This Saturday, the Owl Creeks, Kenyon’s only soprano-alto a cappella group, performed its spring concert at Rosse Hall, receiving much applause and support from those who attended.
The Creeks were introduced by a rowdy group of lacrosse players decked in suits and shades — they sang a husky rendition of “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay before bumbling off the stage to allow the scarlet-clad Creeks to enter. Once the lacrosse team had left, the Creeks began their concert by singing an ensemble arrangement of “Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall, their voices melding together seamlessly and passing off to each other with ease.
What happened following their opening song likely was a source of anxiety for the Creeks, but it showed how supportive the members are of each other. AJ Gluck ’25 was the first to solo, but when the rest of the Creeks began the background harmonies, she quickly shook her head and told them the notes were not right. After several restarts and some confusion, the Creeks moved on to their next set number, a solo by Julia Elliot ’26, who sang a very sweet arrangement of “Someday” by The Strokes. After Elliot’s solo, one of the Creeks members announced that they would return to Gluck’s set number and try again. “This way AJ can shine,” she said. They quickly figured out the opening notes, and Gluck, with no noticeable apprehension, glided smoothly into an arrangement of Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move.” Despite the momentary setbacks, Gluck’s strong voice matched the gusto of the original folk song, and she truly did shine.
The rest of the concert passed gracefully. One notable moment was a duet of “Yesterday” by seniors Elena Volchok ’23 and Maeve Griffin ’23. In an email interview with the Collegian, Volchok wrote, “It is honestly very bittersweet to be graduating and ending my time in Owl Creeks. It has been such a special group and has been one of the most consistent parts of my time at Kenyon.” The duet was especially tender considering that for Volchok and Griffin, this is their last Creeks performance. Commenting on their decision to sing “Yesterday,” Griffin wrote in an email to the Collegian, “Elena and I wanted to do something that felt like a goodbye song to the Creeks, Kenyon and all of our friends. We went through a few options before choosing ‘Yesterday,’ but it seemed like the perfect way to express our love for the group and how much we’ll miss it next year.” After the duet, Volchok and Griffin gave each other affectionate hugs — yet another indication of how close the Creeks are.
One notable set number was performed by Olivia Westley-Sherman ’25, who sang a warm arrangement of “Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks. Westley-Sherman’s voice was enrapturing, and her stage presence was impressive. In an email to the Collegian, she explained why she chose “Cowboy Take Me Away” as her solo: “[It’s] one I’ve loved since I was a kid. It’s one of my mom’s favorite songs, so I thought it would be fun to surprise her with it.” Another especially memorable moment was the solo of Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway” by Ella Crowther ’25. Crowther’s voice was powerful and resounded throughout the concert hall — inciting many shrieks and cheers. In an email to the Collegian, Crowther explained why she picked her song: “It was originally soloed by Alex Inciardi [’21], who first showed me around Kenyon, so it felt like a sweet full-circle moment and an homage to her as someone who encouraged me to audition for Owl Creeks in the first place.”
The Owl Creeks concert was a lovely spring performance that showcased graceful harmonies and strong solos. Throughout the concert, it was clear how much the Creeks support each other and, even more importantly, how much they enjoy a cappella not just for the sake of an audience, but for the pleasure of singing itself.
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