The five-member vocal group Pentatonix has taken the pop music world by storm since they first leapt onto the scene in 2011. They have won multiple Grammy Awards, and are currently in the midst of their 2016 World Tour.
As a teacher, my kids were constantly (read: at least once a week) asking “Can we do something by Pentatonix?” So, whether you are getting those same questions or are just looking for some quality contemporary pieces to program, below are three of the PTX pieces we offer that we felt stood out from the rest. Because these were, at the start, arranged for multiple voices, they translate very well to a school choral setting; these provide a great way to incorporate pop music into your program without sacrificing musical integrity by using a piece never intended for choral use.
All three of these pieces were also featured at our Joy of Singing clinic over the summer, and if you would like to view the videos of those pieces being presented, they can be found here.
Sing arr. Mark Brymer
This piece is high energy, and works well with both the piano accompaniment and the full accompaniment recording. Your kids will love how peppy and upbeat the piece is, and that will feed well into your rehearsal energy as well. There are some great opportunities in here to reinforce rhythm work that has been done throughout the year, and we really feel that this is a piece that kids will get excited about.
Na Na Na arr. Mac Huff
This piece is just as high energy as “Sing,” and also can be performed effectively with either the written piano accompaniment or the accompaniment track. Mac Huff did a great job of using voice ranges that will work well for the target age range of a high school choir. It also provides an opportunity to use a beat boxer, so if you have a student who has that skill, this would be a great way to feature them.
Take Me Home arr. Roger Emerson
This is one of my favorite Pentatonix pieces. I think it provides a much-needed way to perform a pop piece while using the warm tone you have worked hard to achieve with your choirs. This arrangement is well-voiced, and has a rich, full sound; all of the ranges are in a warm place in the voice. I also really love that the tenors have the melody through most of the piece (as a soprano, I feel I can say that that’s a welcome change that happens too infrequently). I hope you enjoy this piece as much as we have.
About the Authors:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.
Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.