THE AUBURN PLAINSMAN

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A cappella invades Auburn’s campus
by Ashtyne Cole / INTRIGUE REPORTER
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Lately, a cappella groups have been gaining wider recognition thanks to shows such as NBC’s “The Sing-Off ” and popular movies like “Pitch Perfect.”

Auburn University’s UPC is catering to the interest in a cappella groups by bringing in the widely celebrated Pentatonix Aug. 29 in the AU Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m..

Auburn’s AU Cappella will be the opening act. Pentatonix began their career by auditioning for “The Sing-Off” in 2011, although the five members did not actually meet one other until 24 hours before their audition.

Comprised of Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola, Pentatonix are known for their distinctive pairing of popular pop songs with intricate sounds and melodies, which combine into a singularly unique style and listening experience.

Winning “The Sing-Off ” earned the group $200,000 and a recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment.

The group’s YouTube channel has reached more than 30 million views, featuring renditions of Fun’s “We Are Young” and Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.”

Pentatonix released their debut EP, PTX Volume 1, June 26, 2012, which debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200.

They have also released a Christmas album and began touring in January 2013.

AU Cappella is the first, all-male a cappella group on Auburn University’s campus.

AU Cappella was formed in 2010 and has been performing for events and concerts around campus ever since.

The group performs a variety of a cappella repertoire including barbershop classics, modern contemporary arrangements, holiday music and patriotic sets.

The group said they are rehearsing four songs to perform in their opening act, and have been practicing for this event since Aug. 14.

AU Cappella said they are extremely excited to be given the opportunity to open for such a renowned group as Pentatonix.

“It’s scary because there are five of them, and there are 17, 18, 19 of us,” junior member Matt Villarrubia said. “It’s going to be interesting keeping our nerves down and not comparing ourselves to them.”

The group is focusing on more modern songs and medleys to accompany the style of Pentatonix.

“It is a huge deal to us to be able to perform with them,” said John Coleman, a sophomore baritone and one of the beatboxers of AU Cappella.

“They are the best a cappella group ever. We are just trying to practice and do our best. We’re using more modern songs to go with what they usually perform.”

According to group member Ernest Harrison, AU Cappella has been practicing all week in preparation for the concert Aug. 29.

They will be performing two original pieces: an Adele medley and a mix of Maroon 5 songs.

Owl City’s “Fireflies” and Paramore’s “Only Exception” are also part of the opening act.

“It’s amazing to be a fan of the group and get the chance to perform with and interact with them,” Harrison said.

Recordings of AU Cappella can be found at SoundCloud.com/Au-Cappella and news concerning the group can be found on their Facebook page.

News about Pentatonix can be found at PtxOfficial.com.