The Kokosingers, Kenyon’s tenor-bass a cappella group, held their spring concert in Rosse Hall on Sunday afternoon. Known colloquially as the “Kokes,” they are a crowd favorite for their energy, classic song choices and dynamic stage presence. Most importantly, each Koke was a wildly impressive singer, making their performances stand out even during Kenyon’s peak a cappella season.
The opening act — which consisted of students from the club soccer team — introduced themselves as “the Whistleblowers, Kenyon’s premier whistling a cappella group,” and then proceeded to whistle a complete rendition of “The Final Countdown” by Europe. The audience laughed while the team held back giggles, starting the concert off on a light note.
Following the Whistleblowers, the Kokes ran onto the stage and began their set with a cover of “Fools Fall in Love” by the Drifters. The group snapped and danced to this classic ’50s song, and at one point one of their members pulled out a kazoo, which made several appearances over the course of the night. The group tends to stray further from pop music than many of Kenyon’s other a cappella groups, which fits well with their low-pitched, harmonic sound. They sang across genres, but many of their best pieces were rock and R&B from the ’60s and ’70s.
A particularly impressive piece was “Still Crazy After All These Years” by Paul Simon, soloed by Brian Coburn ’23. Coburn sang at a tenor pitch, hitting higher notes at a belt. This was a beautiful cover all around, as the rest of the group sang softly to back him up and everyone’s voices blended together smoothly, doing justice to the original song.
This was one of two Paul Simon songs that the group performed, the other being “Homeward Bound,” which was sung by the seniors. The song was emotional for everyone, and following its completion, other Kokes greeted the graduating members with hugs.
Another highlight of the concert was “How Deep is Your Love,” originally by the Bee Gees and inspired by PJ Morton’s cover. Ben Pimstone ’23 did a wonderful job as a soloist, stunning the audience with steady vocal control as well as riffs throughout the song that had the audience cheering.
One of the last songs the Kokes sang was “Dedicated to the One I Love” by the Mamas & the Papas, which they performed as a group. The different vocal sections each had distinct parts that responded to each other to create a heavily harmonized melody. What made this song in particular stand out was the way the group gradually built up in volume before jumping into the chorus.
To close the show, the members wrapped arms around each other and sang “Kokosing Farewell,” their traditional closer and a Kenyon song dearly loved by many students. They then lapped the stage and had the audience chanting “encore” for a final cover of “If I Wrote You a Symphony” by Justin Timberlake. Coburn beatboxed, and the rest of the group had fun dancing, wrapping up a great spring concert.