Coffeehouse 2021: Back to Full Strength


Anaahita Kaashyap

Anwar Karim ’22 performs for a rapt audience

On Friday, December 10, Potomac’s Coffeehouse came back stronger than ever. For the first time in two years, the Upper School community joined in a single space to perform and enjoy the performance of talented students and a faculty. This was a big step up from last year’s Coffeehouse, which seniors and juniors attended, while sophomores and freshmen had to watch via livestream.

Instead of taking place in the Crossroads, as has been traditional, Coffeehouse was held in the Spangler gym. People sat either at tables in the center of the gym or on the bleachers where they could view the makeshift stage and the yule log projected above. While Spangler lacked the coziness of the Crossroads, the home-baked goodies and live performances allowed the show to go on.

As people shuffled into Spangler, they were greeted with the Jazz Band playing their iconic “Watermelon Man.” Junior Lea Saba said “I loved that I was able to perform as part of the Jazz Band in Coffeehouse in Spangler this year, but the atmosphere of Coffeehouse in the Crossroads will forever be unmatched. It is kind of densely packed, but it gives the authentic vibe of a jazz bar, which I really love.”

Then the night started off strong with a duet of “Take a Hint” performed by senior Charlotte Krilla and sophomore Brooke Parry. Charlotte wasn’t fazed by the cavernous venue. “Honestly, it was a really great experience performing this in Spangler and there was a really nice backdrop which had drawn everything together. After Covid, it was really nice having everyone all in the same space again, together. I am glad that I could have done it in my last year.”

Shortly after, freshmen Alex Martin and Karina Satoskar, accompanied by Leela Iyer on the piano, paid a memorable tribute to Taylor Swift by singing “Nothing New.” This was a major hit as Swift’s new rendition of her iconic 2012 album Red came out barely a month ago. “It was a really fun experience,” Karina said. “It was a little intimidating at first, but everyone was encouraging and incredibly supportive, even the upperclassmen.”
Comedic relief was provided by Potomac’s very own math teacher, Mr. Budd, who performed a dramatic rendition of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. He explained that he has performed Dr. Seuss every three years. “When I would read it to my kids, I would kind of sense the drama in it or even play up to the drama present,” he added.

Overall, the Coffeehouse committee is grateful that this beloved tradition was able to be held, even if it was not in the ideal location. “I personally prefer the closeness of our traditional Coffeehouse, in the crossroads, but I think that Mr. Westermann did a great job of making Spangler as cozy as possible while still being COVID safe,” said Emma Chun ‘23, a member of the Coffehouse planning committee. She herself performed two songs with Ben Schirmier ‘23 and Andrew Lay ‘23.

In the end, despite all the changes, Coffeehouse still remains as the Upper School’s favorite tradition. The committee was thrilled that at least all the Upper School students and faculty were able to be in person to enjoy this wonderful night, even with the implemented restrictions.