Students showcase talents at Coffeehouse


Marissa Ho

Seniors Matthew Avena of Middletown, Abigail Karl of Monmouth Beach and Kyle Robinson of Middletown performed the last number of Coffeehouse.

Allie Beekman

From dancing to singing to playing the piano to reciting poetry, CHS students of all grades showcased their talents in 36 acts at Coffeehouse on Friday, Nov. 17.

The event was hosted by the junior class, who had been planning the event since the end of last year, according to biology teacher and Class of 2019 adviser Jeanine Gomez.

“Some ideas were flowing at the end of last year with the old council and the new council,” Gomez said. “It definitely was good to have meetings at the end of the year in preparation for it being so early this year.”

Coffeehouse usually takes place in early December but the event was held almost a month earlier because the council didn’t want to interfere with other December events and liked the idea of a fall theme, said junior council member Rebecca Rippon of Ocean.

Freshman Madison Beekman of Neptune performed a contemporary dance to “Can I Be Him” by James Arthur. 

 “I’m nervous because the whole school, like a lot of people, are going to be there,” Beekman said. 

Sophomore Ben Hewson of Fair Haven performed for the second year in a row, this year singing “Ballad of Billy the Kid” by Billy Joel and accompanying himself on piano.

“My favorite part is making people happy,” Hewson said. “That’s my only motivation when it comes to practicing. I love the reaction of people after I perform and seeing all of the smiles on their faces. It’s really some of the best moments of my life.”

For her third Coffeehouse, junior Sydney Karlin of Matawan played “Love is Not Over” by BTS on the piano. She both enjoys and dislikes playing in front of a crowd.

“I’ve been playing piano since I was three but I haven’t done any performances really except for Coffeehouse,” Karlin said. “I love playing in front of people because of the energy and you feel support from everybody around you but I also hate it because that one little mistake you think everyone will hear.”

Senior Jackie Geller of Manalapan was one of just 4 dance acts in the show. Geller has performed at Coffeehouse since her sophomore year and wanted to go out with a bang.

“It was a little bit stressful about two weeks ago because I realized it was my last one,” Geller said. “But days leading up to it I got really excited because I wanted to end on a good note. I was really confident about my dance and I like having everyone around me and supporting me.”

During the show, juniors and co-hosts Liam Marshall of Sea Girt and Emma Hecht of Wall read live tweets from audience members. Towards the end, Marshall and Hecht said they received many tweets requesting that junior Kevin Clark of Spring Lake perform “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. Clark then performed the second to last act.

“I went into it really thinking I wasn’t going to get a chance to show off “Piano Man,”” Clark said. “The fact that I got to play, the audience went so crazy and I got so much support between tweets and compliments after I played made me beyond happy.”

Rippon thought the night went well and the council was proud of their work.

“Coffeehouse really couldn’t have gone more smoothly,” Rippon said. “Our goal was to make it a fun, chill night that brought the school together and showcased how talented CHS is and I think we definitely accomplished that.”