Guitars are being restrung, duos are reuniting, and vocal chords are being stretched yet again for the first coffeehouse of the summer.
Coffeehouse veteran Nicolas Cagle is especially excited to be performing for this fundraising series, now in its third summer. A recent graduate from Clinton High School, Nic wins over audiences with his big personality and vocal style. His vocal sound is unique in that he has a crooning quality that some say is reminiscent of ’50s great Buddy Holly.
Nic will be attending the University of Tennessee Knoxville in the fall, and plans on devoting much of his summer to not only performing at the coffeehouses, but teaching a new generation of performers as well at First Presbyterian Church.
An accomplished songwriter and guitarist, Nic will be leading a free guitar class for the next three weeks from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for young performers. Just as the swing dancing initiative last summer was created to give high school and college students another creative outlet and place to gather, the guitar workshop hopes to do the same.
“So many people express interest in learning guitar, and we are excited to give them a foundation to learn in a fun, social setting,” Cagle said. “These classes are going to be laid back and no pressure at all. It would be awesome if we could give someone the confidence to become a future coffeehouse performer!”
The coffeehouse is Friday, June 6, from 7-10 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge. It’s operated by college students as a musical venue to enjoy together while raising funds for the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge.
“Over the past two years, we have donated over $15,000 to the Clinic, almost entirely through donations from students,” event organizer Sumner Byrne said. “I’m so proud of everything we have accomplished together and can’t wait to get things started again for the summer season!”
The Friday night performances promise to be full of talent and new music from local musicians and crowd favorites, such as Nicolas Cagle, Taylor Kress, Sydney Buckner, and many others. Although the performers and organizers are mostly students, 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 I see my grandmother sitting in the front row,” Byrne said. “The coffeehouse is for everyone to enjoy.”
The coffeehouse will be held in Room 102 of First Presbyterian Church located at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike from 7-10 p.m. Friday. Admission is $3 at the door, and refreshments, cupcakes, and grilled cheese sandwiches are available for purchase. All proceeds continue to be donated to the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge. For more information about the coffeehouse or the guitar classes, call (865) 685-0487.