Karaoke Night at Knox Combines Fun, Fundraising

Performers include Roger Taylor & the Fulton County Boys

April 28, 2011

By Paige Anderson ‘14

Knox College students and faculty displayed their vocal talents at the Pre-Health Club's Karaoke Night, a fun event that drew a crowd and raised $250 to help fight cancer.

The money will be donated to the American Cancer Society in the name of Knox chemistry Professor Larry Welch, who is battling the disease.

The April 15 gathering, held in the newly renovated Taylor Student Lounge, also marked what was billed as the final appearance of Roger Taylor & the Fulton County Boys. The musical trio consisting of Knox President Roger Taylor, Dean of the College Larry Breitborde, and Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Tom Axtell has become familiar in the Knox community for its spirited performances. (Photo above: Roger Taylor, at left, with Larry Breitborde on accordion and Tom Axtell on spoons.)

Tabling for Karaoke NightStudents helped decide which faculty members would sing karaoke. The Pre-Health Club tabled in the Seymour Union gallery before the event, setting out a small container for each faculty member who volunteered to sing. Students "voted" by dropping money into the containers, and the faculty members who earned the most got to go onstage.

Besides Roger Taylor, the chosen faculty members were professors Matthew Jones-Rhoades and Mark Shroyer.

"Getting back at Professor Shroyer for the tough physics test this afternoon is my motivation," Pre-Health Club President Kate Heitkamp jokingly said.

The evening started with Shroyer performing his version of the Justin Beiber hit, "Baby." Wearing a hoodie, sunglasses, and a Beiber-esque wig, he channeled the teen superstar through the entire song.

What could top that? How about a robot? Jones-Rhoades wore a large circuit board and a modified bike helmet during his performance of Styx's "Mr. Roboto."

Matthew Jones-Rhoades sings"That robot stole my heart," said the show's emcee, first-year student Shelly Bhanot.

The final faculty performance came from Roger Taylor & the Fulton County Boys. But first, Axtell issued a disclaimer: "Two things to keep in mind," he said. "One, Knox College has an excellent music program. Two, we have nothing to do with it."

Their semi-original compositions -- "Hot School Polka" and "Don't Look Down at Your Shoes" -- borrowed the tunes of "The Pennsylvania Polka" and "Blue Suede Shoes." But their lyrics were chock-full of Knox College in-jokes and catchphrases.

Enjoying Karaoke Night


After the faculty performances, the night was open for student songs. Sophomore Brittany Wisniewski, who sang Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" with a group of friends, was proud of their performance. "It was a big hit," she said. "The crowd was dancing and we were dancing."

First-year student Alex Burik performed his own original composition, "The Past Walked out the Door." Most of the other tunes were well-known karaoke chestnuts.

"I was surprised how many of the songs I knew the words to," first-year student Loudra Thomas said with a smile.

The night ended with the Disney classic, "I Just Can't Wait to be King." The audience knew the lyrics by heart and happily sang along.

Photos by Honor Heymann '14 and Peter Bailley '74