Filament introduces new bilingual Coffee House

The Filament Literary Magazine has hosted an array of Coffee House events throughout the school year. The event has grown and developed as it has attracted not only new performers, but also new audience members as the location was shifted from the Bistro to Clausen Hall.

Typically during Coffee House, performers display various talents through songs, raps, poetry, one-act plays, band performances and more.

However, this upcoming Coffee House will be different as it will be centered around an international and bilingual theme.

“We have so many students that come from different backgrounds where their parents and they themselves are from other countries and cultures,” Filament Literary Magazine sponsor Leslie Chekin said. “We also have an enormous ESOL program, so it seemed fair and right to reach out and represent these students.”

Two previous Coffee House events on Oct. 31 and Dec. 12 were also based on themes, with the former being Halloween themed and the latter having a winter and holiday season theme. The international theme this time around is expected to be more pronounced in the acts and performances.

“With the bilingual concept, it creates a bridge and is more welcoming,” Filament Literary Magazine sponsor Soo-Jin Lee said. “If they [performers] see that is concept, they are more willing to bring out their other languages.”

With a wide-range of nationalities represented within the demographics of AHS, the bilingual theme to the upcoming Coffee House will provide students with the opportunity to perform in native languages. Additionally, performers may implement cultural aspects into their acts.

“We found this [the bilingual Coffee House] as a fitting accompaniment to other activities such as Heritage Night and the Just World Festival and a nod to the diversity of this school,” Chekin said.

Performers for the Coffee House which will be taking place on March 20, initially went through the audition process on March 6 where they were selected to perform. Selected performers then had a rehearsal practice last week.

“The best thing about performing for Coffee House is the opportunity to share poetry or songs with a great audience,” senior Javonte Durr-Cannon said.

Entry to the event in Clausen Hall will be $5 with baked goods and coffee being sold as well.

“We want the bilingual Coffee House to become a tradition here at school,” Chekin said.




Coffee House attracts new talents

The Filament Literary Magazine hosted the fourth Coffee House event of the school year on Jan. 23 in Clausen Hall. Throughout the progression of the school year, Coffee House has not only attracted new audience members, but new performers as well.

Entrance to the event was $5 with baked goods and coffee available to audience members as well. Due to high audience turnout in previous Coffee House’s this school year, the event was moved from the Bistro to Clausen Hall in order to accommodate more audience members and to provide more room for performers as well.

“We are really excited about Coffee House for the rest of the school year,” Filament Co-Editor in Chief Evelyn Nguyen said. “The event is only growing and is getting bigger and better.”

Performances this time around included band performances, spoken word poetry, singing and duets as well.

After holding auditions on Jan. 9, performers for the Coffee House were selected. There were a total of 12 performances with some individuals performing multiple times.

The Coffee House opened with a performance from the band “Chicken and Waffles” who played their version of “Seven Nation Army” after being introduced by the host for the evening, senior Ayman Elhag and junior Tarik Darweish.

The band composed of seniors Justin Phan and Milton Ramos, junior Noah Byrne, sophomores Nareg Boghosian and Jackson Fornaris and freshman Adam Shawish, played two more songs at the Coffee House including “Take Five” and “Whole Lotta Love.”

Senior Emily Traschel performed an original spoken word poem titled “Ten things every teenage girl should know before falling in love with a teenage boy.”

Multiple duets were featured at the Coffee House including a performance by juniors Elvera Miller and Jimmy Le who sang “Sunflower.” Seniors Melat Habte and Mikal Cheffena also performed the song “Listen.”

Additional spoken-word poems were featured at the Coffee House as well such as “1077” by junior Kadijeh Janneh and “Handed down problems” by freshman Crubel Dawson.

There will be two more Coffee House’s set to take place this school year on March 6 and April 10.




Next Coffee House scheduled

After holding auditions on Jan. 9, the Filament Literary Magazine is preparing for the fourth Coffee House of the school year.

Due to high audience turn out and excitement around the first two Coffee House events on Sept. 26 and Oct. 31, the event was moved from the bistro to Clausen Hall for the winter Coffee House on Dec. 18 in order to accommodate more audience members.

Past performances have included raps, songs, poetry, one-act plays, band performances, and more.

“Some of the performances in the upcoming Coffee House will express the theme of the struggles of youth,” Co-Editor in Chief of The Filament Evelyn Nguyen said.

The event will be held in Clausen Hall again on Jan. 23 at 3:30 p.m. Entrance to Coffee House will be $5.

“I’m excited for the upcoming Coffee House because the event is growing and is only getting bigger and better,” Nguyen said.  




Halloween Coffee House impresses

The Filament Literary Magazine held their second Coffee House of the year on Halloween.

Entrance to the event on Oct. 31 was $5 with baked goods being sold as well.

Seniors Sesen Beyene and Hemen Besufekad hosted the Coffee House and introduced performers as they took the stage. Performances included spoken-word poetry, singing, and even a one-act play.

Performers were selected via auditions on Oct. 16 and 17.

The next Coffee House will take place on Dec.12.

Check out the video the Halloween Coffee House and all performance above. Click here for the video and coverage of the previous Coffee House on Sept. 26.




AHS Filament’s coffee house is approaching

The Filament will be holding a coffee house fundraiser at AHS on April 6. The club has been holding coffee houses to present literature, as well as having guest speakers for the students who arrive. The coffee house is a fundraiser which helps the club pay anywhere around $700-$1200 for literature to be published in The Filament Magazine.

Students and staff will get a chance to showcase their talents. Tickets to the coffee house will be $4 at the door and $3 at lunch.

The coffee house fundraiser earlier in the year during the fall was extremely successful compared to the previous years. Many students and staff showed attended, and also had guest speaker, Joseph Green, a poet who performed slam poetry. 

“The club is very energetic and the student members are very dedicated,” Filament club sponsor Fusun Sulzbach said. “The editors are dedicated to publish top quality stories.”

The club motivates students to submit literature of their choice that interests them to be published in the magazine, and gain recognition.




Filament Coffee House postponed

Entering the coffee house, guests and performers meet a warm and mellow atmosphere. The Coffee House is set up to focus on the performer with a short center stage and all refreshments in the back of the room. White lights are strung up and round tables are placed around the room.

However, this event has been moved to a later date because Filament was not able to make enough preparations to be able to talk to students about performing and advertise the coffee house.

“The coffee house has been delayed until April 15 due to the frequent snow days in the past few weeks. This will give people more time to prepare for auditions if need be, and it will give us more time to advertise,” Filament editor-in-chief Sabrina Rivera said.

Students are encouraged to come out and support their fellow peers on April 15 in Clausen Hall from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Filament submission forms have been released, and students interested can submit their art, photography or literature by April 10.

Filament is beginning to finalize and complete preparations for the upcoming Coffee House fundraiser. Auditions to be able to perform in this event will begin on March 30 and 31. If a student is chosen to be a part of the coffee house, they have the option to present/perform a talent involving art, photography, poetry, fiction, prose and music.

Filament’s goal is to create a warm and mellow atmosphere for all individuals attending the event.

With this extra time on their hands, students involved in the event are working even harder to get preparations in place. Some students are making flyers, while others prepare to hold the upcoming auditions.

“When we prepare, we contact Beanetics for Coffee and have members sign up for individual jobs, such as selling tickets, baking goods, ushering and setting up tables and decorations,” Rivera said.

Events such as this give students the opportunity to express themselves and display their talents. “I am going to be performing with E Heights , and I’m also doing a solo,” junior Leif Jomaud said. “I am spending a lot of time practicing so I can be ready to perform.”

Students are offered a variety of topics that they can explore and display at the event. There is anticipation to see students perform from the club.

“What I like about Coffee house is that I get to see my fellow students perform,”  Rivera said, “I know that many people have literary or musical talent, but not everyone performs at school or gets the chance to share their poetry. So what I really enjoy is that I get to see the creativity and talent that students are willing to express and show off at Coffee house.”

Students involved hope to raise money for the Filament’s magazine and host a marvelous event. The overall purpose for every coffee house is to raise enough money to host their annual Filament magazine. It also gives students a chance to showcase their talents that they would not be able to do outside of school, or it gives them a chance to perform in front of a familiar audience.

Each year there are two Coffee Houses held, the first Coffee House was held in the fall.

“For the fall Coffee House, we held two auditions, and the staff of the Filament did a phenomenal job of marketing, preparing baked goods and decorating Clausen hall for the event,” sponsor and English teacher, Fusun Sulzbach said. “A popular DC poet, Joseph Green, was our guest poet, inspiring many young budding poets desire to establish AHS’s first poetry club,”




Filament Coffee House enjoys success, large turnout

Senior Nghia Tong performs at the biannual Filament Coffee House, which helped raise over $200 for the literary magazine.

On March 14, students gathered in Clausen Hall to join for an afternoon of coffee, baked goods, music and poetry-themed entertainment. Performances ranged from covers of popular contemporary music to original arrangements. Some of the performers featured were also members of the Filament.

“The first time I ever performed was [at the] Coffee House,” sophomore Kristin De Angelis said.

De Angelis joined the Filament her freshman year and performed in the Coffee House in Nov. 2011. For this year’s Coffee House she performed the song “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia.

“I joined because I wanted to be involved,” De Angelis said. “It feels like family.”

This Coffee House also enjoyed a larger turnout than the previous one, which took place in November. Staff members contributed the increase in attendance to better and more widespread advertising. The Filament’s advisor, English teacher Kathleen Dion, also offered her students extra credit if they attended the Coffee House.

“It was better than last time performance-wise,” sophomore Gloria Umutoni said. “The advertisements were improved from last time.”

The performances were also very highly praised by the audience. Although it is tradition for audience members to snap their fingers at the end of a performance, most of the performances were greeted by enthusiastic applause. Some of the more popular performances were a cover of the song “Story of Us” by Taylor Swift and a Ukulele solo.

“I think a lot of great students were able to show off their talent,” Filament Co-editor in Chief Marwa Eltahir said. “We had a great turnout.”

The Coffee House was considered a successful event by the staff and raised over $200 that will be contributed to the publication of the literary magazine at the end of the year.




Filament holds auditions in preparation for Coffee House

Many students don’t get the chance to display their talents. The Filament Coffee House, however, gives students just that opportunity. An interest meeting for the Coffee House was held on March 7 directly after school in room 269. The event, which we be held on March 14, is meant to raise money to fund the Filament magazine published at the end of the year. Tickets will be sold for $3 in advance and $4 at the door.

“I’ve been writing for nine years. I feel like I just wanted my voice to be heard. I want to be known for a talent,” junior Correy Kennedy said.

Anyone was welcome to audition regardless of their own musical or writing experience. They could also audition for multiple acts, which resulted in an assortment of singers, guitar duets, rapping and poetry.

“I’ll do anything to get on stage and I’m also in Filament,” senior Chris Groshon, a potential performer, said. Groshon auditioned in three different acts, which included a guitar duet, a solo performance and the reading of a poem he wrote.

“My poem is about past experiences with people who let me down,” Groshon said.

“Coffee House is a group of students who perform music, poems or any other artistic talents. Usually around 10 to 15 people perform. Most of the people who try will get in,” junior Marwa Eltahir said. Eltahir is the editor in chief of the Filament and works with English teacher Kathleen Dion to organize both the concert and the magazine itself.

For many of those who tried out, the audition served as an opportunity to gain experience on stage and raise other people’s awareness of their individual talents.

“I hope to become more used to performing in front of people. I’ve only done that once before,” sophomore Kristen DeAngelis said. “It’s interesting to go through different fields and try new things.”




The Filament hosts first Coffee House of the year

Seniors Jerusalemm Mekonnen and Lanii Nguyen perform during the event.

The Filament hosted its first Coffee House on Nov. 16 in Clausen Hall. The Coffee House is an event in which the Filament invites fellow students to sing, play an instrument or express themselves through poetry. It is an event open for all to attend and support their fellow classmates.

“The Filament supports the arts, and coffee house brings the arts together,” senior and co-editor in chief Marissa Shartel said.

The Coffee House was host to many performers of various grade levels. Each performer had to audition before being eligible to perform. All students were welcome to come watch the performances by purchasing tickets to the event.

“I think the coffee house is really great for people to show-case their talents without being judged,” sophomore Sakshi Chhabra said.

Performers were given the freedom to sing any song of their choice that was appropriate for school. Many performers sang modern day songs. Paula Naanou sang “Someone Like You,” a popular song originally performed by Adele. A few others even performed music written by themselves. Gwen Levey sang “Someday,” a song she had written herself.

“It was very nerve racking but it was fun,” Naanou said.

The Filament provided free coffee for everyone that attended, and also sold baked goods. All of the members of The Filament ran the event and also helped set up. For many performers, this was a very exciting event for them to illustrate their talents in front of their peers.

“A lot of planning took place for the event,” Shartel said.

Many performers used different kinds of instruments along with their music. Guitars, pianos and even a ukulele was used.

“I believe music is a big part of high school student’s lives,” Shartel said. “The Filament does this event every year, and believes it is successful because it brings students together with music and the arts.”