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Flashing lights, a spotlight and stage, a club-like atmosphere, and amazing live performances from talented Warren students continues to attract large crowds to Café Desha every Friday during lunchtime.
Created by the choir director Robert Peterson and piano accompanist Desha Dunnahoe, Café Desha allows students with musical abilities to express their talent, while also providing a chic place for students to hang out during lunch.
“We’re so used to listening to music on our iPods or in the car, but hearing raw, live music intensifies the experience tenfold,” said junior Ivo Rubio, an active performer and attendee. “That’s what Café Desha does, and that’s why I look forward to it every time.”
A complete success, Café Desha, an outlet for students to freely perform contemporary music and show off their astounding musical capabilities, has drawn in numerous singers, bands, and performers. In addition, with all the tables and chairs set up around the stage, the café also provides an area for students to enjoy their lunch while watching fellow classmates perform.
“I was at first looking for a way to recruit kids into choir, and I’m still trying to find talented kids, it’s a talent search,” said Peterson. “There’s so much we haven’t even tapped into, singers, songwriters, dancers. [Café Desha] provides a cool place and a safe place to perform.”
Peterson had noticed that he had very talented singers in his choir class, and wanted to give them a chance to showcase their aptitude and skill. Thus, Café Desha emerged in 2004, and was named so when students were brainstorming names and called out the piano accompanist’s name. Since then, this fresh idea has transformed into a popular weekly event, and attracts crowds of at least 100 students per lunch. Every Friday, the choir room is transformed into a club for students to relax and enjoy the musical acts prepared by the student talent.
“I think it’s going great, and it’s continuing to grow in popularity, and the talent is getting better and better,” said Peterson.
Any student that wishes to perform at one of the lunchtime sessions is allowed to. All they need to do is approach Peterson or Desha, audition, and all else will be taken care of. Everything is provided for a successful performance, including all the instruments, rehearsals, location, and an enthusiastic audience.
“If you want to perform, come tell me what you want to do, and they sort of do an audition for me,” said Desha. “And if they’re ready they can perform. It doesn’t have to be polished and perfect, but they can just let me know.”
Desha runs rehearsals for each performing individual or group either at lunch or afterschool, as she guides them in preparation for their acts. Since Desha is able to play all musical instruments, she is quite adept to helping students with their performances, and assists them in onstage performance skills and all other musical aspects.
Although already a large event on campus, Peterson and Desha are still looking to incorporate as many students as possible to participate in Café Desha. They strongly advocate all students to stop by room E-3 during Friday lunches, or to check out their website at myspace.com/cafedesha.
Published: December 4, 2009 – Volume 8 – Issue 32