A Cappella for the Masses

St. Louis — A cappella acts have been a growing trend the last few years, and Pentatonix is among the groups leading the charge.

Pentatonix’s Scott Hoying credits TV shows such as The Sing-Off and Glee and the movie Pitch Perfect with pushing the a cappella movement forward.

“It’s always been around, but those things have helped,” Hoying says. “People are just in the mood for organic music without Auto-Tune and a lot of production. … I’ve always loved a cappella.”

But that love doesn’t come easy. Hoying says singing a cappella is tough to pull off.

While other singers have “an infinite amount of sounds and instruments that can produce a variety of things, with us it’s hard to keep it creative. Also, you’re always singing and your voice gets tired. You’re singing nonstop, and it’s very taxing. We’re always on vocal rest.”

But there’s not much rest for the five-member group, YouTube favorites who won the third season of the now-canceled The Sing-Off in 2011.

“The Sing-Off is a show I watched in high school,” Hoying says. “We (he and Pentatonix singer Kirstie Maldonado) always loved it. I really fell in love with the whole a cappella thing and wanted to try it out on the show.”

He also tried out for American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor.

“I’d always made it past the first few rounds and usually got cut,” he says. “It could have been one of those things where I didn’t have a story or they didn’t like me, but I never got discouraged.”

Winning The Sing-Off is still a bit of a blur for the group members, who have been living a whirlwind of a life every since. “It’s just been nonstop, never a lull. But we’re so thankful.”