Montrosians Perform at Virtual Coffeehouse!

The day after the Virtual Coffeehouse, Montrosians also performed in the Virtual Poetry Jam! Read more about the event in an article by Neha Sunkara and Maevis Fahey (‘21).

Just last week, Montrose held their first ever Virtual Coffeehouse hosted and planned by Emily Nelson ‘20. Although no actual beverages were involved, performers provided refreshments for our ears through their beautiful music. Open to all students and faculty, the coffeehouse became a place to see familiar faces, take a break from the everyday craziness, and to simply appreciate music together. 

After a brief introduction from Mrs. Derendorf and Emily ’20, the event began with myself, Elyza ‘23, presenting a classic coffeehouse style, self- accompanied, performance. I played Inside Out by Sara Bareilles on my guitar and really enjoyed sharing with everyone. 

Next, Bailey Merchant ’22 performed Diamonds by Rihanna with an instrumental track, and she wowed the crowd with her impressive belts and riffs. In a time where we need to take special care of our mental health, Bailey’s song choice reflects uplifting energy and confidence. She commented: “I chose the song because it reminded me that we’re all beautiful, and we should all be happy with ourselves.” 

After that, Anna Sheehan ‘21 sang a very special original song dedicated to the students of Montrose. Despite our separation during quarantine, I Wish You All Love touched every single heart through the screen, and Bailey ’22 even started crying. As for the creation of the song, Anna ’21 explained: “I created my song on Easter Sunday. I missed being with people more than usual, and I felt this heavy longing but also a great deal of hope for what we could make of our world right now. So I recorded myself singing out the longing and the hope and wrote down the lyrics later.” I Wish You All Love conveyed our community’s desire to be with each other in a beautiful way. Sarah Ling ’20 remarked: “I loved all the songs. But I did get a little teary-eyed when I realized Anna’s song was for us.”

Then, Emma Barry ‘22 accompanied herself with her ukulele and sang a sweet rendition of Sweet Tooth by Cavetown. Commenting on her experience and song choice, she said: “I was nervous but everyone was so supportive! I picked my song because I really like the artist (Cavetown) and it had fairly easy ukulele tabs.” Her ability to accompany herself with her instrumental skills was so impressive and a joy to watch. She also set an example for everyone by stepping outdoors and performing outside her house, reminding us to get up and go outside.

Next up was Nina Chehwan ‘23 who also pulled many heart strings with her version of She Used to Be Mine also by Sara Bareilles and from the recently closed Broadway musical, Waitress. With a simple instrumental track in the background, Nina ’23 didn’t need anything but herself to astound the audience. Fellow classmate Elizabeth Barrett ‘23 said: “Nina’s singing, as always, was really amazing and helped me remember that the Montrose community is strong even if we can’t be there in person.” Another classmate commented: “She gave a very emotional and beautiful performance of one of my favorite Broadway songs.”

Last, but definitely not least, senior Sarah Ling ‘20 sang Home Again by Carol King in memory of the home we are all yearning for right now. On her song choice, she remarked: “It is a song about longing to be home. And in this case, since we are home 24/7, that means Montrose.” Sarah accompanied herself on the keyboard and showcased her talented piano skills that we all missed. Her song was short and sweet, giving us the perfect finale to conclude this Virtual Coffeehouse.

The audience left the Zoom with performances to remember. Olivia Lipson ’25 left the coffeehouse wanting more: “I loved hearing all of the girls beautiful voices. I think it’s great to see everyone’s talent both with voice and instrument. I really hope we do another one soon!” Anna Hvidsten ‘23 remarked on the relaxing effect of the event: “This whole thing was a great idea and was really soothing in the middle of the school day!” Mary Connelly ‘24 and Ms White share the thought I’m sure we all had in our minds. Mary ’24 said: “I loved getting to see people in other grades that I don’t have any other contact with now that we are learning from home.” Similarly, Ms White commented: “My favorite part was seeing the faces of so many girls I don’t teach.”

Now that we’re in quarantine, seeing each other’s beautiful faces and hearing each other’s voices is now a privilege which we shouldn’t take for granted. We should cherish the time that we have with each other now that it is so much more limited. Everyday might bring new challenges for us to face, but at least we have events like these to bring our community together. In the words of Sara Bareilles: “When I lose sight of daylight, and my darkness falls, I’ll be strong. My hands are weak and my soul is tired. I’ll give my love from the inside out.” So just remember to “give your love from the inside out” and soon enough, we’ll be Home Again.

Special thanks to our eight student performers and to all of those who attended the event!

Elyza Tuan ‘23, Rising Clubs & Classes Editor