both tonally and in terms of repertoire, with their second piece, a medley of Destiny Child’s Say My Name and Survivor. It was sassy, foxy and classy, and the accompanying beat boxing deserved an A+, in my books.
Indeed, great creative range seemed to be a theme of the coffeehouse. Performances included short story readings, diverse offerings of poetry, musical duos and duets, and even some original hip-hop.
According to Laura Bossy, editor-in-chief of the Undergraduate Review and event emcee, it wasn’t only students that participated in the event this time around.
“This year we extended our reach to the Kingston community too,” Bossy said. “[Community is] definitely something we want to draw upon for our launch event this year as well,” said Bossy, ArtSci ’16.
The publication goes live in March.
For now, it’s events like this Coffeehouse that keep the creative scene thriving, and the community is a vital part of that.
The connections the organisers worked with included Queen’s Poetry Slam and The Artel, a local artist-run collective that forms a core part of Kingston’s arts scene. Bossy added that this year’s event has definitely been more successful.
To me, it seemed that the venue was part of that success. With CoGro being such a key part of the student community, what better way to bring arts into the mix than to place it in the heart of this comfortable and communal space?
There were students buried in their books right at the foot of the stage, but the beautiful sounds of the performances permeated the room and often even grasped the attention of those at the far end of the space.
Notwithstanding the sometimes-disruptive din of activity, and the occasional blender, for those three hours it seemed that art and academia had found harmony.
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