SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Texas-grown a cappella group Pentatonix will be performing on the PBS special A Capitol Fourth on Sunday at 7 p.m.
The group consists of baritone Scott Hoying, tenor Mitch Grass, alto Kirstin Maldonado, vocal percussion Kevin Olusola, and bass Matt Sallee.
Pentatonix is joining the Capitol Fourth performance lineup alongside musical superstars like Jimmy Buffet, Alan Jackson and Gladys Knight.
“It’s always an honor to do shows with some of the artists that we admire most. I mean, Gladys Knight is a legend and when my mom finds out about these things, she’s very very excited to see a lot of the people we get to perform alongside,” Hoying said with a laugh. “It’s just an honor to be in such really great company.”
Pentatonix rose to fame after winning the third season of NBC’s The Sing Off in 2011 and the a capella quintet now boasts 19 million subscribers and billions of combined views on their YouTube channel.
The group’s roots go back decades to when Grass, Maldonado and Hoying were just 10 years old growing up in Arlington, Texas. The three were friends who participated in community choir and theater, and the group formed to compete on The Sing Off.
“It’s really, really wild and surreal and I feel like even 10 years into our career, we’re still processing it,” Hoying said. “We started Pentatonix honestly just for fun because we were choir nerds and we wanted an excuse to reunite after we went off to college. We did that for the show, then after winning, and then putting a video… it just started growing. It was a snowball that still rolling to this day.”
Olusola was invited to the group to join them for The Sing Off competition and Pentatonix was born. Avi Kaplan served as the group’s original bass singer before he left the group amicably in 2017. Sallee has been filling that role ever since.
The group has won three Grammy Awards and was the first a capella act to win Best Arrangement in 2015 and then won again in 2016. In 2017, the quintet won Best Country Duo/Group Performance with Dolly Parton for a rendition of Jolene.
Salle said there have been a lot of discussion about what’s next and that includes an upcoming tour to celebrate the release of the group’s newest album The Lucky Ones that released earlier this year.
“We’re ready to get back on the road and see the fans after a year and a half or so,” Salle said. “We’re really excited to present this next phase of what Pentatonix is going to be.”
The upcoming tour starts early next year and does not have any U.S. dates quite yet.
“It’s such a beautiful thing,” Hoying said. ” … There’s really nothing that feels as good as singing in harmony with your friends. I’m so happy that translates and connects with people.”
You can find the full interview on the KTSA YouTube channel.