News by VICE

Watch Silicon Valley nerds face off a capella

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Apple employees compete in a Pitch Perfect sing-off

by Matthew Justus
Dec 17 2017, 7:23am

What would bring together the hypercompetitive people from Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest during the holidays? A good old-fashioned a cappella sing-off, that’s what. In late November the San Francisco Conservatory of Music hosted the fifth annual installment of “Techapella,”a showcase for the a cappella singing clubs of some of the most powerful companies in the world.

The event was founded by Laolee Xiong, a security specialist at Facebook. It was initially a way to have a competition with his friends who sang in Google’s group, “Googapella.” Then he mentioned it to his friend at Google and suggested that they do “some kind of Pitch Perfect-style sing-off,” said Xiong.

After an informal singing battle at each of the tech giant’s campuses, the a cappella groups from other companies (Twitter has “The Song Birds” and Pinterest has “the Pintunes”) reached out to Xiong to organize a larger event, and “Techapella” was born. More than 1,500 fans attended the two-night event.

This segment originally aired December 8, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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a capella