Monday night, both of Brigham Young University's a cappella groups, Vocal Point and Noteworthy, were represented by former members on NBC's "The Voice."
Ryan Innes and Amy Whitcomb each participated in the "blind auditions" for a chance to move on in the singing competition. Innes chose to join "Team Usher" while Whitcomb sided with "Team Adam."
During a conference call, both Innes and Whitcomb gave shout-outs to their alma mater and expressed their appreciation for what they learned while participating in BYU's vocal groups.
"Honestly, singing with Noteworthy in college at BYU was the first real consistent outlet for performance that I had, and I think that it helped build me a lot as a musician," Whitcomb said. "I started to realize how much I love singing and the kind of genres that I could tap into. It helped me really start to find my voice even though I was singing in the group."
Innes credited the confidence and courage his participation in Vocal Point gave him in making the decision to be an artist.
"Vocal Point gave me the first real opportunity to be a soloist," Innes said. "I had always been in the background in the choir or something like that. I really got a chance to find a voice that I didn't know I had."
Although Whitcomb is from Orlando, Fla., and Innes from Holladay, Utah, they both spoke graciously about their time spent in the Orem/Provo area.
Whitcomb is currently a music teacher at the SCERA in Orem. She expressed her appreciation for their support.
"For me, the Orem and Provo, Utah, communities have just wrapped their arms around me as a vocalist and a vocal teacher," Whitcomb said. "Utah, Provo and Orem in particular, they know talent and they want to make sure that they showcase it. They're so good at promoting local artists. Without that community backing me, this wouldn't be the same experience."
Innes also pointed out the success stories that have put Provo on the music map.
"The music scene in Provo is on the map now," Innes said. "There have been some huge acts coming from there: Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, Fictionist, Joshua James and Lindsey Stirling. There have been a lot of people doing big things, and it's great to be a part of the music community there in Provo."
Along with participating in BYU's Noteworthy, Whitcomb has also participated in the all-female group "Delilah," which was part of the a cappella singing competition on "The Sing-Off."
Innes also has made a name for himself outside of BYU's Vocal Point. He was a finalist in the Mormon Times "Showcase" and released a CD in June 2010.
The Voice can be seen on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on NBC.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.
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