On Oct. 22, the Kokosingers (Kokes) held the first indoor a capella concert on the Hill since the start of the pandemic. Kenyon’s premier tenor-bass a cappella group attracted a large crowd of students and parents, filling Rosse Hall to full safety capacity. Their concert was just the start of the unaccompanied vocal fun over the weekend, as eight other a cappella groups performed in a cabaret the following night.
The Kokes concert began with the group’s signature fake-out, as several men wearing suits and ties took to the stage to sing a questionably-arranged version of Michael Bublé’s “Haven’t Met You Yet.” While those hip to the Kenyon a cappella scene were aware they were not watching the Kokosingers but rather men with varying degrees of alliance to ultimate frisbee, the dozens of parents in the audience were hilariously puzzled.
The songs spanned a wide array of genres, from 1960s soul to modern-day pop. Highlights included Ben Pimstone’s ’22 smooth solo vocals in “Say a Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin, and Henry Hirschfield’s ’22 impressive falsetto in “Latch” by Sam Smith.
Another memorable moment was when the group’s newest members, Caleb Rubin ’24 and Liam Rosengren ’24, brought to life their spirited rendition of “I am a Poor Lonesome Cowboy,” which all new Kokes must perform in order to be fully initiated into the group. Rubin and Rosengren then took the lead on “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo, much to the delight of the crowd.
For Pimstone, a four-year member of the Kokosingers, the performance itself was only one aspect of the group’s achievements. “It is about the finished product, but it’s also just as much about fostering friendship and inclusivity among ourselves and about the fun that we have getting there and being able to connect with our community,” he said.
As the semester continues, the Kokosingers are looking forward to their tour, which will be comprised of performances around the Midwest and East Coast.