Major Tom's Coffee House VII
Article by: Diana Gilday
On Saturday December 29th, All Saints held the seventh installment of Major Tom’s Coffeehouse. The coffeehouse, designed to be a showcase for amateur musicians, is one of our most popular events and this time was no exception, with its highest turnout thus far. The event is popular due to the amazing talent, atmosphere, and sense of community. This coffeehouse saw the public debut of a group called “C-Day”, a collection of seniors at The Mary Louis Academy. The group performed four songs. Each song drew a better crowd reaction than the last. Tonight also saw a return of many crowd favorites who had gone off to college. Among these was Daniel Bosko, a sophomore at The Catholic University of America. “Bosko” performed two songs and his amazing guitar talent, as well as passionate voice, resonated deeply with the crowd. The audience welcomed back with open arms. Whether playing acoustic guitar, or upright bass, or singing, his deep relationship with, and understanding of music comes through in his passionate performance. Another returning face was Greg Thompson’s, a freshman at Stevens Institute of Technology. Greg performed two songs, one being a crowd favorite, “600 Miles”. Among all these returns was “The Crooks”, an immensely popular band not only with the coffeehouse crowd, but our entire church community. The band consists of six members including a senior in high school, four college students, and Major Tom himself. They performed three liturgical songs, sticking to their praise band roots. The crowd was truly happy to have them back, even if only for a limited engagement. Crooks leader Teddy Byrne gives his insight on the performance, “It was the first time we had performed as a group in a long time, and it was great to come back together in this space. I believe it was one of our strongest performances yet and I can’t wait for us to come together next time.”
"C-Day" – Photo by: Teddy Byrne – See the full gallery here
The Crooks preforming "Joy to the World"
Mark Palmieri reading his short story
Greg Thompson performing "600 Miles"
Major Tom opens the Coffee House
Fr. Byrne, Ross Coffaro & "Major" Tom singing "Sounds of Silence"
In true coffeehouse tradition, more than music was on display. Marc Palmieri, an exceptionally talented writer, read an excerpt from a book he is writing about his childhood in New Jersey. Fred Adell shared his beautiful artwork and gave his own unique rendition of the songs his art illustrates. Both acts are frequent contributors to the coffeehouse and are always welcome performers. Marc’s stories especially captivate the entire crowd to the point where you could hear a pin drop in the room. The highlight of any coffeehouse however is “Major Tom” Espenshade himself. Tom did not disappoint. Performing a number of songs, both solo and with fellow members of the Bayside Men’s Glee Club, Fr. Larry Byrne and Ross Coffaro, he really brought the crowd together. Without his talent and passion for music, this event would not exist and the whole community is very thankful for what he has created. Tom is a multi-talented musician and showed off many of his talents including, for the first time ever, the piano. The whole community is excited to be part of his vision for the coffee house named after him and is proud to be his “guinea pigs", as he would put it, for future performances. The coffeehouse ended the way it always does with a rendition of “Sounds of Silence”, performed by Tom and Fr. Larry. It's always a crowd connecting experience as everyone joins together, swaying candles, or cellphone flashlights, and singing along. This coffee house was exceptionally successful and the community looks forward to the next on January 19th, 2019. Come join us at 8:00 pm in the All Saints Common Room. Bring your talent, or just your ears and a little something for the pot-luck refreshments table. You will be glad you did!