Preview: Arts Scholars Host Coffeehouse to Showcase Students

A jam-packed night of creativity will feature bands, singers, visual art displays and entertainers when students gather to showcase their skills at an Arts Scholars student-run coffeehouse March 11.

When sophomore finance and marketing double major Gabe Fernandez noticed Arts Scholars coffeehouses were losing their momentum last year, he decided to revive its initial spark.

Fernandez worked to energize an artsy showcase where friends could come together in an effort to recognize talent from Bel Air Hall, the Arts Scholars’ residential building.

“I figured, why not give it a shot?” Fernandez said. “There are a lot of talented individuals in Bel Air Hall and all around campus. I feel like my partner and I were able to do a good job showcasing just a small percentage of it.”

The first and only coffeehouse event to occur last semester featured a range of talent, from musical theatre performers to singer-songwriters to an Irish dancer, and Fernandez said he was proud of that diversity.

This time around, the night will not only include musically inclined artists, but comedic personas as well.

Attendees will hear from singers and comedians from the College Park area, but Fernandez also hopes to find talent from outside the region.

In addition, audiences can expect to watch sophomore computer science major Devin Ganey, sophomore mechanical engineering major Mike Houser and sophomore physics major Kevin Lehr, a fellow Arts Scholar, to perform in their band, Talk Radio, during the night’s festivities.

Talk Radio will also compete in a Battle of the Bands sponsored by Gorilla Music and presented by Tascam March 28.

Performing solo last semester, guitarist Houser said the night was a “perfect combination of food and environment and music,” and said performing in front of an audience equipped him extra motivation.

“I’ll have a terrible performance if I feel like no one cares. It’s like a give and take,” Houser said. “The energy they put in, I definitely try to put out 10 times more.”

In fact, this particular audience makes these shows unique.

Because most Arts Scholars live in the same small space, many of the performers’ hall mates will watch the talents’ acts, making for an incredibly close-knit atmosphere, though everyone is welcome.

Freshman business major and spectator John Kos was shocked by how many talented people he could say he knew personally.

“It’s great being able to see many of your friends perform in an intimate setting where there is no judgement, and they’re free to express themselves,” Kos said.

The coffeehouse will occur at 6 p.m. and be held in the Cambridge Community Center.

headshotMaryam Outlaw is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at


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