Goshen College students showcased their talents at the annual Kickoff event in Sauder Concert Hall last Saturday. The 15 acts of the evening demonstrated a wide range of unique abilities including singing, playing instruments, comedy and much more. 

While last year’s live performance was limited to only seniors (others watched it on over live stream from dispersed locations), this year saw a return to full in-person participation, with mask-wearing being the only COVID-19 restriction, besides the cancelation of the traditional after-party.  

The band The Runaways won the contest with a cover of “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars that brought the audience to their feet, with an aerial silks performance by seniors Elena Meyer Reimer and Hashem Ammari, coming in second.  

The judges (President Rebecca Stoltzfus; Erica Albertine, athletic director; and Keith Graber Miller and Brianne Nickel, both professors of Bible and Religion) couldn’t decide on a third place, and announced a tie between an original poem by Wendo Kisila, senior and a Mama Mia dance medley by the residents of Howell House.  

One of the most unique acts of the night was led by Diego Torres and Wesley Beck, juniors, and required audience participation. The act consisted of a Kahoot game called “The Roast of Goshen College” during which Torres and Beck shared inside jokes about administrators, professors, the Rott and athletic teams.

The theme for the night, set by Campus Activities Council, was mythology. 

“I was excited to see everyone’s interpretations of the theme,” said Elliot Sklar, a member of the Campus Activities Council who first suggested the idea. “I think out of the past four kick-offs that I have personally been to, this was the year where I saw the most theme appearances in how people dressed!”

Only 17 acts auditioned for this year’s show which was much fewer than usual. But Sklar says the number of acts didn’t matter. “All of our acts this year were incredible in their own ways, and I don’t think CAC would’ve done anything differently!”