UMass Amherst A Capella Groups to Compete on Sing It On

The documentary series is produced by John Legend.


Hexachords Photo by Michael Maloney / CBS

Two groups from the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be featured on the a capella documentary series Sing It On, which premieres its second season on Pop TV Wednesday night.

The show, produced by Grammy Award winner John Legend, follows several college music acts as they vie to win the annual International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Expect things to get heated between the two UMass Amherst groups during the Pitch Perfect-like competition, as there was a bit of backstage drama.

Linnea Henningson, a junior studying music education, was originally a member of the all-female group S#arp Attitude, but left to join the co-ed Hexachords. While there was definitely some tension between the acts, at the end of the day, Henningson admitted that it was all about representing their school in the best way possible.

“There was some animosity since I decided to try getting into another group,” she said. “No matter who won, if they were from UMass, we would have been overjoyed and ecstatic no matter what the circumstances.”

Aside from the a capella rivalry, Hexachords member Xander Teplansky, a senior studying vocal performance, felt that his team had some extra pressure during the competition due to being a newer group at UMass Amherst.

Since they usually performs for friends at small shows, Teplansky said that it was both nice and a bit daunting to showcase their work in front of “audiences of thousands” for a change. However, knowing that Legend was behind the show was one of the biggest motivators for the Hexchords to do well.

“Knowing that he is one of the executive producers of the show really drives you to go harder and to prove that you’re here to be professional,” Teplansky said. “It makes us want to work harder and harder.”

While the group hopes people enjoy the competition and performances, they also want to inspire viewers to see the power of music and the arts as well as realize that no dream is too big to chase.

“You can do so much with singing and the arts,” Henningson said. “I hope it encourages people to shoot for the stars.”

Season two of ‘Sing It On’ premieres on Pop TV Wednesday, July 27 at 9 p.m.