“Clear-toned,” “folksy,” and “spine-tingling” are apt descriptions of the performance Claire Berger and Catherine Payzant will give at Friday evening’s coffeehouse at First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge.
Strumming ukeleles and singing with a unique take on both old and new songs, they plan to bring something new to each song they perform.
“When this duo plays, the room is instantly hushed,” said organizer Sumner Byrne. “They cast a spell whether playing Patsy Cline or a recent cover.”
Berger is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, and Payzant is a sophomore at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Both are 2012 graduates of Oak Ridge High School, and they are enjoying time away from college by working summer jobs, performing music together at the coffeehouse, and catching up with family and friends.
The coffeehouse is operated by college students as a musical venue to enjoy together while raising funds for the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge.
“We have handed over $6,000 to the Free Medical Clinic since we started the coffeehouse last summer,” Byrne said. “The students have raised their fundraising goal to $10,000 to help the clinic keep pace with the increasing demand.”
Arte Musica, a banjo, bass and piano trio featuring the talents of Wade Darnell, Travis Witherington, and Rudolph Nemeth will also perform, as will Taylor Kress and Sydney Buckner, and the DangerBears (folk duo Nathan Hall and Sumner Byrne).
Devin Earhart and Katherine Wheeler will make their debut on the coffeehouse stage. Adam Moreno will perform several of his original compositions for the first time in public.
Although the performers and organizers are mostly students, people of all ages attend the coffeehouse and the public is invited.
“My favorite nights are the ones when the parents come out and intersperse themselves with the students, and when I see my grandmother sitting in the front row,” Byrne said. “The coffeehouse is for everyone to enjoy.”
The coffeehouse will be held from 7-10 p.m. Friday in Room 102, Activities Building, of First Presbyterian Church, at the southeast corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Lafayette Drive. Admission is $3 at the door and refreshments are available for purchase.