Yes, North Texas is still dealing with highs in the 90s, but Pentatonix — the a cappella group founded by former Arlington residents Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying and Kirstin Maldonado — has Christmas news.
You’d be celebrating in August, too, if Christmas had been good to you as it’s been to Pentatonix (which also includes Kevin Olusola and — for the time being — Avi Kaplan), which has released three successful holiday albums and had a hit NBC special last year.
So — with its current tour still in progress through Sept. 3 — Pentatonix has announced this year’s Christmas plans. It’s tempting to say “onslaught,” but this group is just too nice for that.
First up is a “deluxe” release of 2016’s “A Pentatonix Christmas,” titled, appropriately enough, “A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe.” It’s unclear at this point just what makes it deluxe, although the deluxe edition of 2013’s “PTXmas” had a couple of cuts that were not on the non-deluxe edition. The album is scheduled for release Oct. 20 and is already available for pre-order.
Then comes the tour, which is limited to dates in the Midwest and on the East Coast, starting with a three-night stand beginning Dec. 3 at the Chicago Theatre in, um, Chicago. The tour then hits Upper Darby, Pa. (in the Philadelphia area); Uncasville, Conn.; Boston (for three nights); Washington, D.C.; and New York (for a concluding three-night stand beginning Dec. 19 at the Beacon Theatre).
No DFW dates have been announced, but if you’re up for a trip, various levels of tickets go on sale this week.
A title and air date for the Christmas special are TBD. According to a release, last year’s “A Pentatonix Christmas Special” drew more than 10 million viewers over two airings on NBC. That special originally aired Dec. 14 and featured guests such as Dolly Parton (with whom the group shared a Grammy Award this year for their collaboration on Parton’s classic “Jolene”), Reba McEntire and fellow North Texan-made-good Kelly Clarkson.
Also unclear right now is whether Kaplan will be involved in any of this. In May, he announced that he would be leaving the group after the current tour, and he does not appear in the group’s latest video, a not-quite-a-cappella cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” featuring Olusola on cello.
Somehow, with all the touring, the group has found time for all sorts of side projects: Kaplan released a new-agey solo album, “Sage and Stone,” under the moniker “Avriel and the Sequoias”; Maldonado, billed as “kirstin™,” released a solo EP, “L O V E,” in July; Hoying and Grassi also record as Superfruit, and are releasing their debut album under that name, “Future Friends,” in two parts (part one is out now, part two out Sept. 15); Olusola has released EPs both solo and with his “classical hip-hop” trio Triptyq.
With all that going on, they’re gonna need the three-month break between their current tour and the Christmas tour.