A Cappella Cabaret: A Review

Time for the aca-truth.

Time for the aca-truth.

This past weekend Kenyon a capella culminated in the annual Parents’ Weekend Cabaret. Every year the songs get better, pitch pipes get shinier, and the show gets longer. Each group gets to chose two songs to sing, and they have to bring it since Rosse year by year gets even more packed with students and eager parents. For those of you who weren’t there, however, here’s a run down on how the cabaret went.

  • Gospel Choir: In their first performance at the cabaret, Gospel Choir had a drum and beautiful, cohesive singing. As someone who has never gone to one of their concerts, I found they were a real wild card and in my opinion had one of the better performances of the cabaret. I will definitely be at their next concert!
  • Owl Creeks: Always a strong contender, the Owl Creeks killed it. One of the few performances of the whole concert that really stuck out and made me want to stand up in awe was their cover of “Powa.” Although the melodies of the other Creeks were gorgeous, Rioghnach Robinson’ 16 nailed the solo. Part of me doesn’t believe she is real because she was belting out notes so perfectly she could have been Mariah Carey circa “Always Be My Baby” era.
  • Take Five: Take Five brought back the sixties jazz era in true style. Their first song, “Blue Skies,” was very pretty, but their second song “Everlasting Love,” was absolutely brilliant. The soloist, Kristin McLerran ’15, definitely lived up to Natalie Cole and her belt was out of this world.
  • Kokosingers: After a great concert Friday night, the Kokosingers brought back two of their traditional songs. “Loch Lomond” was beautiful and made me sob like a twelve-year-old girl watching The Notebook for the first time. I also like that this song is very much an ensemble song that showcases the strength and vocal finesse of the entire group. Their performance of the Beatles’ “All My Loving” also shows that the Kokes can do fun pop songs amidst their classical music training and appreciation.
  • Ransom Notes: What is so great about the Ransom Notes is that they really know how to be natural and have fun on stage. A big issue for some groups on campus is that they could be singing a happy song or a sad song and the audience couldn’t tell the difference between the two because the entire group has the same bored look on their face while doing the same side-step and snap movement. The Ransom Notes are always striking poses and they allow their songs to impact them emotionally. Their soloists this weekend were incredibly on point. I also appreciated that they really worked to incorporate their newbies; two out of three soloists were newbies who really took their solos by storm and proved that newbies do deserve spotlight.
  • Stairwells: The Starwells’ second song, “Janglin,” had me smiling and grooving. I was impressed again with an ensemble-oriented song, as it shows that they are very strong vocally as a group. If the Stairwells made an album they would give Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros a run for their money. I also loved how they just let loose in this song with their bodies, some more than others.
  • Chasers: The Chasers had a good performance, although I feel like I may have had more bias because I have heard their cover of “Wrecking Ball” many times. Many members of the group have very nice and interesting voices and it was nice to hear them blend well together.
  • Colla Voce: I was struck with how despite their small numbers, Colla Voce’s melodic and gorgeous voices were able to fill the room in a soothing, pleasant sort of way. I wish I could just have Colla Voce follow me everywhere and sing because I’m pretty sure life would be so much less stressful and we would all live in a fairytale world. “The Parting Glass” is one of my favorite recurring a cappella songs, and something about this performance made it even more different and stunning than I have ever heard it before. There were definitely tears in my eyes.
  • Cornerstones: They Cornerstones gave a very interesting performance. Although a few seemed nervous at first, their voices were pretty, and I admire their devotion to their songs.
  • The Company: The Company performed “Mama Who Bore Me” and “When You’re Good to Mama.” As a person sitting next to me said, this performance was a theater major’s wet dream. The Company’s performance is always my favorite part of the concert, and I was laughing so hard during their performance I thought I would fall out of my seat. I also wonder where they got adult-sized diapers, as they proved that diapers are the new Chelsea-boot.
  • Emcees: The emcees of the Cabaret, Adam Zaremsky and Elliot Cromer, were something else. They both have such great physical comedy talent and I can promise I will not get the image of Taylor Hartwell skydiving across the Grand Canyon as he sings “Ave Maria” out of my head. Well done.

7 responses

  1. Dear Thrill. Please fix your s**t. This is about the worst excuse for a “review” I have ever read. Nothing but flowery praise and painfully passive “criticism”. If something is bad, say it is bad. If something is good, tell us why it was good with fewer adjectives and less ditz. You call yourself the blog arm of a newspaper. Let’s see some more journalistic integrity with these “reviews”.

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