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Chart-toppers Pentatonix pop into ASU West

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:45 pm | Updated: 2:19 pm, Wed Sep 12, 2012.

By MITCHELL VANTREASE, TODAY STAFF


Kirstie Maldonado and her friends, Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi, formed a music group during high school in Arlington, Texas.

Then they added two new members, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola, just before they auditioned for NBC’s “The Sing Off,” calling themselves Pentatonix. They went on to win Season 3 of the reality talent show for a capella groups.

Since then, Pentatonix released a No. 1 EP, “PTX Volume 1,” that debuted No. 1 on the iTunes Pop Chart and No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200 albums. Their Youtube video cover of Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” has more than 7 million viewings and many of their other videos have been watched by millions as well.

“We really didn’t expect for any of this to happen to us,” said Maldonado. “None of us ever believed that this would happen to us.”

Pentatonix are on their first national tour and will perform two concerts Sept. 20 and 21 at Arizona State University West.

“It’s been a whirlwind that’s been so fast,” Maldonado said. “Music is our career, and we’re really living the dream right now.”

Maldonado said they’re excited for people outside the television and Youtube audiences to her their sound, all a capella but with a modern twist.

And she believes a capella has become more popular over the years due to “The Sing-Off” and the musical television series “Glee,” along with the upcoming movie “Pitch Perfect.”

“A capella in a group setting is difficult and it takes an entire team to pull it together for a song to come across the way that it should,“ she said. “It’s all about working together as a team to make something awesome.”

Maldonado, Hoying and Grassi entered a radio contest to meet the cast of “Glee” and lost. Then, they were encouraged to enter “The Sing-Off” and found Kaplan and Olusola.

“There were many times where we pulled long hours just to rehearse,” she said. “But we put our heart into it because we wanted music to be our career.”

The group’s album features covers as well as some original music.

“We do some hit songs along with some originals,” she said. “And we love taking things that everybody knows but putting our twist to it.”

“The Sing-Off,” which was recently canceled, has been a launch pad for Pentatonix, who plan to continue in the music industry for a long time.

“We’re very happy where we are right now,” she said. “It’s about believing in yourself and taking as many opportunities as you can.”