PENTATONIX OFFER PERFECT PITCH, SING-OFF TO UCONN FAMILY WEEKEND AT JORGENSEN
Sat, Sept 28, 2013, at 7 & 9:30 pm
A Cappella Contest Fri, Sept 27, 2013
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.
Pentatonix, PTX for short and named after the five-note musical scale, creatively weave their unaccompanied art form that never leaves the listener hungry for non-human instrumentation. Nothing is missing. Their musical diversity and sonic proof that they are perfect far beyond the arena of pitch is apparent in their debut EP – PTX Volume 1, which made its debut at No. 14 on Billboard’s Top 200. It features original works, “The Baddest Girl” by Hoying and group producer Ben Bram, and “Show You How To Love,” by Kaplan and Olusola. Their PTXmas ranked No. 10 on the iTunes Holiday chart. Their latest EP is poised for release this month, and they will embark on a European tour this November.
Pentatonix will judge an a cappella sing-off with UConn campus and selected eastern Connecticut high school divisions on Friday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Jorgensen. The event will be free and open to the public.
Pentatonix will conduct a master class at Jorgensen with the UConn Choral Department at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. All students and the public are invited to observe for free.
Jorgensen was named Best College/University Performing Arts Center in the Hartford Advocate Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll for 2012 and 2013.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Pentatonix will perform two shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. for Family Weekend at UConn. Ticket prices are $35, $25 and $20, with no discounts. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., or order online at jorgensen.uconn.edu. Convenient, free parking is available across the street in the North Garage.