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Ensembles

Check out all of our amazing ensemble groups

Book a Concert

If you are interested in booking a concert or tour with us, need a worship leader, or simply have questions about it, please complete this form as best as possible, and we will be happy to contact you to discuss further. Please click here for our concert request form.

Concert Band

About Us

The Vanguard University Concert Band features a collaboration of current students, alumni, and community members for an impressive level of talent and an enjoyable variety of repertoire. Taking advantage of the more common winds, brass and percussion sections, as well as some more unique sounding instruments and sound effects, this ensemble provides the audience with a wide range of selections, from classical, to contemporary, to move themes, and more. Because of the nature of this ensemble participation, this provides an excellent opportunity for high school students to have an early start with Vanguard, for alumni to stay involved even after graduation, and for community members to work together and contribute their musicianship and expertise.

The Director

The Vanguard University Concert Band is under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Foerch. Dr. Foerch is a free-lance performer and serves as an adjunct faculty at both Pomona College in Claremont and Mt. San Antonio College. He also was the applied music instructor of saxophone, clarinet and flute at Cerritos College, where he taught a class in music fundamentals. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic orchestras and has appeared with some of today’s leading jazz artists, including Shelly Berg, Carmen Bradford, Ndugu Chancler, and Bill Watrous.

Repertoire

Below is the musical selection performed at the first performance of this academic year (2015-2016):

  • Symphony No. 2, Finale, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Arr. Frank Erickson
  • Second Suite in F for Military Band, Op. 28, No. 2, GustavHolst (1874-1934)
    • March
    • Song without Words “I’ll love my love”
    • Song of the Blacksmith
    • Fantasia on the “Dargason.”
  • Ithaca, from The Odyssey (Symphony No. 2), Robert W. Smith (b. 1958)
  • New York: 1927, Warren Barker (1923-2006)
  • Sun Dance, Frank Ticheli (b. 1958)
  • Symphonic Suite, from ROBIN HOOD Prince of Thieves, Michael Kamen (1948-2003), Arr. Paul Lavender

Videos

October 2015 Performance – Part 1

October 2015 Performance – Part 2

For any questions on upcoming events or to book a concert, please contact our Coordinator of Concert Operations:

  • Phone: 714-619-6410
  • Email: concerts@vanguard.edu

Concert Choir

About Us

Members of the Vanguard University Concert Choir are selected through an audition and interview process, and represent almost all of the 40 academic majors offered at Vanguard University, with more than half of the members being non-music majors. The Concert Choir performs locally at churches, schools, and conferences, and can be seen annually on the Hour of Power broadcast, recorded at the Crystal Cathedral, and televised both domestically and internationally. The Concert Choir is quickly becoming recognized as one of the premier choral organizations among Christian universities and is well-received by all audiences due to its eclectic and inspiring range of vocal music including traditional, classical, sacred, praise and worship, and contemporary Christian arrangements.

The Director

The Vanguard University Concert Choir has been under the direction of Dr. James L. Melton, department chair of music. Dr. Melton earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) in Choral Music from Arizona State University (1987), as well as the master of music degree (MM) in conducting. He received his bachelor of music education degree (emphasis in piano and voice, BME) from Oklahoma Baptist University. While at OBU, he won several artist scholarships and awards in addition to performing with the Oklahoma City Symphony. Dr. Melton has teaching experience in schools from high school through the college/seminary level, as well as over 25 years of experience leading music in churches of various denominations and sizes.

The Tours

The Vanguard University Concert Choir tours yearly, outside of local, monthly bookings. In the spring of 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 Concert Choir toured in New York City and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Times Square Church, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. In addition to the New York tours, the University Concert Choir tours all over the Western United States ministering to churches, schools and participating in choral competitions.

Recordings

The Vanguard University Concert Choir has recorded five CD projects, the most recent is Magnificent and Holy. For ordering information please follow this link.

Booking Information

book nowThe Vanguard University Concert Choir is available for booking October through April, often taking longer regional tours in March and/or May. These concerts are being reserved up to one year in advance. Please contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6412 or concerts@vanguard.edu to request the group for your specific event, church, or school.

Guitar Ensemble

About Us

The Vanguard University Guitar Program, under the direction of Professor Michael Nigro, is recognized as having one of the strongest and active programs in Orange County. The guitar program provides a thorough and challenging program of study for students who are wishing to complete their bachelor of music in performance, music education, church music, composition, or jazz studies. Many students in the guitar program are in the bachelor of arts in general music, bachelor of arts in worship studies, or music minors. The guitar program regularly hosts international performing artists and educators, and provides an excellent foundation for a professional career.

The guitar program includes courses in beginning guitar, guitar ensemble, guitar quartet, fretboard skills, guitar pedagogy, guitar history and literature, and private instruction. Classes are open to music and non-music majors. Performance scholarships are available to qualified students.

The guitar program has had some of the world’s most accomplished artists for masterclasses and concerts including Marc Teicholz, Matt Denman, William Kanengiser, Lynn McGrath, Scott Tennant, Vladimir Gorbach, David Grimes, Anthony Kakamakov, David Isaacs, Gregory Newton, Gisle Krogseth, Nikola Chekardzhikov, Peter Zisa, and Dmirty Koudymov. In addition, the guitar program recently held its Second Annual Guitar Festival which hosted over 160 students from various high schools and colleges from Southern California and as far as Arizona and Texas.

The Guitar Ensemble performs regularly both locally and out of state. Some of the performance venues include; The Ventura County Classical Guitar Society, The Bing Concert Series (located in the Stanford Hospital Medical Center), The Clark County Library’s Main Theatre in Las Vegas, Glendale Community College, AZ, Marylhurst University, OR, Oregon State University’s “Music a la Carte,” St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Redding, CA, Mount Shasta High School, CA, Denver School of the Arts, CO, Simpson University in Redding, CA and the Segerstrom Center for Arts in Costa Mesa, CA for the Annual Christmas Fantasia Concert.

Guitar students have consistently placed or taken top prizes in both solo and chamber competitions including the 2012 Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pacific Guitar Festival, Indiana University Guitar Competition, 2012 Sigma Alpha Iota scholarship, the 2013 Aron Green ASTA Guitar Competition, the 2013 Musical Arts Competition of Orange County, the Vanguard University Concerto Competition, and the 2013 Sierra Nevada Guitar Competition. Students graduating with degrees from the VU Guitar Program have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at Cal State Fullerton, and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The Director

Prof. Michael Nigro, M.M.

The Guitar Ensemble is under the direction of Michael Nigro. Professor Nigro attended the prestigious Indiana University School of Music where he graduated with his bachelor of music degree in 2000 under the direction of Ernesto Bitetti. After moving back to his native Southern California, he attended California State University, Fullerton and earned a master of music degree under the tutelage of David Grimes. Michael is an active member of the guitar community; he is co-founder of the Long Beach Classical Guitar Society, independent reviewer of new music publications for the GFA (Guitar Foundation of America) periodical, Soundboard Magazine, and sought after teacher and performer.

The Tours

The Vanguard University Guitar Ensemble tours yearly, outside of local, monthly bookings. In the fall of 2011 & 2012, the Guitar Ensemble was invited on tour up the Pacific Coast performing at universities, churches, concert halls, guitar societies and schools. In addition to their Fall Tour, the guitar ensemble traveled to Las Vegas, Denver and Colorado Springs in the Spring of 2013 for the Soundscapes CD release tour

Now in 2015, the Guitar Ensemble has an exciting opportunity to embark on a week-long tour down to Argentina. Their tour will extend from May 20th to May 27th, where they will participate at the University Guitar Festival in San Juan and minister to the students there. Argentina has a struggling economy with many opportunities of spiritual and practical ministry at its doorstep. Our students could benefit from your prayer support and financial support, as God works through their talents and outreach. If you are interested in financially assisting our students on this trip, please visit: https://connect.vanguard.edu/outreach.

The Recordings

In 2013, the Guitar Ensemble released their debut album Soundscapes featuring the guitar ensemble and guitar quartets. This is a full length album including compositions from world class composers as well as various arrangements from Dr. Gregory Glancey. This album was made possible through a generous donation by Eoin & Lettie Cowie who have been vibrant supporters of our guitar ensemble and the music program at Vanguard University. To purchase this album visit our Ensemble Recordings page and fill out a CD Order Form.

Booking Information

book nowThe Vanguard University Guitar Ensemble is available for booking October through April, often taking longer regional tours in November and/or March. Many concerts are being reserved up to one year in advance. Please fill out a Concert Request or contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6412 or concerts@vanguard.edu to request the group for your specific event, guitar society, church, or school.

Jazz Combo

About Us

The Jazz Combo provides a positive and quality instrumental experience for music students and others from the student body that have an interest in jazz music and its performance, as well as helping to develop an appreciation for jazz repertoire and the significance of jazz music as an American art form. In the Jazz Ensemble, an importance is placed on teaching the members scriptural and biblical truths through some of the selected repertoire, presenting ministry concerts as ambassadors of Christ and His kingdom, and blending the highest academic and musical excellence possible with genuine worship and personal ministry.

Members of the Jazz Combo are selected from the over 2200-member student body from the university and are representative of the over 30 academic majors offered at Vanguard University and hail from many states in the U.S. as well as several international countries.

Through a generous donation given by James A. Curtis (Class of 1977), who has been a vibrant and active supporter of our school, Dr. Kenneth Foerch and the VU Jazz Ensemble and Combo released their first CD project, “Sea Changes”, in Spring of 2006. The release was punctuated by a professional “CD release party” at Steamers Jazz Club in Fullerton. We would like to honor not only Mr. Curtis in the presentation of this CD, but the past instrumental alumni who have served in building the program that VUSC enjoys today, most notably Ralph Carmichael (’47), Mark Davidson (’55), and Darrel Gardner (’69).

The Director

The Vanguard University Jazz Combo is under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Foerch. Dr. Foerch is a free-lance performer and serves as an adjunct faculty at both Pomona College in Claremont and Mt. San Antonio College. He also was the applied music instructor of saxophone, clarinet and flute at Cerritos College, where he taught a class in music fundamentals. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic orchestras and has appeared with some of today’s leading jazz artists, including Shelly Berg, Carmen Bradford, Ndugu Chancler, and Bill Watrous.

The Tours

The Vanguard University Jazz Combo travels during the year with the Jazz Ensemble, outside of local, monthly bookings. In the spring, the group tours together with the University Jazz Ensemble, visiting many churches and schools in California and the surrounding states on the west coast.

Booking

book nowThe Vanguard University Jazz Ensemble is available for booking October through April, often taking longer regional tours in March and/or May. Please fill out a Concert Request Form or contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6412 or concerts@vanguard.edu to request the group for your specific event, church, or school.

Jazz Ensemble

About Us

The Jazz Ensemble provides a positive and quality instrumental experience for music students and others from the student body that have an interest in jazz music and its performance, as well as helping to develop an appreciation for jazz repertoire and the significance of jazz music as an American art form. In the Jazz Ensemble, an importance is placed on teaching the members scriptural and biblical truths through some of the selected repertoire, presenting ministry concerts as ambassadors of Christ and His kingdom, and blending the highest academic and musical excellence possible with genuine worship and personal ministry.

The University Jazz Ensemble hosts an annual Jazz Festival for local Christian high-schools and middle schools to bring their jazz bands and combos for a day of competition, clinics, performances and improvisation.

The 17 members of the Jazz Ensemble are selected from the over 2200-member student body from the University and are representative of the over 30 academic majors offered at Vanguard University and hail from many states in the U.S. as well as several international countries.

The Director

The Vanguard University Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Foerch. Dr. Foerch is a free-lance performer and serves as an adjunct faculty at both Pomona College in Claremont and Mt. San Antonio College. He also was the applied music instructor of saxophone, clarinet and flute at Cerritos College, where he taught a class in music fundamentals. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic orchestras and has appeared with some of today’s leading jazz artists, including Shelly Berg, Carmen Bradford, Ndugu Chancler, and Bill Watrous.

Tours

The Vanguard University Jazz Ensemble tours yearly, outside of local and monthly bookings. Recently, the Jazz Ensemble has toured in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Oregon & Washington visiting many churches and schools. The Jazz Ensemble often tours to Reno, NV to compete in the Reno Jazz Festival.

Recordings

Through a generous donation given by James A. Curtis (Class of 1977), who has been a vibrant and active supporter of our school, Dr. Kenneth Foerch and the Vanguard University jazz band released its first CD project in Spring 2006 titled “Sea Changes”. The release was punctuated by a professional “CD release party” at Steamers Jazz Club in Fullerton. We would like to honor not only Mr. Curtis, but the past instrumental alumni who have served in building the program that Vanguard University enjoys today, most notably Ralph Carmichael (’47), Mark Davidson (’55), and Darrel Gardner (’69). To purchase “Sea Changes”, please visit Founders Bookstore at www.vanguardbooks.net and click on Vanguard Merchandise or visit our Ensemble Recordings Page and request a CD Online.

Booking Information

book nowThe Vanguard University Jazz Ensemble is available for booking October through April, often taking longer regional tours in March. Please fill out a Concert Request Form or contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6412 or concerts@vanguard.edu to request the group for your specific event, church, or school.

LIFEsong

ABOUT THE ENSEMBLE

This student lead ensemble features 8 voices dedicated to touching lives through excellent music and worship ministry. Join us for a harmonious experience of praise and fellowship!

The vision for this ensemble format is that Vanguard will eventually have multiple small groups – all student led, with 6-8 singers and a pianist pulled from the larger department ensembles. The format is streamlined, efficient and will help develop and empower student leaders. We see this vision growing into a great outreach tool for Vanguard and see it as a “win-win” opportunity. Building leaders in the small group setting will further equip and enhance our larger ensembles, which also continue to make a significant impact in our local churches and schools.

Here’s what a few of the ensemble members have to say:

“I enjoy being stretched musically in LIFEsong and the smaller size of the group allows for a more intimate atmosphere between the members, which in turn enables us to connect more personally with the congregation.” – Annabella Cervero

“I am so blessed to be a part of this new ensemble! I never would have imagined that I would be able to be a part of a smaller ensemble like this glorifying God through song. Every one of the songs that we sing speaks to me and meets me wherever I’m at. I’m beyond excited to share this with others, and hope that they will be touched by these songs on a deeper level as well!” – Stephanie Richardson

“Through LIFEsong, we have come to grow not only as musicians, but as brothers and sisters in Christ. In our ministry, we take pride that each performance isn’t just a concert but is a worship experience that engages both the singers and the congregation.” – Ryan Yoder

BOOK A CONCERT

Book us for a concert, worship service, school chapel or other event! Simply fill out a Concert Request Form or contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6409 or concerts@vanguard.edu

VIDEO CLIPS

Promo Video

Debut Concert – Part 1

Debut Concert – Part 2

Debut Concert – Clip #1

Debut Concert – Clip #2

Debut Concert – Clip #3

Percussion Ensemble

This group performs every semester in Needham chapel. This group has practice every week and train with a professor here on campus to help improve their quality of work and performance.

University Orchestra

About

The Vanguard University orchestra is the largest instrumental ensemble sponsored by the department of music. The orchestra is committed to excellence in music performance and is well received by all audiences due to its wide range of orchestral repertoire including classical, popular, sacred, and traditional as well as contemporary Christian music. The orchestra performs on campus, schools, churches and concert halls throughout the academic year.

The Vanguard University orchestra, directed by Mildred Yi, belongs to a Consortium of Irvine-Costa Mesa University Orchestras along with University of California Irvine Symphony Orchestra, directed by Stephen Tucker, and Concordia University Sinfonietta, directed by Jeff Held.

The Director

Mildred Yi, assistant professor of music, is conductor of University orchestra and coordinator of music education and at Vanguard University. She is the faculty advisor for the Vanguard Collegiate Chapter of National Association for Music Educators; a member of the Teacher Education Advisory Council of VU Graduate School of Education; and serves on the Newport Mesa District Arts Commission. Prior to her work in music teacher education, Mildred Yi has taught instrumental and choral music in public schools in Northern California for seven years. Presently, she serves as adjudicator and clinician for ACSI Band and Orchestra Festivals, VU Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and as guest conductor for Newport Mesa District Orchestra Festivals.

Mildred Yi received an Ed.M. in music and music education at Columbia University Teachers College, a M.M. in instrumental conducting at San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in Music from the University of California at Berkeley. She is currently completing an Ed.D. in music and music education at Columbia University Teachers College.

Orchestra Rehearsals

Monday 12:00-12:50 PM | REHEARSAL in Heath 001

Wednesday 12:00-12:50 PM | SECTIONALS in Heath 001

Friday 12:00-2:15 PM | REHEARSAL in Heath 001

Videos

Below are a couple videos of their recent concerts:

Christ Central of SC – 1

Christ Central of SC – 2

2015 Fall Concert

Performances

Please visit music department homepage for upcoming concerts.

Auditions

Auditions are open to traditional undergraduate, graduate and school of professional studies, and community college students. To set up an audition, please contact the music department at music@vanguard.edu.

Vanguard Singers & Band

ABOUT US

The Vanguard Singers and Band is our longest running and most recognizable music performance group here at Vanguard University. Members of the Vanguard Singers & Band are selected through a rigorous audition and interview process, and each member is additionally a member of another of our major ensembles. These students are leaders of their peers and represent a wonderful cross-section of the academic majors offered at Vanguard University, both music and non-music majors. The Vanguard Singers & Band performs locally at churches, schools, and conferences, and takes an annual extended tour, both domestically and internationally.

VSB 2011-2012
VSB 2010-2011

DIRECTOR

The Vanguard Singers & Band is under the direction of Dr. James L. Melton, chair of the department of music and director of choral music at Vanguard University. Dr. Melton earned the Doctor of musical arts degree (DMA) in choral music from Arizona State University (1987), as well as the master of music degree (MM) in conducting, and received his bachelor of music education degree (emphasis in piano and voice, BME) from Oklahoma Baptist University. Dr. Melton has teaching experience in schools from high school through the college/seminary level, as well as over 25 years of experience leading music in churches of various denominations and sizes.

TOURS

The Vanguard Singers & Band tours yearly, outside of local, monthly bookings. Most notable are the group’s international tours. In 2010, they were invited to tour China and in the summer of 2011 they have been invited to a number of venues in Europe. Spring of 2005 found the Vanguard Singers & Band in a month-long tour of South Korea and The People’s Republic of China. While visiting these countries, many doors were opened in which the group members could share the Gospel and the love of Christ with those who might otherwise not have known. These tours are a growing opportunity for the student leaders as they are not only able to represent the University and God’s Kingdom, but they are able to gain perspective of life outside the bounds of the United States.

VIDEOS

Sample Clip #1

Sample Clip #2

Sample Clip #3

Sample Clip #4

Sample Clip #5

RECORDINGS

The Vanguard Singers & Band music can be found on the following CD Recordings: All the Earth (2007), Simply A Cappella (2004), Everlasting (2002), Emmanuel (2002), I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (2001), Draw Me Close* (2000), Psalms of Praise* (1999), and Vanguards* (1994), featuring the female voices of the Vanguard Singers. Click here to view all music department CD and ordering information.

* denotes that CD is out of print.

BOOKING

The Vanguard Singers & Band performs more frequently than any other large ensemble of the Department of Music at Vanguard University. The Vanguard Singers & Band is available for booking October through April, often taking longer regional or international tours in March and/or May. Please fill out a Concert Request Form or contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6409 or concerts@vanguard.edu to request the group for your specific event, church, or school.

Women's Chorus

About Us

Fifty women shining the light of Christ through music and worship – this is Luminaria, the University Women’s Chorus at Vanguard University of Southern California. Members are selected from the close to 2,000-member student body and are representative of the many academic majors offered at Vanguard University. Call today to book this dynamic ensemble for a concert at your church, school or special event.

The Director

Dr. Joni Y. Prado, associate professor of music, D.M.A, conducts Luminaria, the 45-voice University Women’s Chorus at Vanguard University. Dr. Prado came to Vanguard University in 2002 and has grown the ensemble to where it is today. Additional teaching areas include private voice, basic musicianship, aural theory, foreign language diction, vocal pedagogy, song literature, and directing the opera scenes program. Also in demand as an adjudicator and clinician, Dr. Prado has served at the district and national levels of the Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival, ACSI Festivals and various local school engagements.

Videos

Below are a few videos from their recent concerts:

Harbor Trinity Church 1

Harbor Trinity Church 2

Living Water Christian Fellowship

The Tours

Women’s Chorus performs an annual concert tour, traveling throughout the Western United States region, ministering in churches and schools along the way. Ministering and worshiping together as a unit, these concert tours build camaraderie, character and friendships that last a lifetime. In addition to the annual choir tour, this ensemble has had several opportunities to participate in a combined choral performance with the University Concert Choir at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York.

Call today to book Women’s Chorus for a concert!

Recordings

The Vanguard University Women’s Chorus has recorded three CD projects, the most recent is Kaleidoscope of Praise, released in Spring 2010. For ordering information please follow this link.

Booking Information

The Vanguard University Women’s Chorus is available for booking October through April, often taking longer regional tours in March and/or May. These concerts are being reserved up to one year in advance. Please fill out a Concert Request Form or contact the Music Events office at 714.619-6409 or concerts@vanguard.edu to request the group for your specific event, church, or school.

We invite you to take the next step

News

Building a Legacy

William will never forget sharing the news with his mom about his acceptance to Vanguard. He was thrilled when he got the unexpected news that he had received a scholarship for his double major in psychology and music.

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University Concert Choir Performs at 9/11 Ceremony

The Vanguard University Concert Choir performed the national anthem as well as "The Prayer" and "God Bless the USA," and Holly Cahill, daughter of Anaheim PD Deputy Chief Dan Cahill, performed her original composition, "You Still Put the Uniform On."

Read More