Bearden’s Off the Chain to host annual Coffeehouse performance


Maggie Kimber

Seniors Adam Fulcher and Dalton Kizer rehearse for Coffeehouse with Ms. Mary Sexton.

Maggie Kimber, Staff Writer

Bearden’s mixed a cappella group, Off the Chain, is looking to “brew” up a more intimate performance for audience members attending the choir department’s upcoming “Coffeehouse.”

This will be the fifth year that the choir department has hosted the all-acoustic event, which began as an impromptu effort to showcase a cappella students’ specific vocal talents.

“We just sort of threw it together, but the idea was to just to have an acoustic venue for the members of Off The Chain to do individual things, duets, trios, and quartets – mostly acoustic so it would have that coffeehouse vibe to it,” choir teacher Ms. Mary Sexton said. “No accompanied tracks; just live instruments.”

This year’s free event will be Friday at 7 p.m. and will also feature a few changes from previous years’ performances, such as its location. From its start in the chorus room, to the past four years in the band room, the group has decided to move the show onto the stage in the auditorium, where choir risers will be setup to accommodate the audience, much like the performances of Letters to Sala.

Ms. Sexton has also decided to omit the option of performing solos this year.

“I just love the idea of them working together in small groups, and I give them totally free reign as long as it’s not inappropriate,” Ms. Sexton said.

These group pieces will be performed in the first half of the show, followed by an intermission where guests will have the option of purchasing things like coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. The second half will be a preview of the songs to be performed by the entire group at the upcoming spring concert.

Senior member Sophie Alley says the group has been preparing for this showcase for a little over a month, typically running their performances once a day.

“[Coffeehouse] is like my favorite thing we do in a cappella because I like the intimate setting,” Alley said.

A few of the songs being performed will include an all girls rendition of “Stand By Me,” an acoustic cover of “Titanium,” and a mash up of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and “Style.”

“It focuses more on individuals,” senior member Laura Seale said. “If someone doesn’t have a solo in a cappella, they can share their talent through Coffeehouse.”

This performance also allows audience members, unable to attend the choir concert being held on Tuesday, the chance to catch Off the Chain’s spring set.