Pentatonix is one of sixteen groups competing on season three of the Sing-Off on NBC. Group members include: Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado and Kevin Olusola. They will make their debut Monday, September 26 on the Season Premiere: Part 2. Here is their official bio:
Pentatonix has that special a cappella swag, something that most singing groups tend to lack. They can sing, dance, harmonize and put together a respectable arrangement in just minutes. The five-member group based in Los Angeles is very new, although some of the members were part of a trio that went to high school together in Arlington, Texas. The final two members were found on YouTube and just like that, Pentatonix was born. They have a modern style and draw influences from several underground electro genres, including dubstep and garage house. Pentatonix is hip and current, melding electronic music with pop hits and creating something that will make you want to dance and sing along at the same time.
When I heard that Pentatonix had roots in Arlington, Texas, I began looking for a way to connect with them. Some of you may not know (I didn't) that in order to contact contestants on the Sing-Off you have to go through a representative of NBC Universal. That may sound a bit extreme, but it just goes to show how committed they are to maintaining the integrity of the show. Fortunately, they were very nice. I sent them my questions and they relayed responses from Pentatonix member, Scott Hoying, within a matter of hours. Here is a quick peek into the origins of Pentatonix:
How did you guys get together?
Mitch, Kirstie and I started a little trio for fun our senior year of high school (Mitch's junior year) and we put up videos on YouTube of us singing. When I went to USC, I decided to join SoCal VoCals, and being a part of that group I learned about the show and a cappella music in general. I decided to put together a group with Kirstie and Mitch and expand on our three to five so we could have a rhythm section. We found Avi (our bass) through a friend in SoCal VoCals. He had a reputation for being an incredible bass in the LA area. Then we found Kevin (our beatboxer) because of his viral YouTube video in which he plays "Julie-O" on the cello and beatboxes at the same time. The five of us got together the day before auditions and put some songs together and then auditioned!
How has your experience in Texas high-school music programs influenced you?
It has influenced me SO MUCH. My choir program at Martin High School was amazing and my director, Mrs. Owens, was constantly inspiring Kirstie, Mitch, and me to work really hard and believe in ourselves. We auditioned for all-state every year and we were very involved in choir. All that rehearsing and focus on musicality (blending and singing with dynamics) paid off and really contributed a lot to us getting on the show.
What made you decide to audition for the Sing-Off?
I randomly decided one day while I was at lunch with a friend of mine, Rachel Saltzman, who was in The Backbeats on season 2. She told me the show was an incredible experience and she thought I could do well on it.
What's next for your group?
Our group is just going to do our best on the show and hopefully impress America. We want to perform everywhere we can. We feel we have created a special sound for a cappella music and we hope to be able to share it with the world!
Catch Pentatonix on the Sing-Off, Monday, September 26, 8/7c Central on NBC.
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About the author:
John Hodges is the CASA Ambassador for Texas and a founding member of Clearly Vocal, a mixed, vocal jazz quintet from Tyler, Texas, in which he sings baritone. John has been a music addict for as long as he can remember. At an early age, he became entangled in a web of band, choir, musical theater and radio. So far, he has performed in thirty-four states and at least thirteen countries. John has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Harding University and a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Abilene Christian University. Currently, he is the Worship Minister at Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas, where he leads a Monday night therapy group for compulsive singers. Meet CASA Ambassador John Hodges