The GW Pitches, GW’s all-female a cappella group, highlighted an evening dedicated to women in the arts at the Mount Vernon Hand Chapel Friday night.
The seventh showcase of the MVC Coffeehouse Series, a monthly concert series at Mount Vernon, commemorated Women’s History Month, which is celebrated in March.
The event also featured artwork by Mount Vernon students and an open-mic event for students after the performance.
Senior Rachel Bauchman began the coffeehouse singing a variety of songs from artists such as Dido and Ani DiFranco.
“She was amazing,” freshman Julie Swaney said. “I wish she had a CD so I could buy it.”
The main portion of the show was a performance by the Pitches, who performed a variety of songs ranging from Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to Sarah McLaughlin’s “Sweet Surrender.” The Pitches started the set thanking everyone in attendance for coming out to support the arts.
“I came because I heard the Pitches were a great group,” freshman Jessee Lyons said. “It was a very nice setting to enjoy live music. It was very intimate.”
Freshman Peter Davis said he enjoyed the performance.
“They try to have fun with the audience and get them involved,” he said. “There’s comedy with the music.”
“We wanted to inspire women to make their own mark,” said Marisa Tjerandsen, graduate assistant for Mount Vernon Programming Council.
Arline Duffy, who organizes student activities at Mount Vernon, said the coffeehouse was designed to help students build an arts community and give people an opportunity to express themselves.
“This coffeehouse was about the celebration of women in arts by representing individual achievement, but also recognizing the work of women in groups and celebrating visual arts as well,” she said.
Friday night’s event was part of a series of coffeehouses held at Mount Vernon for about three years, said freshman Jaeda Pang, chair of the committee that organizes the events.
Last fall the series hosted a variety of artists including duet groups The Day and Red Letter Day, Latin band Solazo and solo artist Beth Wood. The first show in the spring featured gospel R&B group Naturally Seven.
Pang said two more shows are planned for the spring, including reggae and swing music events.
Although the coffeehouse series is three years old, event coordinators said it did not gain popularity until this year. Pang said 30 to 80 people attend each show, including many students from the Foggy Bottom campus. Pang said the popularity of the series grew because event planners bring in diverse groups to perform.
“Our main goal is to diversify,” Pang said. “We do not want to just do the white-woman-with-a-guitar act.”
Pang said the committee finds performers by listening to CD samplers, looking for local acts and getting feedback from other students and staff members.
“We found the up-coming reggae group through one of the women who works on campus,” Pang said.
Duffy said the coffeehouse series increases in popularity each year, but this year’s jump is a result of student coordination.
“This is the first year it has been totally run by students,” she said. “They’re doing a great job.”