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UArizona's 'Amplified' is first AZ college a cappella group to make international finals

Group will perform Saturday at ICCA Finals in New York City
Amplified performs at a showcase event on campus ahead of their trip to the ICCA Finals.
Posted at 1:37 PM, Apr 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-28 22:42:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — An a cappella group from the University of Arizona is hitting its crescendo, accomplishing what no other group from the state ever has.

The group Amplified is headed to the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Finals in New York City this weekend.

The major competition has been popularized by the Pitch Perfect movies.

“Everyone has just been on Cloud 9 for the last month, really excited,” said Amplified director and UArizona senior Caroline Blethen. “We all just love to come together and share our passion for singing together and telling a story.”

“We are completely student-run, and we are the creative minds behind the work that we’re doing,” said fellow senior and Amplified music director Alaina Wegner.

Amplified is the first group from Arizona to qualify for college a cappella’s biggest event.

The group’s success comes from being in tune with each other, not with what’s popular.

“I personally really like to choose songs that nobody has ever heard before,” said Wegner. “I think it allows for a lot of creative liberty. Nobody goes into the performance expecting to hear something… We typically choose a bit edgier, kind of darker music… I think that that kind of gives our group a little bit of a different sound than what people do with the popular pop sings that they sing.”

A different sound, with different backgrounds.

The group has no music majors. But music has still made a major impact on these student singers.

Amplified as a whole has been really special to me because being a pre-med student, it’s just been such a different change of pace from all the other stuff that I do in college,” said Blethen. “And I just don’t think I would be sane without this creative outlet, so it’s meant the world to me to have that.”

Now on its biggest stage, Amplified has one more chance to strike a chord with an audience.

“We like to think about ‘Why are we performing? How is our performance going to affect people?’” Wegner told KGUN. “Because that is why we all love making music, is for ourselves and for the audience, hoping that they get something out of what we are doing.”