Pentatonix in all their Musical Glory
Pentatonix (PTX) is an American a cappella group. They sing in a variety of styles (rock, pop, electro, folk, reggae, and classical) and perform “covers” of mainstream vocal artists and bands. They also do medleys and compose their own music. Almost all their songs are notable for their elaborate harmonies, low base vocals, and an amazing range of percussive vocalizations.
The group began with three friends who went to high school together at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas : "Kirstie" Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, and Scott Hoying. After hearing about a radio show competition where the prize was the opportunity to meet the cast of Glee, they arranged a trio version of "Telephone.”
They did not win the competition, but it earned them local attention and the trio began performing at their school. Shortly thereafter, their version of "Telephone" gained a great deal of attention on YouTube.
After graduation the three friends ended up pursuing musical and theater degrees at different universities. While at USC, Scott Hoying joined an a cappella group and heard about the NBC show, The Sing-Off. He persuaded Kirstie Maldonado and Mitch Grassi to join him, but the show required every participating group to have at least four members.
Scott met Avi (Avriel Kaplan) through a mutual friend; Avi an exceptionally gifted bass singer was involved at the time with a local community a cappella group. The friends found Kevin Olusola on YouTube, when they saw one of his videos where he combined playing the cello with beat-boxing. The group became well-known nationally when they won the third season of the NBC show, The Sing-Off.
Winning the Sing-Off provided them with a substantial cash prize and a recording contract with SONY, and they created a YouTube channel and began distributing their music through Madison Gate Records, a small label owned by Sony Music.
After winning the 2011 Sing-Off, all five group members moved to Los Angeles, in order to pursue a career in music; Pentatonix hopes to become the first mainstream and wildly popular a cappella group. They made very effective use social media and by December 2014 they ranked 12th on YouTube in terms of highly subscribed music channels.
By December 2014 Pentatonix had completed and released several albums and two Christmas CDs. The CD released in December 2014, That’s Christmas to Me, became wildly popular and received the highest chart score of any “group” holiday album since 1962. Pentatonix was also nominated at the 57th Grammy Awards for their Daft Punk Medley (PTX, Volume II) in the “Best Arrangement, Instrumental, or A Cappella” category.
- Christmas with PENTATONIX
My family was quite musical and we all sang in church and school choirs and loved it...but in college I joined an a cappella choir and I loved the harmony, discipline, and joy of a cappella singing..
More by this Author
David Russell's film Three Kings is a fast paced action and gore packed war film with some terrific and unusual special effects...but it it much more than that. The film examines the basis for American involvement in...
In teaching history at the college level, I have found it useful to use historically based films in upper level (junior / senior) courses. Students are instructed about the “differences” between written...
Americans often assume that most German civilians knew next to nothing about Hitlers Final Solution and were unaware that the SS controlled and administered the concentration camp system. While the death camps were...