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.