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UA a cappella groups share their voices on campus

The University of Arizona is home to six a cappella groups. Most of them have been around for over five years, and they continue to share their love for music today on and around campus. Recently, all six a cappella groups held auditions for the upcoming 2017-2018 season.

One of the groups, Noteriety, has been a part of the UA’s a cappella scene since its founding in fall 2009. With released songs featured on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify, the co-ed group continues to share their voices around campus.

The group is no stranger to performance since they have also entered competitions like the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, a competition where the ensembles compete against other a cappella groups around the state of Arizona and then nationally.

Bryant Mitchell, a senior majoring in industrial engineering and also the president and bass singer of Noteriety, said the group typically enters the ICCA every year.

“These are the only performances where Noteriety dances and sings; usually in our performances we only sing,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that, after his graduation, he hopes to keep up with Varsity Vocals, an international organization for a cappella at the student level.

“As Noteriety, we want our audience to be engaged in our variety of music that we sing,” Mitchell said. “The group helps make close friendships and relationships outside of school classes.”

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Elizabeth Barnitt, a sophomore majoring in systems engineering and also the music director of Noteriety, had advice for those interested in joining the a cappella group:

“Being in an a cappella group, I would advise listening to other people and parts in the group, as well as being able to hold your own part in the song,” she said. “We mostly stick to genres like alternative and pop. Noteriety is great because it makes music another outlet of expression.”

Another ensemble on campus is Dolce Voces, an all women’s ensemble that has five current members at the UA. Maggie Guinan, a senior majoring in English and president of the ensembler, explained through email what the ensemble looks for when recruiting members.

“We love singing, making new friends, and creating everlasting memories,” Guinan wrote. “Singing in an a cappella group is also so much fun. It is extremely rewarding knowing that we can carry a tune without relying on a band or other instruments.”

Guinan also advised timid singers to have confidence.

“It is so important to believe in yourself, because you can go anywhere when you know your worth,” Guinan said. “We would hope that audience members feel empowered to express themselves freely and to use music as a means to make our world a better place.”

Amplified A Cappella, an ensemble created in the fall of  2012 on campus, now has 10 members and is hoping to receive more within the next few weeks of auditions.

Evan Brown, a senior majoring in general math and physics, is the current president of Amplified A Cappella. Brown said the group grows from seeing people audition to join them.

“Every new piece of music, every emotion in between, puts into perspective how magical a group of students coming together to make music is,” he said. “All of my closest friends are people in Amplified and we call ourselves ‘Ampi-family.’ I live with four other group members and we even call our house the ‘Boombox.’”

Enharmonics is an all-treble ensemble. The group is unique in that its members must be able to sing on the treble clef, which includes altos, sopranos and counter tenors.

Leda Robinson, a senior majoring in theatre and also president of the group, said her favorite moments of being in Enharmonics are when the group goes through a final run of a song in rehearsal.

“It either sounds great or it crashes and burns,” Robinson said. “Either way, we laugh through it all and we enjoy doing it.”

The group also has been involved in philanthropic events like a fundraiser at World of Words, a center with children’s books on campus.

“The group decided to be a part of a fundraiser that helped bring children books to less privileged communities,” Robinson said.

Ellervator Pitch is co-ed a cappella ensemble on campus that is also associated with the Eller College of Management.

Daniel Wall, a junior majoring in management information systems with the Eller program, is the newly elected president and tenor singer for the group.

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The Eller club is split into two sub-clubs, one comprising of the business aspect and the other solely for a cappella performance. Wall said participants in performance do not necessarily have to work on the business side.

“They are a part of the same club but are a part of different entities,” Wall said. “We decided to split into an a cappella group because we wanted to keep being an Eller club that focused on philanthropy and the music industry. We often stay away from competitions and focus mainly on our love for music and philanthropy events like carol singing at retirement homes and hospitals.”

According to Wall, students who are interested in joining the group do not have to be enrolled at the Eller College of Management, since the group has the freedom to welcome any student from any major. Wall also said the club is open to new members all year.

Of the six ensembles, CatCall, an all men’s group, was unable to be interviewed at this time.


Follow Savanah Modesitt on Twitter.



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