The Fall of 1999 began with another two-day Campus Blitz to promote auditions before classes even started. They also performed two pre-audition concerts, including one with the Sirens. Jonathan Redford and Adrian Staton decided not to continue singing with the VoCals, and Elizabeth Brackenbury took the Fall semester off. This left nine returning members going into auditions: Ryan Bolger, Stacy Burcham, Mark Coupland, Amy Fritsche, John Heaton, Carmel Heckel, Matt Quan, Bryce Ryness and Aaron Tesfai.
After three days (nine hours) of auditions and one evening of callbacks, the VoCals decided on six new members: Julie Moffitt, Jessica Bolger (yes, Ryan’s sister, making the first VoCal sibling pair), Jade Williams, Emily Parry, Jesse Chow and Adam Blain. “Rookies” were welcomed by alumni at the second annual SoVocAl (SoCal VoCals Alumni) welcome party at Ann Lyles’ place.
One goal for the year was starting another album, but doing it in pieces instead of trying to record the whole thing in one brutal semester. Those recordings would later become part of V3: Previously Unreleased. The VoCals also decided they wanted to do better at NCCA’s, get a track on the next BOCA album, and take a Spring Break tour on a cruise ship.
The SoCal VoCals enjoyed their second annual Fall Retreat in a beautiful house at Big Bear. New and returning VoCals bonded, crammed music into their heads, took candlelit baths, and some even slept under the stars. Two days later, the new members were thrown into the fire as they performed their first concert, held in SGM 124.
Once again, the group rehearsed on Sunday afternoons and late on Wednesday nights at Marks Hall. Fall 1999 gigs included the San Francisco Weekender Rally before the Cal game, SCAMFest ’99, pre-game shows before every home football game, Save Tommy Night, and various holiday parties.
At the “Get Leid” Luau Party, John Heaton’s apartment served as a great place for VoCals and alumni to celebrate the day’s USC football victory over UCLA. The party included plastic leis, beach toys, fish and seaweed on the walls, and a small blow-up wading pool…so, it was technically a “pool” party.
For the third year in a row, the VoCals succeeded in obtaining funding from the Program Board to rent Bovard Auditorium for a concert. The third annual TroJam was held on December 10, and featured a special appearance by Gabe Rutman’s professional a cappella group, “Spiralmouth” (formerly known as “This Side Up”).
January of 2000 brought the Stanford Mendicants and Counterpoint down for a concert at SGM. The VoCals also sang with the Tritones at UCSD, hosted the University of Michigan’s Amazin’ Blue for an evening, provided a cappellagrams for Valentine’s Day, performed for the Tri-Delt Mother-Daughter Tea at the Ritz in Pasadena, and appeared at Town & Gown for the Lucent Technologies Dinner.
After a year with no competition, CASA re-started the National Championship of College A cappella. Now an “International” competition including Canadian universities, the event was renamed the “ICCA”. The Sirens hosted the Southwestern Quarterfinal in Bovard Auditorium, and again, the SoCal VoCals advanced to the Semifinals at Stanford.
While the Midwest Spring Break Tour of 2000 didn’t take place on a cruise ship as they had hoped, it was still a blast. The first stop was Carmel, Indiana, where the VoCals enjoyed all the comforts of home: a private gym, sauna, pool table, foosball, huge wide-screen TV, Jacuzzi, and cardinal and gold M&M’s (all compliments of Jade Williams’ parents). They were also treated to box seats at an Indiana Pacers game and dinner at Benihana. They did a show in Wisconsin, then headed to Ann Arbor, MI for a gig with The University of Michigan Amazin’ Blue. The tour ended with shows at the Chicago Music Mart and the University of Chicago.
The VoCals returned from Spring Break in time to host the Dartmouth Aires and MIT Logarhythms for a concert in Taper Hall. Other Spring appearances included Lakewood High School, Take Back the Night, Preview, Pride and Pizzazz at Town & Gown, Swim With Mike, Odyssey Series, the Trojan League luncheons for Orange County and L.A. County, and the School of Pharmacy Awards Banquet. Scattered recording sessions at Asylum filled out their schedule as the VoCals prepared to say goodbye to their graduates, including Stacy Burcham, the only remaining founding member.
It wasn’t goodbye forever, though, because Summer VoCals returned in 2000, allowing many alumni and current members to join forces. Somewhat regular rehearsals were held to prepare for gigs at Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, Los Alamitos High School, a Loyola Law School faculty dinner at the Burcham’s, Arrowbear Music Camp, the Main Branch, North Branch and El Dorado Libraries in Long Beach, a private party at a beach house in Malibu, and Salute to Troy (where they met Tommy Lasorda and Olympic swimmer, Janet Evans).