The clatter of the keyboard and the sweet sound of a strumming guitar helped to start off the week for several Keene State College students. This entertainment was provided by the Student Activities Council (SAC) at their annual coffeehouse event.

The coffee house, co-sponsored by the Fair Trade Club, took place last Sunday, March 8, in the Night Owl Café and enjoyed a steady flow of students coming in and out of the event.

The coffee house offered a break from some possible mid-semester woes. Sophomore student Tori Tine said, “Coffee houses are always great and SAC did a great job with this one. It’s always good to have a cool vibe while hanging out and listening to music.”

This cool ambiance was created by the use of thoughtful decorations, such as covering each table surrounding the stage with paper and providing markers for audience members to doodle and write messages during the show. Another feature was the gift of a free mug with attendance.

SAC’s event was advertised around campus and on social media with the appeal of two up-and-coming singer/songwriters as stars of the program. Alicia Berry, SAC’s concert coordinator, said the singers were discovered at this year’s National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) conference attended by the members of SAC.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

The conference is used as a tool for student activity councils across the country to learn tips and find talent to bring to their campuses.

These artists were Lauren Marsh and Brett Young — both of which provided a half set that complimented the other in tone and enthusiasm.

Marsh is a native of New Jersey but when she took the stage she eagerly expressed her love for New Hampshire because of a family summer home on Spofford Lake 20 minutes from campus. She spent part of her set playing the keyboard to accompany her vocals and also used a ukulele she  said she affectionately named “Peanut.”

Tori Tine said she liked Marsh’s anecdotes to explain each of her original songs. These songs were mostly off of her debut album, “The Incurable Heart,” that is currently available on iTunes along with several other EPs by Marsh.

The audience was also treated with some unique cover songs of artists such as Beyoncé, Adele and Hunter Hayes.

Next up was Nashville’s own Brett Young, a country singer with song writing credibility as well. Young originally hails from southern California but has spent the last few years in Nashville producing his music.

When not in the studio he has been touring small venues across the country to promote his own music and upcoming projects.

The crooner also sang a mixture of covers and original work with anecdotes in between. Young had nothing but love for KSC when he took an Instagram selfie with the audience and said he really had “a blast” being here. He also said that acoustic sets are fun because, “It’s a nice change of pace and I get to be a lot looser with my set list.”

Young clued the audience in on a few songs of his that are in the works of being picked up and recorded by country stars such as Chris Young and David Nail.

But if you want to hear Brett Young for yourself, he has an album called “Broken Down” available on iTunes along with EPs played at the coffeehouse.

“It’s one of my personal favorite events that we put on,” Alicia Berry said.

If students came to the coffee house just for the lure of a free mug of hot chocolate, then most definitely stayed for the quality entertainment.

Berry summed up the evening when she said, “I think we did the event justice.”

Rebecca Costanzo can be contacted at

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