Two Musical Untruths and the Excellence of Pentatonix

I never had a favorite band.

Wait.  That’s not quite true.  As a person whose tag line is often, raising young musicians, I have had numerous favorite bands.

I’ve never purchased a ticket to a live concert before.

That too, is incorrect.

I paid my own way into more than a spate of excellent Colorado Children’s Chorale performances and winning Conifer High School Marching Band competitions. I have bartered, finagled and roadied my way into fog-machine-filled venues and housed bands in my basement.

Kevin at the Mesa, 2010
Kevin at the Mesa, 2010

But those memories are long ago and far away.  In every case, I was acquainted with someone in the band and the band knew me.

This is the first time I have avidly followed a band where I did not know the performers personally and none of them even knew I existed.

When I was young, I never had a heartthrob celebrity musician.  No Shaun and David Cassidys.  No Bobby Sherman.  The Justin Biebers of my youth were unrealistic and inaccessible to me and I knew it.

Precisely because I did raise young musicians, I was privileged numerous glimpses, backstage and frontstage, of the level of excellence possible-and the price of achieving it. Because I operated mom’s taxi far and wide to deliver a youthful male soprano to multiple performance locations, because I was the one who laundered and pressed wardrobe every night during the heavy Christmas performance season, I understand what type of all-inclusive family commitment it takes to launch a superstar.

Philip (center) and Colorado Children's Chorale wardrobe closet
Philip (center) and Colorado Children’s Chorale wardrobe closet

I get the idea of all consuming: eat, drink and breathe music in order to be one-take wonders.  It is for those reasons and more I revere Pentatonix.

I stumbled on them accidentally post Sing Off 2011 and I watched Sing Off clips over and over.  I chuckled at Video Killed the Radio Star and truly came to believe The Dog Days Are Over.  I pressed repeat on the deserved compliments from Shawn Stockman.  It was impressed upon me that three of them were 19 – the age of my youngest son at the time. Like a high school girl, I sleuthed through biographies and YouTube and found the lead trio attended high school together.  Be still my beating heart.  What would it have been like to be their music teacher?  To have those three in my class?  YouTube also yielded the depth of multi-talent, experience and character for Avi and Kevin – the rhythm section – who are, coincidentally, my daughter’s age.

It is fitting I have a favorite band. I need excellence in my life.  I will pursue it, laud it, achieve it.

To that end, I purchased a best seat available ticket to a Pentatonix concert and betook myself to Orem Utah by private motor coach (which, in the common vernacular means I drove my Subaru).

Only briefly was there quiet enough to hear the close velvet harmonies and sonorous intertwining of finely exercised and tuned vocal cords. But I did get to witness the deafening roar of the crowd and unmitigated appreciation for five über talented performers.

Excellence can and should have its reward and I am satisfied.

Pentatonix concert Orem UT March 2015
Pentatonix concert Orem UT March 2015