Fall 2008 proved to be largely relaxed compared to the high energy of the spring, but this was partly by necessity—the group needed a break, needed to have a bit of fun. But so as not to entirely drop the motivation to work hard, the primary group goal was to finish tracking, mixing, and mastering the newest album, “Unanimous.” Ben Bram and Lucy Jackson worked tirelessly on scheduling, recording, and fine-tuning even the slightest of details.
All Hail A Cappella went into its second go-around, this time almost entirely produced by Business Manager Emily Goglia. It was a success again—everything was paid for, and Bovard was packed.
One of the challenges of this semester was recouping after losing such a large group of talented singers. In particular, the VoCals had lost three tenors at once—Donald Webber, Jr., David Rakita, and Dan Payson-Lewis. The VoCals flyered hard-core (with a little bit of help from Dan himself!), facebook ad campaigned, and did everything to spread the word about auditions. Luckily, two fantastic tenors showed up who both made the group at Fall Auditions: Jeff Sontag and Thomas Henry.
The Fall 2008 Retreat was in Big Bear and it was bomb.
The annual VoCal Halloween Concert proved to be a blast as the group went as scary clowns. Will Harris and Joe Sofranko opened the show with a 5-minute clowning, juggling, and unicyling routine. VoCals pretending to be scary clowns proved especially creepy.
VoCalloween once again had a line stretching down the block as people waited to pay their $5 to get in. It was the biggest party of the year—anywhere. Basically, the same decorations were in place with slight enhancements and additions. The primary new element was a simple, yet alarming “Dexter” room in the kitchen, which was completely covered in plastic sheeting. “Dexter”-obsession was a real thing in the VoCals, and it began with Donald Webber, Jr. and Will Harris when the show first premiered in Fall 2006.
The group wowed at SCAMFest and proved that they could still sing well after losing the big bunch of seniors. Catherine Ricafort rocked a new version of “Misery Business”, which was so popular that current members and alumni agreed it needed to be on “Unanimous.” Joe and Will once again performed their usual antics in a memorable improvisational sound effect / narration introduction to the Claremont Shades.
The pieces were set into motion for a Spring Tour 2009 to the Midwest, which was led and thoroughly organized by Rachel Saltzman.
Elections occurred for the Board of 2009. Results were as follows: Adam Hutchison, President; Emily Goglia, Business Manager; Kenton Chen, Music Director; Rachel Saltzman, Treasurer; Thomas Henry, MacPhail.
The SoCal Ho-Ho-Ho-Cal Concert was so effective in the United University Church in 2007 that the group decided to do it in the same location again. Ben Bram and Kenton Chen took the lead, arranging a greater quantity of Christmas music than in past years.
In 2009, Adam Hutchison took the reins as President with Kenton Chen as Musical Director. The group started off with the usual Involvement Fair to promote auditions, and sang with Gabriel Mann’s new band, “The Rescues” at the Hotel Café.
Again, they held auditions in THH, had callbacks and attended another Spring Retreat at the Brams’ place. The group was very excited to take five amazing newbies: Mandy Mamlet, Katie Sims, Megan Lollar, Sean Flanagan and Olivia Peet.
While Kenton Chen proclaimed that the WebBoard had died, it continued to see signs of life on and off. Mostly, it served as a private place to say things that would annoy VoCalall-l and would offend facebook friends and the general public.
The VoCals continued to support their FOV’s and alumni by singing with Gabriel Mann and Jeremy Silver for a gig at Ground Zero. This year, they only watched the ICCA Quarterfinals in Bovard, but didn’t compete. Alumna Lucy Jackson, a member of the 2008 ICCA-winning group, was now the West-Coast Producer of the ICCA’s.
Again, the group performed in VoCommedus at Ground Zero, held the now-annual VoCalentine’s Day party and participated in the Third Annual A Cappella Olympics. For such a young group, they held onto beloved traditions fiercely.
In March of 2009, the album “Unanimous” was released. Finally, the ICCA champions of 2008 could share their magic. After the album release concert at Ground Zero, the VoCals headed off to sell CD’s on a Spring Break Tour in Chicago. When they got back, they performed at ICCA Semifinals and Songfest.
March 2009 also saw the very first Alumni Retreat. A group of alumni rented a house in Las Vegas, played Kings and a lot of beer pong, used the home theater to watch James Snyder in “She’s The Man”, made Scott Johnson’s famous ice cream pie, went down to The Strip, and, well, from there on, the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” rule applies. Let’s just say they were lucky that DP’s car didn’t roll into someone’s living room, no one threw up in the limo, and the police only showed up once.
April took the VoCals to “Café,” UC Irvine’s “Coolest A cappella Festival Ever” and a late-spring round of auditions resulted in one new member: Adam Petersen. Since there was no chance for a retreat or alumni/newbie rehearsal at the end of the year, Adam had to experience all that good stuff in the Fall.
The VoCals celebrated Cinco de Mayo with VoCaliente (again with the traditions) and prepared for their Senior Sendoff at Bing. This time, there were three graduating seniors: Joe Sofranko, Catherine Ricafort and Will Ajax Harris.
Also in May, the VoCals opened for Ben Folds at The Paladium. It was an audience-judged competition to promote a new compilation of a cappella covers of Ben Folds’ songs. Several alumni were pulled in for this high-profile gig, and they all had fun rubbing elbows with Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban in the VIP balcony. William Shatner was spotted at the show as well.
Once again, the VoCals were welcomed by The Trojan League of San Diego at Lisa Barkett’s home in La Jolla. They met USC VIP’s, consumed a fabulous dinner and collected a helpful check.
Over the summer of 2009, the VoCals performed at Disney Hall for the graduating foster kids of United Friends of the Children, and they welcomed new students at freshman orientations.