co-founder, directorAvi Kaplan is best known as vocal bass of the world-renowned a cappella group, Pentatonix, but he is also an arranger, composer, and talented solo artist in his own right. He majored in opera and choral studies at Mt. San Antonio College, a school known for its strong choral and a cappella tradition. While at school, Avi sang with a cappella group Fermata Nowhere, vocal jazz group Singcopation, and the Mt. SAC Chamber Singers, racking up competition wins at the ICCA, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Choir of the World competition. Avi has worked with artists such as Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Cee Lo Green, Ne-Yo, Sara Bareilles, Nick Lachey, Ben Folds and many more.
co-founder, directorBen is an esteemed arranger, music director, and producer from Los Angeles. A graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, Ben sang with, arranged for, and directed three-time ICCA champions the SoCal VoCals. Since college, Ben has been working musically behind the scenes of The Sing-Off, Pitch Perfect, Glee, The Voice, and Modern Family, as well as arranging for various groups all over the world. Ben has had a hand in assembling multiple groups for The Sing-Off, including The Backbeats, Delilah, and most notably season 3 champions Pentatonix, who he continues to work with as an arranger, producer, and engineer.
co-founder, directorRob Dietz is a multiple CARA winning producer who has been arranging, performing, and critiquing contemporary a cappella music for over ten years. His career began in high school as director of the critically acclaimed group Ascending Height, with whom he produced the first all-original high school a cappella album. Rob has studied at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney and at the Ithaca College School of Music, where he directed the award winning all-male group, Ithacappella. Since graduation, Rob has been an arranger and group coach for seasons 3 and 4 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, as well as a vocal percussionist for the Warblers on Fox’s hit show, Glee.
director of operationsTom is a passionate and dedicated a cappella facilitator, event producer, and music director. He is the exec. producer of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, and has formerly served as director of the Contemporary A Cappella League. With a considerable background in vocal and instrumental music, Tom was bitten by the a cappella bug in 2009 when he decided to create and direct his own group, the award-winning Frequency, and has been a passionate advocate of all-vocal music ever since. Currently music directing three vocal groups as well as a spiritual center, he balances music, work, and family, and lives with his wife and three children in Aliso Viejo.
assistant directorDiana Galeano is a choral director from Lake Worth, Florida. A graduate of Florida State University, Diana studied music education with an emphasis in secondary choral education. While at FSU, she sang with ICCA Southern Champions, the AcaBelles. Since graduating, she has worked as a high school chorus teacher and as a director at FSU's Summer Music Camps. She has started several high school a cappella groups and has participated in the Festival Singers of Florida. Diana now lives in Boston, where she directs and arranges for collegiate and high school a cappella groups and sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
music director, counselorHannah is an acclaimed vocalist, arranger, and music director from Tustin, CA. While studying Contemporary Writing and Production at Berklee College of Music, she sang with and directed co-ed group Pitch Slapped, ICCA champions and The Sing-Off Season 2 contestants. Since graduation, she has been arranging, performing and teaching workshops all over the world with all-female powerhouse groups Delilah (from The Sing-Off Season 3) and Musae. Her vocal coaching clients include rising jazz starlet Nikki Yanofsky and MTV's MADE. She currently lives in New York City, performing, arranging, and working for an entertainment company and record label.
music director, counselorShams is a masterful arranger, music director, and educator from Cherry Hill, NJ. He is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, where he directed SoJamX and 2013 ICCA Champions, The Nor'easters, while double majoring in Finance and Mandarin. During his tenure, the group picked up several compilation placements and CARA awards, and Shams earned more arranging awards than any other collegiate arranger. Additionally, Shams delved into the world of musical theater, music directing community productions of RENT, A Tale of Two Cities, and Spring Awakening. He is currently living in Boston, arranging music for The Vocal Company and coaching local a cappella groups.
music director, counselorDave Grossman is the choral director at Plymouth North High School in Plymouth, MA. He has been active in a cappella since high school, and received his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Music Education from Ithaca College in 2011. While at Ithaca, Dave sang with the college's choir, chorus, and the all-male a cappella group, Ithacappella. With Ithacappella, Dave also served as an arranger, vocal percussionist, and directed the group during the 2010-2011 scholastic year. In addition, he has also worked as a vocal coach and theatrical music director. Dave now directs three a cappella groups and the chorus at Plymouth North High School, including their mixed a cappella group, Northern Lights.
music director, counselorJeff Eames is an accomplished vocalist and recording engineer. While studying Choral Music Education at the University of Delaware, he traveled with the UD Chorale to Estonia, where the choir took first place at the Tallinn International Choral Competition. Jeff later joined Hyannis Sound, where he was musical director and logged over 400 performances, including several television & radio appearances. He later joined the group Overboard, and toured the US & UK, also adjudicating and teaching clinics at various festivals. In 2012, Jeff moved to LA and joined the Westminster Chorus, an internationally renowned barbershop ensemble. Jeff resides in Sherman Oaks, CA, where he works as an audio engineer, arranger, and vocal clinician.
music director, counselorErin Bentlage is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist from Burlington, Vermont. She co-founded and directed her high school’s first a cappella group and went on to join the Boston University Treblemakers. She soon transferred to Berklee College of Music where she earned her degree in Contemporary Writing and Production. Erin has been a member of the Singing Tribe, an improvisation-oriented world a cappella group created by Bobby McFerrin. She is a member of jazz group Introflection, and has performed throughout the country at various festivals as a featured artist. Erin currently works as a private voice/piano instructor and freelance arranger/composer in Boston.
music director, counselorVJ Rosales is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and music director from Los Angeles. Hailing from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music (CSU Long Beach) with a B.M. in Jazz Studies, VJ is a versatile musician who is equally adept in jazz, pop, and R&B. During his college career, he sang in the top vocal jazz ensemble “Pacific Standard Time” at CSU Long Beach, performing at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. Presently, he works as a voice teacher at the Silverlake Conservatory, founded by members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In April 2013, he co-created The Filharmonic and competed on NBC's The Sing Off, making it to the semi-finals. With The Filharmonic's success on national television, he continues to work with them, with plans to record and tour.
music director, counselorSinger, instrumentalist, director and arranger Tracy Robertson maintains a life-long passion for music and vocal harmony. Upon transferring from SUNY Fredonia’s classical vocal and compositional training to Berklee College of Music, he joined the award-winning a cappella group “Pitch Slapped” (SoJam and ICCA Champions) and became their musical director. He has worked with names such as Rhiannon Watson, Joey Blake, and Bobby McFerrin, and performed with renowned musicians of Quito, Ecuador where he also led a vocal improvisation workshop at UDLA. He has performed throughout the US, recently at the 2014 JEN Conference in Dallas with Berklee’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
counselor, instructorJo was born in Austin, TX, studied Art History and Religion at The University of Oregon, and now lives in upstate New York. At the UofO she joined the renowned women's group Divisi, winning several awards at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, including Best Arrangement and Best Bass. In winter of 2010 she began singing bass for her first professional women's group, Musae, and the next summer joined Delilah for season 3 of The Sing Off, as well as Element for season 4. Since moving to New York in 2012, Jo now tours the world with her three women's groups as well as with an originally all male group called Overboard. She also coaches and arranges for groups across the country.
counselor, instructorBay Area native Mario Jose is a seasoned vocalist and true entertainer. Mario attended Berklee College of Music and was a part of the award-winning group Pitch Slapped. After graduating, Mario was featured on several TV shows including NBC's The Sing-Off, ABC's Duets, and most recently on American Idol, where he was one of the Top 40 male vocalists on season 12. Mario has had the privilege to share the stage with music icons including John Legend, Michael McDonald, Philip Bailey (of Earth, Wind & Fire), Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Ben E. King and many more! Now based in Los Angeles, CA, Mario is consistently singing on stage and in the studio, and he also works on the Music Team at MTV!
counselor, instructorIndia Carney is a singer, songwriter, actress and arranger whose talents embrace a wide range of musical genres from opera to musical theater to pop. A third-year Voice Performance major and Music Industry minor at UCLA, India performs for Opera UCLA and has been a featured artist at the JazzReggae Festival and Spring Sing. She is the current music director of the award-winning UCLA ScatterTones and has been awarded “Outstanding Soloist” at multiple competitions. India is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and a graduate of LaGuardia Arts (aka the “Fame” school) and The Manhattan School of Music Precollege.
counselor, instructorMarisa is a seasoned vocalist living in Los Angeles who has over 15 years of experience in choirs, musical theatre and a cappella. She studied Psychology and Musical Theater at USC, and also sang with and was president of the award winning a cappella group, Reverse Osmosis. Marisa also worked at acclaimed performing arts camp Arts Unlimited for 5 consecutive summers, working as a counselor, coordinator, teacher, choreographer and musical director. After graduating, Marisa helped found award-winning a cappella sextet Simply Put, who shared the stage with Sing Off champions Nota and Committed. Marisa has been lending her voice to various recording projects, and is currently working on writing an original EP to be released later this year.
counselor, instructorSelame Scarlett hails from Okemos, Michigan. As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, she was a part of Capital Green A Cappella, where she served as beatboxer, music director, and arranger. Currently, she is an ICHSA producer, Varsity Vocals judge, CASA ambassador, clinician, and beatboxer for all-female sextet Lady Jaye. Selame has led beatboxing workshops and masterclasses, both on her own and with her fellow beatboxing colleagues. Medicine is an equally important part of her life, and she is currently pursuing her doctorate in osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University.
counselor, photo/videoTory is a singer, actor and photographer hailing from Boston, MA. She is a graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, where she earned her BFA in Acting, and was a proud member of the acclaimed SoCal VoCals. During her time with the VoCals, Tory served as President and helped lead the group to two ICCA titles. As an actor, Tory has won the Jack Nicholson Award and the LA Stage Scene Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. As a photographer, she has had the honor of photographing artists such as the legendary Stevie Wonder, Tegan and Sara, and Pentatonix. Her passion is for capturing the power and beauty of young artists through still and video photography.
counselor, administrativeTaylor is an enthusiastic singer and aspiring music educator from Mission Viejo, CA. After graduating from UCLA with her bachelor's degree in English and completing her teaching credential, Taylor decided to pursue a career in music education and is currently working toward her masters in education at UCLA. This is her fourth year singing with the award winning co-ed a cappella group, the ScatterTones. With the group, Taylor has performed at prestigious venues all over the country including the White House, the Hollywood Bowl, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas backing up Taylor Swift. She is currently interning as a music teacher with Education Through Music - Los Angeles, a non-profit that serves inner-city schools in need of quality music programs.
internJillian is a Los Angeles native who earned her start in the a cappella world as a member of Unstrumental, Calabasas High School’s co-ed group. Jillian’s three year participation in the group afforded her a level of exposure and diverse experiences not often available to young a cappella performers. Among the unique experiences with Unstrumental, Jillian was able to perform as a featured soloist in the 2012 and 2013 Los Angeles A Cappella Festival’s scholastic competitions, helping to earn Unstrumental their award-winning name. Currently, Jillian is a student at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, pursuing a B.M. in Jazz Vocal Performance with a minor in Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology.
sound engineer, instructorTrist Ethan Curless is a member and co-founder of the award winning pop-jazz group, m-pact. Trist has written, arranged, and produced songs for the group, as well as other ensembles. Prior to m-pact, Trist majored in Music Education at the University of Northern Colorado. When not singing with m-pact, he works as a live audio engineer for Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, and occasionally Take 6, among other vocal groups and bands. Trist makes time to teach private voice, coach groups, and participate as a clinician and adjudicator in clinics and festivals worldwide. Trist is having the time of his life, making music in recent years with m-pact, Bobby Mc Ferrin, New York Voices, Vox Audio, VoicePlay, Straight No Chaser, Take 6, and The Manhattan Transfer. Trist's hometown is Cheyenne, WY, but currently lives in Glendale, CA.
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Vocal sensations and winners of season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, Pentatonix are taking instrument-free music far beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Named after the world’s most widely recognized five-note music scale, this quintet has transformed one of pop music’s purest and most soulful expressions into an exciting future, filled with limitless sonic possibility. From their original tracks to their intricate reimagining of pop hits and epically complex arrangements and medleys, Pentatonix have quickly developed a sound and style that is entirely unique and undeniably infectious. Pentatonix is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying (22), Kirstie Maldonado (22) and Mitch Grassi (21), vocal bass Avi Kaplan (24) and beatboxer Kevin “K.O.” Olusola (25) and, while the individuals would maintain that each of their fellow band members is irreplaceable, the fact remains that 24-hours before their audition for The Sing-Off they still hadn’t all officially met. A freshman at The University of Southern California, Scott decided to audition for the show and enlisted childhood friends and fellow Arlington, Texas-natives Kirstie and Mitch. As a high school vocal trio, they had found success both locally and online thanks to their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” Determined to add depth and a distinctive dynamic to the group, Scott set out to add more vocalists, first adding Avi, who’d built himself a reputation as one of the most talented vocal basses in Southern California, and eventually took to YouTube where he found the video for “Julie-O,” featuring Kevin’s cello-boxing (simultaneously beatboxing and performing the song on his cello). Finally a fully formed group, Pentatonix perfected their sound (and their chemistry) throughout the season, naturally developing a signature style and a knack for arranging songs that pulled equally from the five individuals’ strengths. Despite drawing from a dizzyingly eclectic set of musical genres – the group cites pop, jazz, r&b, indie, folk, dubstep and electronica as just a few of their inspirations – the quintet seemed to mesh magically, evident in their modern interpretation of The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star,” or their epic adaptation of Florence and the Machines’ “The Dog Days Are Over.” Before long, Pentatonix had become a legitimate musical force, armed with a collective confidence and swagger that would eventually propel them to win the competition. After The Sing Off, Pentatonix relocated to Los Angeles where they produced and released 2 EP’s – PTX Vol 1 & PTXmas (both via Madison Gate Records) – each time debuting on Billboard’s Top 200 and selling more than 125,000 albums. They have twice toured North America, regularly selling out venues that include New York City’s Best Buy Theater and San Francisco’s Warfield Theater and their first ever European Tour sold out in its entirety. The have performed for Quincy Jones at Atlanta’s Fox Theater and were a featured performer for Diana Ross at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. Television appearances include performances on Ellen, The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno, The Katie Couric Show, The Talk, The American Music Awards Red Carpet Show and Sesame Street. Pentatonix have also been regularly featured online by Perez Hilton, RyanSeacrest.com, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and The New York Times.
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