Junaid Imran/The Medium

Last Wednesday many UTM artists, equipped with their talents, gathered in the Faculty Club to perform at the first Coffee House of the year. For those of you not familiar with this event, Coffee House is a relaxing night of art organized by Artistic Resource, which celebrates and fosters creativity on campus. The group has consistently delivered well-received and energetic events on campus, and in keeping with this tradition, this year’s show proved just as exciting and engaging as last year’s.

The Faculty Club was transformed into a tasteful stage that was conveniently set for a perfect mixture of mingling, café-style treats, and excellent art. There was an eclectic mix of singers and songwriters, poets, stand-up comics, and other artists, all performing in front of an enthusiastic audience. People in attendance were required to donate a canned good or pay $2 to charity, but the cookies, coffee, and tea easily made up for it. The atmosphere was lively, and the crowd welcomed each performer with generous applause.

Becky Arnott and Zack Fulkerson performed an excellent original piece, with the former on piano and the latter on guitar and vocals. It was a very strong performance, ending with a particularly long, loud note that was nothing short of astounding. Prateek Sanyal gave a raucous delivery of his own comedic observations, and although it had no definite structure, it was hysterical.

Poetry was a distinct part of the evening, including some very passionate and committed poets whose oratory was rhetorically unique and sometimes controversial. Nevertheless, the audience seemed enthusiastic and pleased with the variety of acts incorporated into the show.

There was a surprise mid-show with an impressive piano performance by Yang Ning, who dazzled the crowd with a lightning-fast rendition of an incredibly hard sonata and reaffirmed the notion that music is able to evoke the richest emotions while remaining  inherently abstract and complex.

The exercise in creative expression was built on a solid foundation of organization and spirit. Each performer added a unique value to the night, and the Artistic Resource team  coordinated everything professionally. The general tenor of the crowd was uplifting and positive, with many people out supporting their friends or neighbours, and fostering solidarity and community. Many nervous performers’ anxieties were even defeated by the wave of appreciation and praise.

Coffee House was also meant as a precursor to the bigger “Artsfest” show that will take place in early  February. All are welcome to audition or participate. More information can be found at the RLS Helpdesk or  online via the Artsfest Facebook page. May the constantly evolving student talent live on.

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