Fall 2010 auditions brought two of the most talented individuals that the VoCals have seen to date: Scott Hoying and Segun Oluwadele. Not only were they both Popular Music Majors, they were both from Texas AND roommates! As per tradition, the VoCals took the trek to Big Bear to break them in retreat-style.

At Retreat, they learned a lot of new music, much of which premiered at the Halloween concert. The costume theme was Dolls, featuring such characters as Samantha the American Girl Doll, Raggedy Ann, Barbie and Ken, and Chuckie. Emily provided some creepily appropriate choreography to help everyone act like dolls. They successfully freaked out the audience — always a goal with this concert. The annual VoCalloween party was a great success again with a line forming all the way down 27th street to Hoover!

Also in October, the VoCals got to star in their first music video covering DJ Earworm’s “Like OMG Baby” Summer Mashup, arranged by Mandy Mamlet. Filmed on campus and taking full advantage of the group’s overwhelming cuteness, the video pulled in over 26,000 views on YouTube.

A week after the Halloween madness ended, the VoCals made their annual drive to Pamona for SCAMfest! Most noteably, Coverley rocked the house with “Kings and Queens.” And of course, they couldn’t leave the Pomona campus without making their usual trek to The Coop — the cafe on campus with the most unbelievable curly fries. It became tradition to go there with Reverse Osmosis after ”RoCaling” in the lobby of Bridges Auditorium.

The following weekend, the VoCals drove down to perform for the Trojan League of San Diego once again. Because of their incredible generosity with the Spring 2010 ICCA trip to New York, the VoCals had promised a full-length performance in return. They delivered. The Trojan League of San Diego was incredible in their support, planning events around VoCal visits to the area. Some of the group’s biggest fans were in the audience, including Bill and Lisa Barkett, who graciously took the VoCals to an amazing Mexican feast after the gig.

As November came to a close, the VoCals voted in the new board: Thomas Henry-President, Mandy Mamlet-Music Director, Adam Peterson-Business Manager, Tory Stolper-Tour manager, and Alex Hamm-MacPhail. After Thanksgiving break, they continued the tradition of holding a “VoChristmas Dinner”. Sean made an especially delicious feast, there was wine and eggnog with brandy, and everyone enjoyed some incredible “Before they were VoCals” videos. They also held a White Elephant gift exchange.

Just to solidify their place in the world of prime-time television, a second group of SoCal VoCals and alumni appeared on NBC’s The Sing-Off, this time, combining forces with members of other a cappella groups and calling themselves “The Backbeats”. Alumnus Ben Bram served as vocal arranger, vocal editor and vocal coach for the 2010 season of The Sing-Off — one more realm conquered by VoCals!

The semester ended with the Vo-Ho-Ho-Cal Concert in the UUC. Donning their now-traditional holiday purple, they graced the audience with VoCal holiday favorites. They waved goodbye to 2010 and parted ways for winter break, excited for what Spring 2011 would bring.

Spring 2011 started off with an awesome round of auditions where the VoCals found two amazing new members: Lauren Scott and Peter Mitchell. In that same week, they also had the incredible opportunity to sing the National Anthem before the Los Angeles Kings Game at Staples Center. In the same vein, on Valentine’s Day, they were a surprise guest at the request of Athletic Director and long-time supporter and friend, Pat Haden. In the crowd was none other than USC Football head coach, Lane Kiffin. He tweeted about the VoCals after the performance — no big deal. 😉 Pat also asked the VoCals to perform the National Anthem at a few upcoming USC Basketball games at the Galen Center.

In February, the SoCal VoCals and alumni celebrated their 15th anniversary with a fiesta dinner at the new El Cholo downtown and a late-night after-party at the VoCal house. Of the 104 VoCals in existence to date, 52 attended the 15th anniversary celebration.

There are many exciting things still to come this semester: Absolut A Cappella, the long-awaited 15th Anniversary, and an East Coast Spring Break Tour. In addition, they’re working on finishing up a 2010 ICCA Set EP and will begin working on their seventh studio album after the tour. Spring 2011 promises to be a semester to remember!

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