MCHS Coffee House mixes talent with charitable giving

Above: MCHS student Leith Hutton, music teacher Corinna Cormier, and student Marina Casavant pose in the library after talking about the upcoming MCHS Coffee House talent show fundraiser. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

The Morinville Community Cultural Centre will be the venue for this years Morinville Community High School (MCHS) Coffee House. The event takes place Wednesday, Mar. 16 at 7 p.m., and the public is welcome to attend to see a variety of local high school talent.

“The Coffee House is to show different talents of our students, and it ranges anywhere from singing, playing an instrument, dancing, poetry reading, and writing their own poems,” said MCHS music teacher and organizer Corinna Cormier, adding that in addition to showcasing raw talent, the event raises funds for charity. “The whole idea idea is to promote our students and their talent, and then raise money for charity.”

This year’s charity is the Annual Hair Massacure in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Make a Wish Foundation, Northern Alberta. The charitable giving is a continuation of work done during last week’s head shaving.
Last year the Coffee House donated to the Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools initiative to raise $250,000 to build a school in the Philippines.

One of the performers in this year’s show is Grade 12 student Marina Casavant, who will be offering some slam poetry.
“It’s directed at American politics, and kind of how America is becoming especially integrated with their politics, how they’re viewing it, and how messed up it is,” Casavant said of her original composition. “It kind of smashes Donald Trump.”

For Casavant, the appeal of slam poetry is the ability to put a literary and performance spin on subjects she is passionate about. “It’ not necessarily always about the imagery, although that’s a big part,” she said. “It’s really about the passion and how you deliver it. That’s what I enjoy.”

Fellow Grade 12 student Leith Hutton will also be offering some poetry at the show in a poetic duet with Liz Turner. The poem they will perform is When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye.

“Very much in the same vein as Marina, I’m doing poetry because it really speaks to me, almost more than music does,” Hutton said. “Music is far more set in the beats and how music is constructed, whereas poetry, especially spoken word, free verse or slam poetry, is so freeing.”

Cormier said the MCHS Coffee House will also include a variety music acts ranging from guitar to ukulele as well as a drum solo. Although there are no dance numbers in this year’s show, there will also be a music ensemble performing ahead of the Rotary Music Festival.

The Coffee House always attracts students and parents, but Cormier said the general public is welcome to attend.
“We’re hoping to get more people,” she said. “In years past, we’ve had quite a few, large numbers filling up the gym. The last couple years it’s been a little bit slimmer in numbers. We’re trying to promote it more this year.”

The show will run approximately two hours in length from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. As in previous years; admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. For that admission price, attendees receive coffee and dessert along with the variety of talent. Tickets are available at the MCHS office or at the door on show night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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