Section: Arts

Ransom Notes fall concert highlights talent and teamwork

Ransom Notes fall concert highlights talent and teamwork

THE RANSOM NOTES

Were you wondering what that big white cloth hanging outside Rosse Hall last week was? On Saturday, the Ransom Notes, one of Kenyon’s a cappella groups, had their fall concert just within the doors. 

The show’s opening act was a group of Kenyon singers, informally dubbed ‘The Drew Sutherland Experience,’ led by Drew Sutherland ’25. They delivered a funny choral rendition of “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton that eased the crowd into the Ransom Notes’ setlist.  

The Ransom Notes started their concert off with a lively number, “Red Wine Supernova” by Chappell Roan. Molly Smith ’24 contributed a clean and controlled solo to the song, delivering both a captivating chorus and a rap verse. It served as a promise of an energetic evening for the audience. One of their standout performances was a duet between Andrew Landau ’26 and Bella Downey ’25. Both members leaned on each other for support as they sang, highlighting the emotional gravity of the song, “What about Us?” by Pink. After that came the newbie song, with members Grace Thompson ’26 and Jasmine Chen ’27. They performed “Stick Season” by Noah Kahan and showed that the Ransom Notes’ future is bright. 

In previous concerts, the Ransom Notes have shown a consistent ability to merge humor with skill, and nowhere was that more apparent than when Billy Seeds ’26 took to the mic to deliver an impassioned performance of “I’m Just Ken” from the “Barbie” soundtrack. Seeds donned a long faux-fur coat to embody Ryan Gosling’s Ken. The performance and arrangement were appropriately hilarious and still impressive, capturing the drama of the song well.  

A surprisingly touching moment came when it was time for the Ransom Notes to perform “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by the Looking Glass as two alumnae, Abby Patton ’23 and Becca Mucheru ’23 joined the group onstage. The song has been a staple on the Ransom Notes’ setlist for a number of years. As a result, there was a beautiful harmony present for the group from singing a song the members were comfortable with. Before the alumnae left the stage, they made sure to hug the newbies and show the audience the deep ties that run between members. 

The concert also provided a home for the recent Swiftie frenzy when Layla Bayoumi ’25 performed “Clean” by Taylor Swift. Her warm and velvety tone made the solo shine brightly in their setlist. Their 10th and final song was a solo from Sylvan Maney ’24, whose performance of “Cosmic Love” by Florence + the Machine was ethereal with a brilliant use of their head voice to elevate the dramatic quality of the song. It was a masterful performance: Maney’s charisma was on full display, and the rest of the Ransom Notes supported them with a sublime set of harmonies. The concert made it obvious that the Ransom Notes work extremely hard in ensuring that they’re ready for their concerts. “It’s a very fulfilling thing. To finally have a concert and be able to share these songs that my roommates have heard me arranging for the last few months is very rewarding,” Smith said in an interview with the Collegian. Now, the group is looking forward to preparing for its winter tour and perfecting its performance setlist for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella competition in February.

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