PENTATONIX to Judge UConn's A Cappella Sing-Off, Perform During Family Weekend, 9/27-28
YouTube and NBC Sing-Off sensations, Pentatonix, will delight UConn Family Weekend audiences in two shows at Jorgensen on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, after judging a campus and regional high school a cappella competition Friday night. And for a real a cappella a pportunity, the winning group from each division will open for Pentatonix on Jorgensen's stage for both Saturday shows, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Pentatonix, winners of Season 3 of NBC's Sing-Off, is composed of lead singers Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Mitch Grassi, vocal bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin "KO" Olusola. But their compelling narrative relates that they had not met until 24 hours before their Sing-Off audition. While that's true of the whole five coming together, Hoying, then a freshman at the University of Southern California, had drafted Maldonado and Grassi, his Arlington, Texas, high school vocal trio mates, for the tryout. He then addEd Kaplan, with a rep as one of the most talented basses in Southern California, and found Olusola of Kentucky via YouTube doing "Julie-O," featuring his "celloboxing," beatboxing and simultaneous cello playing. (In an international music competition hosted by Yo-Yo Ma, the famed cellist called Olusola's celloboxing version of "Dona Nobis Pacem" both "inventive and unexpected.")
A smooth chemistry erupted into their sound, signature style and magical knack for arranging songs drawn from pop, jazz, r&b, indie, folk, dubstep and electronica that produced standout covers of "We Are Young" and "Somebody That I Used To Know." But they don't stop there. Check out their YouTube "Evolution of Music" for 4½ minutes of pivotal musical highlights in history from the 11th century on. The group collaborated this summer in a fractured fairytale sendup, "Wizard of Ahhhs," with American Idol fave Todrick Hall. The six performers play all the big roles - Dorothy and the boys, plus Toto and the witches, with Hall as the Wizard. This cool vid makes clever use of a medley of pop covers (Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Motley Crue, to name a few) that says it all.