The aptly named Peer Counselors’ (PC) annual Winter Blues Concert took place on Valentine’s Day this year. Despite a wind chill of 25 degrees below zero, Peirce Pub was filled to the brim Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. with those courageous enough to go outside. The audience was rewarded with not only a packed line-up of musical talents, but also free pie. The PC-sponsored event featured many student musicians, both solo artists and musical groups. PC Khatiti Harper ’17 was one of many students in charge of organizing the event. She, along with other counselors, arranged the event’s publicity, applied for funding and recruited the many student acts that made up the setlist on Saturday. “There were three groups that were made up of faculty, and the rest were students,” Harper said.
The performers were recruited via email, and no auditions were held. “[It was a process of] self-selection, I guess,” Harper said. “We were just hoping people knew what they were getting themselves into.” The acts featured during the concert included groups such as Hot Club de Gambier, Cat Good Win and Kenyon’s classical all-female a cappella group, Colla Voce.
Rebecca Waters ’18 chose the event for her musical debut; the singer-songwriter had never performed on stage before Saturday. “Saturday was definitely a new experience for me, and I didn’t know what to expect,” Waters said. She chose the concert specifically because it was sponsored by the Peer Counselors. “It just felt like a group of people … that I would feel comfortable with,” she said. The positive feedback she received after her performance made an impression on Waters. “The part that I will remember more so than the performance was the way that my friends here showed up; they were so supportive,” she said. The other acts impressed Waters as well. “It’s not something you get to be a part of when you’re in classes, … getting to see other people’s passions,” she said.
Amanda Goodman ’18, on the other hand, is no stranger to the stage. “I’ve performed outside of Kenyon in front of a crowd, and I’ve performed at two open mics here,” Goodman said. Also a songwriter, Goodman tailored her set on Saturday night to fit the theme of the evening, winter blues. As an artist, Goodman was glad that the PCs gave student-musicians the opportunity to perform in a space like Peirce Pub. “I liked the variety of [the show] and I liked the space,” she said. “I think that Peirce Pub is a really nice space for something like that, because it’s a little bit more casual.”
The intimate atmosphere of Peirce Pub amplified the acoustic performances that took place that night. The variety of acts spoke to the scope of musicality present on campus. “There’s a lot of really talented people at Kenyon, and I think it’s nice when they have opportunities to perform,” Goodman said.
Other acts included Patrick Gilligan and his band the Handsome Devils, Kendall Theroux ’17, Professor Vernon Schubel and Son, Morgan Sterling ’15, Thomas Loughney ’16, Jane Symmes ’16, Caroline Fenn ’16, Seth LaCheese, Howard and Judy Sacks and Vincent Femia ’17.