Last Sunday, Kenyon’s Peer Counselors (PCs) held their annual Fall Blues concert, an event that successfully alleviated the emotion that it is named after. Advertised as a night of live music and poetry, Fall Blues featured relaxing performances from the Millennial Pinks, Christian Maric ’23, Marc Delucchi ’20, Oliver VandenBerg ’20, Sabrina Halavi ’20, Aaliyah Daniels ’23 and Jordan Dean ’22.
The soft lighting of Pierce Pub served as the perfect backdrop for the acts as they that filled the room with the golden mellowness that is associated with fall in Gambier.
The PCs, a group that works to promote mental health and well-being on campus, host Fall Blues as an interruption to the late-fall tedium that characterizes academic life on campus. It represents a macroscopic version of the peer support they offer to students, serving as a reminder to take time for one’s self in the throes of an academic semester.
One of the strongest aspects of Fall Blues was how each performer adapted their sound to fit the event’s comforting atmosphere. Though the Millennial Pinks’ typical sound can be described as somber, bordering on melodrama, their performance here, led by Ethan Bradley ’20 on standing bass, was more upbeat.
“I really enjoyed the Millennial Pinks,” Lucas Jung ’23 said. “They filled the room with warm sounds.” Jung also mentioned enjoying singer Maric’s performance, noting that he “really liked Maric’s acoustic cover of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’” With performances arguably as warm as the ample supply of Peirce lava cake and apple cider provided by AVI, Fall Blues created a cozy haven from the chilly fall weather outside.
Students appreciate Fall Blues for giving a stage to student performers but also emphasizing positivity. “These events are important because it’s a nice space to share artistic voices. It brings people together and could teach others something about humanity or life,” Jung said.
Fall Blues, the concept of which first came into being in 2012, was one of the first all-campus events to be hosted by the PCs, and has since become an annual event. The open mic event fits well with the mission of an organization that encourages unity and peer support among Kenyon students.
Intended to respond to the effect the change in seasons can have on one’s mood, Peer Counselor Sarah Campbell ’20 described the event as a “chill atmosphere” that allowed for students “to escape.” The PCs were able to provide “a safe space [for people] to come and relax and just enjoy the music,” Cambell said.
Those who attended Fall Blues would attest to the therapeutic effect of the event’s communal sharing of music and poetry. The 30 or so attendees could be seen quietly nodding their heads as they followed along to the soft tunes that radiated from the stage. Some did homework and others talked with friends, but everyone involved delighted in the easygoing environment that welcomed those looking for a quick respite.
Traditionally, the Peer Counselors have also held a Winter Blues event, which they hope to repeat, along with other similar events, this year.