Starting in 2011, a group of five breathtaking singers called Pentatonix began sweeping the nation, enticing listeners with intricate harmonies and impressive original tunes. Each singer has completely unique ranges and styles of singing, from the extreme tenor Mitch Grassi to the heartwarming bass Avi Kaplan. Kirstin Maldonado charms crowds with her sweet personality and powerful, impossibly high belts, while Scott Hoying leads the group, expressively singing many main parts. Of course, an exceptional acapella group would not be an acapella group without a killer beat boxer, and that is exactly what Kevin Olusola does among his many other talents such as cello playing. These fantastic singers make up Pentatonix.
“Pentatonix is so uniquely awesome because all the other acappella groups I know of don’t do pop culture music like Pentatonix sings,” said freshman Talia Blumenthal. “And they don’t have a beatboxer [Kevin Olusola] who can play the cello and beatbox simultaneously.”
Mitch, Kirstin, and Scott were the original friends, and they grew up together at a high school in Texas. As the three friends gained attention for their voices, Scott convinced Mitch and Kirsten to audition for a popular singing competition called The Sing, however they needed one more person in order to enter the competition. Luckily, they were referred to Avi by a friend who praised his deep voice. They also recruited Kevin, the amazing beat boxer and cellist. Together, the new team worked together, eventually winning first place of the season. After the group won, they decided to form the acapella group that fans have the enjoyment of listening to today.
Pentatonix has become widely popular with children and teens around the world. Recently, Pentatonix started its tour, traveling from city to city, baffling fans with breathtaking performances. This April, Pentatonix came to the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was a warm Saturday evening, and the excitement was high. Right off the bat, Pentatonix remarked on the beauty of the venue, and Avi told the crowd that was his first concert at the SB Bowl, already making this performance special. Furthermore, Avi’s parents attended that concert, so the group was really singing their hearts out that night in honor of Avi’s parents. They sang many of their hit songs, including “Can’t Sleep Love,” their first original song and an obvious crowd favorite. After the performance was over, the crowd went wild, immediately calling for an encore. Pentatonix happily obliged, and they sang the heartwarming song called “Light in the Hallway,” a lullaby lead by Avi that was dedicated to his parents. The song was sung without microphones to add to the effect, bewitching the crowd into a hushed silence. It was truly an enchanting sight, seeing a large mass of people in total silence, with everyone leaning forward in their seats, listening to the quiet song in anticipation. Pentatonix certainly went out with a bang.
“From start to finish the Pentatonix were the best singing group I have ever seen in concert,” said a review from ticketmaster.com. “They gave an amazing performance and constantly communicated with the audience.”
Pentatonix will be continuing with their world tour, although unfortunately they will not be returning to the Santa Barbara Bowl this year. When they do return, however, make sure to buy your tickets and prepare to have your mind blown.