Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pentatonix Goes Viral with Beautiful A Cappella Version of "Little Drummer Boy"

I've never been a big fan of a cappella music myself  largely, I think, because of its perceived association with the uberprivileged undergraduates of certain elitist colleges and prep schools. That's nonsense, of course. Sure, the Yale Whiffenpoofs typically include a trust fund kid or two, but today's a cappella community includes people of many different backgrounds and cultures, and they're playing to increasingly large and diverse audiences around the world. One of the leading groups in this new wave of instrument-free music is the Los Angeles-based quintet Pentatonix. The group is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, and Mitch Grassi, who attended high school together in Arlington, Texas; vocal bass Avi Kaplan, and beatboxer Kevin “K.O.” Olusola. The group was formed to compete in NBC's The Sing-Off, and after winning the third season of that program they've gone on to a very successful recording and performing career. Their latest video, an a cappella version of "The Little Drummer Boy," was released yesterday and is now going viral, with nearly 2 million YouTube views in its first day of release. This has always been one of my favorite holiday songs, and while I'm still more jazzed by today's release of the new Bruce Springsteen single, this a cappella stuff is beginning to grow on me:

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