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The Coffee Shop and LOTUS

Updated: May 4, 2022

You need more than two hands to count the number of choral ensembles in Mercer county alone, never mind New Jersey. Add in the instrumental ensembles, bands, etc., and that number grows exponentially. It might beg the question as to whether we need any more.

So, why LOTUS?

Well, why do anything? Why the heck NOT?

I remember visiting San Francisco back when Starbucks was really starting to boom across the US. My friend and I, being the middle-of-nowhere Midwesterners we were, marveled at the number of Starbucks shops there were on



Since then, my preferred cup of coffee is now whatever is local and has that signature pallet-wood-industrial-library kind of feel.

See, amazing things happen at coffee shops. People meet for the first time. $100,000+ business deals and philanthropic ventures happen. Two moms take a break from their various juggling acts to take time to connect and support. That perfect cup of coffee - literally with my name on it - waits for me to kick off my day or sustain me through the next late-night rehearsal.

It's magic.

My favorite thing about coffee shops, though, is the life-changing conversations that can happen. That's what I live for - those precious moments that we miss if we don't sit for a moment in the silence to take life in and listen.


Coffee shops...conversation...listening.

We have forgotten how to listen, haven't we? Well, perhaps we have gotten really good at listening to one another in order to respond. But...I think we have forgotten how to listen in order to understand.

And you know what? That's what choral ensembles do really, really well.

They listen.

Sure, they rehearse. They hone their craft. They work hard. But in the end, after all of the hard work, the most sacred and powerful moments in a concert are when these many (different) people breathe together and listen.

And you know what else? I don't think I have ever complained about more coffee or tea shops popping up on multiple streets in my town. I love having the variety, and I love having so many places we can connect.

So, listening. Connecting.

That's "why LOTUS." We're simply another sonic "coffee shop" - another place to sit, to listen, to encounter, and rediscover what is truly amazing in this world. And during/after a pandemic - a year+ of noisy silence - it's a great time to reconnect through the power of art.

We are here to "set the table" - and we hope you'll come see us in Trenton on January 22.

Cheers to a more hopeful year. For all of us.

- Alicia

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