On Nov. 4, Social Board hosted Kenyon’s Got Talent, an annual talent competition for students to showcase their wide variety of interests such as singing, writing and dancing.
Held in Gund Commons Ballroom, the event included ten student performances that ranged from improv to poetry to original songs, as well as popcorn and Kenyon-themed mocktails such as Social Board Sunrise, More Shirley Less Bored and Middle Path Mule. Each act was evaluated by three judges: Director of Campus Safety Michael Sweazey, Dean of Students Brian Janssen and Campus Life Graduate Assistant Xavi Boes. Laney Goodrum ’26, who emceed the event, noted her excitement at being able to experience the breadth of talent within the student body. “It was so fun sharing the stage with such incredible singers, dancers, speakers and writers,” she wrote in a message to the Collegian.
Ethan Goldberg ’25 performed an original song called “Homophobic Chicken,” which he sung and played on the piano. “It was written as a critique of corporations like Chick-fil-A, who I’m sure everyone knows supports/have supported anti-LGBTQ+ charities,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Sydney Goldstein ’24 delivered a beautiful performance of the song “No One Else” from the musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. In an email to the Collegian, Goldstein said that Great Comet is her favorite musical and that performing made her “positively giddy.”
Lucca Burgess ’26 sang a cover of “Winter Song” by the Head and the Heart, a song he explained is very meaningful to him. [The Head and the Heart is] a band from the pacific northwest, an area where I grew up and which I love with all my heart (both the region and the band),” Burgess wrote in an email to the Collegian. “[I was] very happy to present it to the Kenyon community.”
The event also included a mash-up of Black Sabbath songs by Mara Northland ’23, Va Gruskoff ’23 and Thea Yarbrough ’26. Northland and Gruskoff are members of a band called OBOY! that has been playing at Kenyon since the two were first years. According to Northland, preparing for the talent show as a band was one of the most memorable aspects of the event. “We started jamming together two weeks before the show just for fun and got really excited about the idea of playing mashed-up Black Sabbath songs to the sort of stuffy environment that is a talent show,” Northland wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Other performances with original music include those by Austin Vaughan ’26, Paul Ridder ’23 and KP Predella ’23, who sung and played piano. Zoë Appelbaum ’23 and Nairi Harumi ’24 also performed a contemporary dance routine to “Wasabi” by Little Mix.
Besides musical acts, the audience also heard original poem readings from Lillian Webb ’25 and Nicole Wang ’26, as well as a stand-up comedy act by Jorge Roman Lopez ’23. Lopez’s satirical act characterized all of the different kinds of Non-Athletic Regular People, commonly known as “NARPs,” such as academics and smokers. Lopez won over the crowd, garnering big laughs for his portrayal of the Kenyon student body.After the performances, the judges converged to decide the talent winners, while the emcee announced the raffle winners. Goldstein won first place, Webb won second and Burgess won third. Social Board President Lilly Richart ’23 said that the event was a success. “People seemed to have a fun time, and we are always happy to provide a platform for students to perform and showcase what they love,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian.