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Pentatonix in all their Musical Glory

Updated on December 30, 2014

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.

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Theresa, I only came across them a few weeks ago viewing their wonderful version of Little Drummer Boy which I included on my recent "Have a Very Merry Christmas" hub. they are amazing. Thank you for dedicating a hub to their music.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Kathleen - So glad you liked it. I just love their stuff. I have always liked a capella and that was the kind of choir I sang in at Kennesaw, but they are almost too good to be true. :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a treat of a hub! Those of us who love music can't ever get enough of it. Can't believe it took me so long to find this one!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      That's Ok Bill. I am always coming across a group or singer and then finding out they have been around awhile and everyone else already knows about them. :) Mary Did you Know is one of my absolute favorites. They do have a lot posted on YouTube, from early amateur efforts from 2010 to very polished and professional videos now. Glad you liked them and Happy New Years!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hate to admit this, but the first time I heard them sing was five days ago...their rendition of "Mary Did You Know" is on YouTube, and they did a beautiful job with it. So I agree...this is a group worth hearing.

      Happy New Year Theresa!