The energy was high at last Friday’s performance of Kenyon’s star tenor-bass a cappella group, the Kokosingers (“Kokes”). The show marked the group’s first performance back in Gambier after its East Coast winter tour.
Brandi Recital Hall was full of anticipation to hear the wonderful voices of the Kokes. People were roused with excitement and as the members of the group walked onto the stage, claps and shouts filled the air.
The love the Kokes have for one another was evident in the energy they brought to the stage. Their set primarily alternated between ensemble songs and songs with featured soloists. The soloists’ range and smooth voices blended perfectly with the ensemble vocals.
All of the singers had shining solos, and fans in the audience were eager to show their support for their friends. During the break after each song, more and more people filed into Brandi. The room was so full that the aisle stairs were teeming with people sitting to watch the performance. The Kokes loved the support from the audience too. “The energy on Friday was amazing. All our gigs on tour were so fun, but it definitely felt the best performing back at Kenyon,” Will Engel ’23 wrote in an email to the Collegian.
The performance began with the song “Magical Mystery Tour” by the Beatles. This song was the title track of the Kokes winter break tour, and it started the concert off with a bang. Many audience members were dancing in their seats or tapping their feet.
The next song performed was “The Gardener,” featuring soloist Sam Morris ’25. Will Engel shared how important the song is to him. “The Kokes always came to my school growing up, and that was my favorite song year after year, and hearing Sam’s voice on it is downright beautiful,” Engel wrote in an email to the Collegian.
From love songs like “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” featuring soloist Andy Zhang ’26 to acoustic songs like “Mexico” featuring Engel, the Kokes had a vibrant set that flowed from song to song. It was a joy to listen to their talented voices and the unique blend of tenor and bass voices that they brought to the stage. Other highlights included “500 Miles” featuring Aidan Biglow ’23 and “Stand By Me” featuring Riley Orth ’24.
A big hit towards the end of the concert was “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” from Disney’s “The Aristocats.” The fun, energetic personality of the Kokosingers really came through as the audience laughed and cheered.
Orth explained how great it feels to be performing at Kenyon once again. “We were all so excited to perform for everyone, and it was really cool seeing that everyone was equally as excited to watch us perform … It really couldn’t have gone better,” he said.
One of the last songs of the set was “Kokosing Farewell.” This homage to their name and Kenyon wrapped up the concert with the beautiful melody and school spirit. The Kokosingers truly lit up the stage with their voices Friday evening.
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Great Article! I love the a cappella groups at Kenyon and really enjoy reading about their performances and the energy they bring to the school.
Reply to Gina