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A brief history of Covers: a decade of student talent

Zoe Covey 

Features Editor

Many traditions and places at The College of Wooster are decades old, but some classic student events only feel that way. Who can remember a time before the C-store (built in 2009), or Party on the Green? Our student events become traditions because we put effort into making them exist year after year. Without the constant passing of the baton, torch or microphone, many beloved extracurriculars would not be the reliable good time that they are. One student tradition that almost didn’t make it past 2012 is Covers.

Covers is an event hosted by The Goliard, the student-run literary magazine that also sponsors other student art and events on campus. Once a month, students are given a space to perform songs of their own choosing (though often connected to a given theme) for and with their peers. A consistent student favorite, one might think that Covers has been around far longer than it actually has. 

The first mention of Covers in writing can be found in the Sep. 10, 2009 edition of the Voice, which cites Peterson Kuyk-White ’08 as the organizer of the first ever Covers event. Rob Wadleigh ’09 then went on to organize the second Covers, and “described it as essentially a low-key get together of amateur musicians with similar taste who just wanted to play some songs.” 

From the beginning, Covers was centered around a theme. Kuyk-White’s vision was inspired by the Magnetic Fields album “69 Love Songs,” and Wadleigh’s sequel was called “Covers of Covers.” Other themes mentioned in the 2009 article are “Sexx and Cake, 90s Covers and Dance, Remixes and Mash-ups” and “Come On! Feel the Covers!” Additional past themes have been “Spooky Good Songs,” “Bucket List,” “Break-Up,” and most recently, “Home.”

Now a monthly occurrence, Covers started with just one event a semester, though it allowed flexibility for more. Hosted in Kenarden Lodge in the fall of 2009, it has called many locations home in the time since, including Douglass basement and the Underground (UG) in 2010, according to the Sep. 13, 2012 edition of the Voice, after Linda Kuster ’11 took the reins of organizing the event. 

After a good few years, Covers fell by the wayside without its founding group, according to the Nov. 5, 2013 edition of the Voice. But it was fondly remembered, prompting students in 2013 to bring it back stronger than ever, with reinvigorated dedication to making it accessible to the whole student body. Maxim Elrod ’15 and Chelsea Frey ’15, both music editors for The Goliard, as well as Voice Editor in Chief Aaron Winston ’14, all began the 2013-14 school year with the goal of returning Covers to its former glory. The 2013 article reminisces on the popular performances of past Covers shows, trying to capture the ideals of the musical extravaganza started by Kuyk-White and spurred onward by Wadleigh, Kuster, Elrod, Frey, Winston and many more. 

“In the past, Covers was overall regarded in the sense that the goofier the performance, the better the performance. The more inexperienced students singing, the more entertaining and memorable the act would be. Covers was about students from all musical backgrounds — everything from years of training to never having picked up a guitar — putting together a set list and having fun on stage. Within the set list of nine acts there was everything from long-established student bands to Maria Janasz ’14 playing a dismembered car’s glove-compartment door,” reported the Voice. 

Essentially, the values of Covers have stayed much the same throughout its journey from one student’s passion for an album to an outlet for students with a passion for music to come together and play songs, silly or serious. Though it has had rough periods, the passion that the students have for music has always ensured that an opportunity like Covers will never be lost without a fight.

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