Hope College’s student body contains an abundance of musical talent. To represent and support this talent, the Student Activity Committee sponsors Coffeehouse, a weekly musical performance held at the Bultman Student Center. This event gives the opportunity for Hope students to share their musical talent with their community on campus. Every Thursday night, students gather together to enjoy the performance and support their friends. Performers get an hour-long time slot to share their music and are given the choice to either play individually or in groups. Student performers have the creative freedom to choose how they will spend their time, getting to choose the genre of music, instruments used and specific songs played.
Megan Barta, a freshman at Hope, has loved her experience playing for Coffeehouse. “It is a really good way to allow people who are already making music to share with their friends and the community of Hope,” she said. Having played at Coffeehouse twice now, Barta notes that it is a fun and supportive environment. “It’s fun to get a chance to perform in a low-stakes environment,” Barta said, “there’s nothing riding on it and I know they’ll have me back.”
On the day leading up to her first performance, Barta admits that she had some apprehensions. “I was so nervous, but then the hour went by so fast and I immediately wanted to do it again,” Barta explained. While performing, Megan recognized the supportive community of Hope. “Once I started playing, I looked out and realized that I knew every single person there, and it was really cool to be supported like that,” she said.
“It’s really important to have a community here that supports your individual talent,” Maicee Bishop (’25) commented. As performers, students must prepare and rehearse ahead of time, forcing them to take their talent seriously. Bishop shared that she really appreciated the chance to take a break from studies to focus on something she is really passionate about. “It allows me to have a separate goal on my own that I get to work towards that I really enjoy,” she explained, “and it gives me more of an aspect of what it feels like to be working while also pursuing things on my own.”
Alongside giving the opportunity for students to share their music, Coffeehouse also creates a fun environment for audience members and friends of performers to come enjoy the musical debuts. Students can do homework, chat with friends, or just simply listen to their fellow peers’ music. Katie Donahue (’25) enjoys attending Coffeehouse every week. “I like to watch my friends perform because it’s really great to see them in a different element,” she explained, “but I also really like to come when I don’t know the performers and listen to music that I don’t normally listen to.”
Come stop by the Bultman Student Center on Thursdays at 9 pm to support and enjoy the work of Hope’s musicians. Coffeehouse is always looking for more students to play and share their musical talent. If you are interested in performing, email the Student Activity Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.