The Coffeehouse is Back!

It has been two years since the last live Coffeehouse due to Covid-19, but it is finally back!


Billy Bollbach and Sherry Hausman perform New Year’s Day by Taylor Swift.

Gianna Sassi and Jamie Falotico

You walk into the cafeteria and the lights are dimmed except for a bright spotlight pointed towards the stage. Each table was set with a candle and table number placed on top of a red, gold, or black tablecloth. When you look toward the back of the room, the glowing neon sign catches your eye as you read “Coffeehouse.” It is almost as if you have just entered a New York City coffee shop and are waiting to sit back and enjoy a warm cup of coffee. However, you are not in New York but you are in the Emerson High School cafeteria. 

The Coffeehouse is a live show where students and faculty can perform. There are multiple performances ranging from singing to telling short stories and reading poems. Students show off their many talents: Quieter students can bust out singing or new students can introduce themselves to the community. It is hosted in the school cafeteria with a stage and backdrop for the performers and tables set up for the guests to sit. Refreshments were served before and during the performances thanks to DECA. Proceeds from the sales of tickets and refreshments went towards the Music Department and DECA.

Mr. Ullman had the role of a director for the night’s performances, but he says that the performers were independent in their preparation process. He added how he really enjoyed what each performance contained as it was also a way for him to be introduced to new material.

“I love watching the Coffeehouse because it is not dependent on me as much as the shows and concerts. In other words, the performers are really responsible for their performance and so I get to see things the way they want to do it, not from my perspective as a director,” said Mr. Ullman.

Students and teachers alike participated in this year’s Coffeehouse. Audiences got to see another side of science teacher Mr. Deo, a regular performer, as he read, “Friendship,” a story of a young girl who wants to find a friend to play with but the friend demands the girl’s favorite toy in exchange for friendship. Mr. Deo also read a poem called, “Desiderata,” and it is a manual of how to live life. Not only did teachers participate in the show but students as well.  Juniors, Madeline Praschil, William Bollbach, Sherry Hausman, and Sarah Walsh and senior, Katie Tenebruso, performed well-known songs to excite the crowd. 

Billy Bolbach in particular juggled both performing and being involved with the event as a DECA member. William (Billy) Bollbach sang “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift with his friend and classmate, Sherry Hausman. However, when he was not performing, he was working hard behind the scenes to make sure that DECA activities were running smoothly. 

When talking about that night, it was clear that Bollbach could not be more inspired to be a part of the collaboration between the music department and DECA.

“The night was one of the most successful in Coffeehouse history, both for DECA and the music department, and I am so excited for what is to come next year!” said Bollbach.

He also was thrilled to watch his peers as they performed throughout the night.

He, along with many others, is thrilled that the community was able to participate in and watch Coffeehouse after coronavirus made events like it terribly difficult to host. Teachers, students, and family members alike came out to support the Music Program, even after COVID-19 has halted so many activities. 

As a result of their encouragement and support, the show was extremely successful as both groups were able to raise money during the fundraiser. Many of the performances were holiday-themed, which got everyone in the holiday spirit. Senior, Riley Wanner, attended Coffeehouse and could not say enough good things about the night. 

“Coffeehouse was so amazing” said Riley Wanner.

He watched alongside his friends but his main job was to control the lights. He was one of the many students working behind the scenes to make the night possible. Thanks to students like Riley, the performers, and the DECA members, supporters were able to cozy up with a cup of coffee and enjoy their night.