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Classical to Pop and More in Store at North Farmington Coffeehouse

Students rehearse this week for their Jan. 18-19 showcase.

Alec Shapiro and Faith Gammouh rehearse. Video credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
Alec Shapiro and Faith Gammouh rehearse. Video credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
From a tough audition process to producing an iTunes recording, North Farmington High's annual Coffee House is much more than an entertaining concert. 

Held Jan. 18 and 19 at the school, the concert offers students the opportunity to work with outside professionals to produce a unique event–and a professionally engineered iTunes recording. 

Teacher Shari Jaffurs said the process is "expensive", although ticket sales and a raffle will help cover the cost. The hope is to break even, she added, but if that doesn't happen, "with what they're learning, it's worth it." 

As one of the show's 25 acts, juniors Faith Gammouh and Avery Rausch will perform "The Way You Look Tonight", written by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. 

"We both really love Frank Sinatra," Gammouh said, "so we decided to go classical." 

Both students have performed in the last three Coffee Houses, but never as a duet. "We have very different voices, and we thought it would be cool to see what happened when we sang together," Rausch said. 

The Coffee House seems to encourage that kind of original thinking; a number of students have performed their own compositions, Jaffurs said.

Retired teachers Dean and Sue Cobb launched the Coffee House at least 15 years ago, in connection with a production of the musical Hair. Jaffurs said they wanted to get a taste of the 1960s, and the concert idea took off from there. Over the years, parents have been very involved, and National Honor Society students pitch in to wait on tables. 

Tickets are $15 and will be sold at the door; all four performances usually sell out, Jaffurs said. Advance tickets can be purchased at the school. 

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