The Office of Public Affairs will tell you that Kenyon’s esteemed Chamber Singers spent their spring break visiting “seven cities in seven days, stopping along the way to make some beautiful music.” And while this is true, we at The Thrill know you’re probably more interested in bus-board hijinks and singer shenanigans than in Bach’s Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (y’all should be ashamed of yourselves, you uncultured gossip hounds). So we’ve invited Singers Ally Schmaling ’14 and Will Quam ’14 to share some of their favorite memories.
- “The entire state of Minnesota smells like fresh baked cookies,” according to Schmaling, and Minnesotan Quam noted that “a Midwestern tour really brings out my accent.”
- “Tour is somewhat infamous for being a time of budding incestuous Chamber Singer romance,” admitted Schmaling, “but I think we only had one bus buddy couple this year. The identity of these mysterious lovers, I’ll never disclose.” So start speculating, readers.
- Kenyon alums helped host the Singers, and apparently at least some of them are cool and successful. Quam notes that in Indianapolis he “stayed at a house with a basketball court. Inside the house.”
- Chamber singing is basically as dangerous as football or rugby. The aforementioned Bach motet is 14 minutes of solid, non-repeating music, and Quam contends that there “ain’t nothing like the adrenaline rush that comes with doing 14 minutes of through-composed Bach on five hours of sleep.” Combine the stress of “without a doubt the most difficult choral piece [Schmaling has] ever attempted” with the fact that “the Krud spreads fast while travelling on a bus cross country with 54 Chamber Singers,” and “you’re bound to get a couple fainters.”
- Luckily, “Doc [Locke] is now two for two in catching fainting singers,” says Quam. One Singer fainted this year, and Schmaling herself fainted on stage mid-song last year.
A collection of YouTube videos of the Chamber Singers’ performance in Oberlin, Ohio, can be found here. Below, the Singers perform Kokosing Farewell.