Editorial: Chilling at the jazz coffeehouse

 - Philip Arndt and Clayton Sidenbender -  18


Editor’s Note: The Bethel College jazz ensemble and jazz combo performed at their annual jazz coffeehouse on Friday, March 16. Two of our own staff attended the event, and below, they relate their experiences at this unique event.

Philip Arndt:  Upon entering the dim Dining Commons (DC), an immediate sense of calmness spread over me. The atmosphere in the room was that of a coffee shop, with a classy set up of fine desserts and hot drinks in the back. The tables all had lit candles in the center, putting the room in a calm atmosphere. Sitting up in the front, I was able to relax and enjoy the music. Bethel’s jazz band was performing the set that they performed on tour, and they performed it very well. The upbeat music caused my toe to tap along with the rest of the musicians. When the vocal soloist sang his song, that’s when I was captivated. Incredible talent, beautiful voices and wonderful instruments filled the DC as I sat there contemplating. It was a quality experience that captivated me with its music and atmosphere. Sipping my hot tea and snacking on the quality dessert was a great addition to the experience. I found myself surrounded by friends and occasional chatting, all in a happy atmosphere. Overall it was a fantastic event that captivated me. It was very pleasant to sit and enjoy the music and the food. The music was very well performed by very talented people, and being able to support friends up there was exciting. It is an event that I will plan on attending next year and look forward to it. Clayton Sidenbender: When I walked into the Dining Commons for the jazz concert with my two friends visiting for Pilot Preview day, I was impressed by the classy set-up of musicians, along with the restaurant theme of the room. My friends and I were eyeballing the humongous cinnamon rolls, Rice-Krispy treats and hot Starbucks beverages. Upbeat jazz filled our ears, and as we took our seats, I found myself bouncing my head along with the beat. I was glad that my friends got to experience an event such as this one, because the jazz band doesn’t get advertised a lot. However, the dandiness of the night stopped there. In the crowd, roughly three-fourths of the crowd were made up of relatives to the musicians, and the other one-fourth was made up of students. There seemed to be a lack of support from the Bethel student body, and the students who did show up were on their phones, so the reason behind their attendance seemed to be because of the promised free desserts and drinks. If this is true, it’s a shame, because the jazz music was upbeat and fun to listen to. The cinnamon roll and hot chocolate were suitable and appetizing for me. However, my friend received a coffee that didn’t taste like a Starbucks drink. He had me taste test the drink and liquid that tasted like burnt rubber slithered down my throat. In the beverage’s defense, I think most coffee tastes the same, but the coffee I tasted was burnt darker than black coffee. My friend expressed his disappointment in the drink and used a multitude of creamers and sugars to sweeten the taste. All in all, I enjoyed sitting in the presence of jazz musicians and supporting some of my friends playing in the band, but I was disappointed by the lack of support and rip-off coffee. People who weren’t students had to pay a couple of dollars for the coffee, and I feel that they were ripped off, because the coffee didn’t taste like Starbucks coffee. I sensed a bit of disappointment from my friends who came with me. They expected to see everyone sitting quietly in their seats and supporting their fellow classmates, but instead they saw a tiny portion of the student body chatting and scrolling through their social media feeds. Their trip was saved by their positive experience at the Let’s Make a Deal event. Good intentions, Bethel College, but ultimately it was a mixed first impression.  
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