Move over, Masala — another Penn a cappella group is hitting the TV screen with perfect pitch.
Off the Beat, one of 14 groups in Penn’s A Cappella Council, will take the stage next week in ”Sing It On,” a documentary series featuring student a cappella groups as they pursue the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella title.
“We spend so much time [and] energy and we have this passion for what we do, and for a TV production company to say ‘Hey, we want to show everyone what you guys do’ is pretty awesome,” said rising College senior Madeline Kleypas, who recently took the role of Off the Beat’s music director. “It was pretty unexpected, and then when it happened, it was really exciting.”
“Sing It On,” which premieres on Pop TV on Wednesday, July 27 at 9 p.m., will follow Off the Beat’s preparation for the ICCA, including, said Kleypas, “all of our late-night, stressed-out practices.”
According to Kleypas, who joined Off the Beat her freshman year, the journey started when the network reached out last summer to then-College sophomore Brian Park, the group’s business manager at the time. The singers then went through interviews with the producers and were ultimately selected, along with the University of Maryland’s Faux Paz and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Hexachords and S#arp Attitude.
The show’s television crew then followed Off the Beat — which has been singing on Penn’s campus for almost 30 years — throughout the last spring semester, tracking their months of preparation for the ICCA and the hours in between.
The ICCA is run by Varsity Vocals, a group that connects college and high school a cappella groups around the world. The organization has conducted the ICCA competition for 20 years, and Off the Beat is no stranger to the competition — the group was awarded best arrangement for Jeff Marrazzo’s arrangement of “Beautiful People” back in the 2000 Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal.
The current artists, whose journey concluded at the 2016 ICAA Mid-Atlantic Semifinal, have a similar skill in arranging. Off the Beat was awarded “Outstanding Arrangement” at the competition for their performance of “End of an Era,” which Kleypas helped produce.
The opportunity to get the group’s name out there is huge for Off the Beat, whose latest album will come out this fall and whose previous albums are available on Spotify.
“We’re really excited to see how things turn out and the amount of press the show can produce,” said Kleypas.
Pegged by Pop TV as a “‘real life’ Pitch Perfect,” ”Sing It On” makes Off the Beat the second Penn a cappella group in two years to be featured in a national production. In 2015, Penn Masala was featured in the Billboard Music Award-winning movie ”Pitch Perfect 2.”
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