Section: News

Del Water Gap, student bands shine at Summer Sendoff

Del Water Gap, student bands shine at Summer Sendoff


On Friday afternoon, students flocked to Peirce Lawn for the College’s 44th annual Summer Sendoff. The event featured live music from indie pop project Del Water Gap and three student bands, while the balmy 71-degree weather ensured that plenty of students showed up to celebrate. The annual Sendoff event is co-sponsored by Social Board and the Office of Student Engagement (OSE).

Preparation for this year’s Sendoff began in the summer of 2023, according to Assistant Director of Student Engagement Carly Livingston. After reviewing feedback from the previous year’s Sendoff, Social Board sent a form to the student body to gauge preferences for AVI catering options and another form to vote for the headliner. In the spring, OSE co-hosted its annual Battle of the Bands with the Horn Gallery to select which student bands would play at Sendoff. OSE and the Horn also organized the Sendoff T-shirt design contest. 

“I would say a majority of campus attended Sendoff,” Livingston wrote in an email to the Collegian. “A big thank you to everyone who helped make this event a success, as it’s very much a community-wide effort.”

In lieu of eating at Peirce Dining Hall, which closed at 2:15 that afternoon, students ate their dinner on Peirce Lawn at the AVI Foodsystems-catered burger buffet and a variety of food trucks, such as G&G Concession Bloomin’ Onion Fried Veggies, Empanadas & More, Mini Melts ice cream, Kona Ice and the beloved mini doughnuts truck. Between snacks, students also enjoyed three SuperGames inflatables: the Hungry Hippo Chow Down, a Mechanical Bull and the Meltdown wipeout game. 

Starting at 5 p.m., students got to dance to live music from student bands Those Rusty Strings, Jacob Cohen’s Traveling Bar Mitzvah Big Band and All Goof No Ball — the winners of Kenyon’s second annual Battle of the Bands this past February. According to Jacob Cohen member Nick Kloor ’26, who played the trumpet, the talk box and sang, performing at Sendoff was an exciting opportunity.

“It was really special playing both for ourselves, as we spent a lot of time practicing, as well as for all of our friends!” Kloor wrote in a message to the Collegian. “It was especially nice working with the crew there, and all of their really nice equipment — I honestly think it’s the best we’ve ever sounded!”

“Performing onstage at Sendoff was so surreal,” Jacob Cohen guest performer Jordan Shaevitz ’27 wrote in a message to the Collegian. “I play music very often, but not everyone in my life usually hears me or even knows I play trumpet. It was cool to play for people who aren’t usually in my musical field of vision.”

Temporary orange fencing enclosed the area of the quad surrounding the stage, and students were not allowed to bring bags or beverages of any kind into the closed-off area, requiring a wristband to enter. However, SuperGames inflatables and Mini Melts ice cream packed up for the evening by 6:30 p.m., leaving more area outside of the designated stage-space for students to lounge on the quad.

“Seeing everyone scattered around outside really reminded me of SummerStage in Central Park,” Sadie Martinez ’27 wrote in a message to the Collegian. “We were so lucky to have a beautiful day!”

Finally, Del Water Gap took the stage at 8:00 p.m., beginning his performance with the song “Beach House.” Before each song, the solo project’s songwriter and producer S. Holden Jaffe told the crowd a bit about the song’s inspiration — for example, “Doll House” was written about his best friend, while “Hurting Kind” was written about someone he used to date. 

Between the performances of “High Tops” and “Sorry I Am,” Jaffe addressed the crowd again, this time posing a question.

“I read something funny in the ‘Kenyonian’,” Jaffe said, referring to last week’s front page article of the Collegian. “Apparently, I was the second choice behind Sean Kingston?” Following an eruption from the crowd, Jaffe backpedaled. 

“I’m not saying this out of bitterness… I’m truly honored to be second to Sean Kingston,” Jaffe assured the crowd. “I hope that, one day, you all are also second to someone like Sean Kingston.”

Del Water Gap also performed songs “NFU,” “Losing You” and “Coping on Unemployment.” For the penultimate song, Jaffe taught the crowd the chorus of “All We Ever Do Is Talk,” encouraging them to sing along during the performance. Finally, before closing with one of his most popular songs, “Ode to a Conversation Stuck In Your Throat,” Jaffe took the opportunity to address the crowd one last time.

“I’m far from you and you’re far from me, but you’re still listening anyways,” Jaffe said, being met with a cheer from the audience. “Thank you for listening and for singing along. Congrats for finishing your year!”


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