Vanguard University to Host Annual Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 2

Bring your snapping fingers to the Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 2, where school student groups from Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as Vanguard University’s own Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will jive the day away.

What better way for a Christian university to have a day of celebrating the gift of music than hosting a jazz festival? Vanguard University invites bands, combos and individuals to register and come to this special event. Attendees will enjoy performances, clinics, workshops, a concert by VU’s Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Festival’s Professional Adjudicators, and more.

Top groups and individuals will receive awards in various categories including best overall group performance, best solo, and more, the Coordinator of Music Events and Concert Operations, Luke Baumgartner, said. Having been a part of the festival in past years, Baumgartner looks forward to this unique opportunity for people to come together and just have enjoy playing the music they love.

The competition also gives performers a chance to be selected to take part in the Vanguard Honors Jazz Band, which will perform at the closing concert. The selected students will play along side other accomplished musicians of their own caliber as well as the Jazz Festival Adjudicators and the Vanguard Jazz Ensemble.

The Jazz Festival Adjudicators are comprised of top professional Christian musicians in the business. Adjudicators include Dave Stone, instructing the rhythm sectional; Josh Welchez, instructing the brass sectional; and Vince Hizon, instructing the sax/woodwinds sectional. The Director of Vanguard University’s award winning Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, Dr. Kenneth R. Foerch, will be adjudicating as well.

Not only can student groups share their ensemble’s pieces with fellow attendees on a collegiate stage, at this year’s event they can join in the festival’s newly added feature: The Jazz Jam Session. This expression session invites performers to get creative and join with the VU Jazz Combo for improvisation, sight-reading and fun.

“Improv is probably one of the hardest things to master,” Baumgartner said. This special session gives students a chance to begin strengthening their improvisational skills, which are crucial in thriving as a jazz musician, he said. The Jazz Jam Session is an opportunity to jive and jam together and is open to anyone, parents included, he added.

The festival provides student groups from grades six through twelve “an opportunity to perform at a college venue, hear other Christian student groups, and the opportunity to learn more about Vanguard’s renowned Department of Music,” Dr. Foerch said in his letter to student groups.

For more information on registration and costs, click here.

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