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Having coffee on the quad with live performers

ACBU created an atmosphere where students could enjoy warmer weather and tunes this past Tuesday.

On April 13, ACBU hosted an afternoon of music on Olin Quad with coffee, tea and snacks. The event’s lead performers were singer-songwriter Addison Agen, runner-up for Season 13 of “The Voice,” and artist Manny Torres, who was on Season 15 of “American Idol.” The two played acoustic originals and cover songs for students.

“We picked these performers because we previously had Addison [perform] and we liked the agency that we picked her through,” event coordinator Tynita King said. “The agency recommended Manny to us and it actually turns out that they’re a good duo, that they performed together before, so we thought that they would be the perfect set.”

King, a junior social media marketing major, said this was her first in-person event that’s gone on without an issue after two years working with ACBU.

“I’m very excited to be back in person; it makes things a lot more fun,” King said.

The event opened up with Sheridan Hurtig, senior television arts major performing covers such as “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and more.

Agen was invited previously to BradleyPalooza, which occurred over Zoom on Jan. 30. Now, thanks to the event, Agen got to perform on Bradley’s campus.

“[It feels] so good to be in-person and not to be singing into a screen,” Agen said. “It’s been a year since we’ve been able to be back at this. It feels really refreshing and I have a whole new excitement for playing music again.”

Agen went on stage with her boyfriend Mike Gronsky joining, both on the guitar. She performed some originals such as “Kitchen Floor,” “Floating” and “Tennessee Rain,” which she wrote and performed during her appearance on “The Voice.” Some of the songs are not yet released but will be on her next album.

Torres, a recording artist from Chicago, describes his sound as a soul-pop blend. He performed covers of “This City” by Sam Fischer and “I Like Me Better” by Lauv, alongside two originals called “I Do” and “I Still Stand.” The latter song is about his personal hardships.

“It was about some difficult times I went through while fighting cancer and other difficult times I shared,” Torres said. “Overall, we’re all fighting something. Every day we wake up to a new battle, but we gotta choose to keep fighting.”

Torres was glad to see the turnout for the event and hoped to be back at Bradley for more events.

“We got a really nice day outdoors; people really did show up, too,” Torres said. “With the weather and COVID, you never know how these [shows] turn out, but it was fun.”

ACBU’s next main event will be Recess with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on April 24 on Olin Quad at 7 p.m.

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