For the upcoming Christmas holidays, an American a capella group of five young vocalists Pentatonix has prepared a special album “That’s Christmas to Me.” The album features a song “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” (watch the video) inspired by a dance from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”, a famous two-act ballet that has become one of the Christmas traditions in many countries.
The group originated in Texas and began with three friends who grew up together and attended the Martin High School in Arlington: Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying. After hearing of a local radio show hosting a competition to meet the cast of Glee, they arranged a trio version of “Telephone” and sent it in. Though they did not end up winning the competition, it attracted attention around their school, where the group started to perform.
After graduating from high school in 2011, Hoying went off to the University of Southern California and joined an a capella group SoCal VoCals. He found out about The Sing-Off show from another member of the group, Ben Bram and was encouraged to audition for the show, for which he persuaded Maldonado and Grassi to join him. The show required at least four members in one group in order to be able to take part and Hoying asked Avriel “Avi” Kaplan to participate, and later met Kevin Olusola, both of whom became members of Pentatonix.
The group is named after the pentatonic scale – a musical scale with five notes per octave. Pentatonix derive their influences from pop, dubstep, electro, reggae, hip-hop and classical music. Their album “That’s Christmas to Me” was released in October and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.