NEW YORK--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.
From Sept. 8 through Oct. 9, 2015, 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 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.
For more information about Macy’s All-School A Cappella Challenge, including rules, regulations and how to enter, visit
Macy's (NYSE:M), the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 775 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores - including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, and Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California - are known internationally and are leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $69 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.
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Since bursting onto the scene in 2011, Grammy Award-winners and platinum-selling recording artists Pentatonix have sold more than 2 million albums in the United States alone and have amassed more than 1 billion views on their YouTube channel with more than 8.5 million subscribers. Their latest holiday album - That’s Christmas To Me - sold more than 1.2 million copies in the United States, becoming one of only four acts to release a platinum album in 2014. In February 2015, the group received their first GRAMMY® Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and A Cappella for their “Daft Punk” medley. In June, they released their first documentary (On My Way Home) which follows the group as they record their upcoming original album while on their SOLD OUT North American Tour. Pentatonix made their film debut in Pitch Perfect 2 and is currently on the road through September with Kelly Clarkson.