Over the years, Hope College has fostered a space for musicians to spread their talents and support each other through all different styles and genres. Last Friday night, the bond that links musicians together and creates a positive, uplifting community for artists to share their music with each other grew a little bit stronger. Micah Stilwell (’20), along with the other tenants of Van Zyl Cottage (also known by many students as Waffle House) hosted an event that brought musicians from all around campus together to play for an open-house of audiences. There were jazz tunes, guitars (both acoustic and electric) and lots of Christmas lights.
Every student artist played two to three original songs before rejoining the crowd to cheer on the next performer. This was not Stilwell’s first time organizing an event such as the Casa Blue house party – as a member of the Hope College Concert Series, he works with a lot of different musicians and bands regularly. Stilwell also helped to organize the 2018 Wystock music festival last spring (FYI, Wystock 2019 is happening this Saturday!). At the show, there were ten acts who performed before the main act, local band Casa Blue, took the stage (or, in this case, the living room floor). Mallory Shinn (’21) and Anna Kate Peterson (’21) played first, performing two original songs that they wrote. Scott Corman (’21), Miranda Craig (’19), Luke Christensen (’21), Jake Lindell (’21) and Noah Helmus (’20) each played a two original songs with their acoustic guitars.
About halfway through the set, Sam Mattingly (’20) changed things up with a jazz performance of two of her songs on the piano, accompanied by Carlos Flores (’21). The last three students who played were Michael Pineda (’21), who performed two originals with his electric guitar, Michael Stone (’18), who played three songs, and Micah Stilwell. Stilwell closed the opening acts of the night with two originals. At 10 p.m. Casa Blue’s set began. It was a high-energy performance that had the audience cheering and bobbing their heads to the beat. The band played several songs off their self-titled EP, as well as a few covers by other famous bands. After a long night of music and waffles, students left Van Zyl.