Pentatonix teams with Macy’s for first All School A Cappella Challenge

Starting in September, schools across the country can submit an a cappella version of The Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back,” for a chance to win Macy’s All-School A Cappella Challenge. Students, faculty and staff of schools nationwide can enter a video performance of the song, unaccompanied by any music or instruments. Three $25,000 prizes will be awarded – one to a school in each of the following levels: elementary through middle school level, high school level and college level. Pentatonix, the platinum-selling and Grammy Award-winning a cappella group, will appear in a national commercial spot this summer to further build excitement for the musical challenge.

“The back-to-school season is one of our favorite times of the year at Macy’s, and we’re pleased to support and celebrate music in schools with Macy’s All-School A Cappella Challenge,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “We’re encouraging students to get creative and have fun, and look forward to seeing all the great submissions from the wonderful talent across the country.”

A cappella is singing without instrumental accompaniment and has grown to include vocal percussion or “beatboxing” to mimic instruments, sweeping the nation in film and television. For the A Cappella Challenge, Macy’s invites students, faculty and staff to create a video of an a cappella performance to “I Want You Back,” originally performed by The Jackson 5. The video must be one to three minutes in length, with at least three participants in the ensemble, and be performed on school property. The a cappella performance must be solely performed by vocal technique, but can be accompanied by sound from beatboxing or through other human parts, such as clapping hands or snapping fingers.

“We’re pleased to support and celebrate music in schools with Macy’s All-School A Cappella Challenge.”

From September 8th through October 9th, an adult school representative or faculty member can upload the video via Macy’s YouTube channel and enter the school into the challenge.

Entries will be evaluated based on musicality, performance and execution. The winners will be revealed via youtube.com/macys in early November. Three schools will win $25,000 each, one prize to each school level (elementary through middle, high school, and college).

Serving as ambassadors for the new program, Pentatonix (PTX) will star in a television spot for Macy’s, which will begin airing nationally in August. The commercial features all five members of the group (Scott, Mitch, Kirstin, Avi and Kevin), singing an upbeat a cappella rendition of “I Want You Back,” providing inspiration for the challenge. Pentatonix will also be part of the judging process, which will take place in October after the entry period.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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