“Vanguard’s Guitar Ensemble develops the necessary skills to make a guitarist an overall better musician, but it is the friendships with the professors and students I cherish most”- Josafat Valle, Music Major, Class of 2014
The Vanguard University Guitar Ensemble is a small, specialized ensemble, studying and performing guitar literature of various styles and musical periods. In 2010, 2011, and again in 2012, they were invited on tour to Central California which has brought them much professional acclaim and expanded their reach beyond the Southern California area. This small ensemble of guitarists continue to bring excellence to every performance and have impressed their audiences with their unique approach to classic four-part arrangements. The sound of the guitar ensemble can best be described as an orchestra of guitars, unamplified and expressing every possible tone, timbre and nuance from the instrument. The group has performed arrangements of ethnic folk music and modern compositions written specifically for guitar ensemble. But regardless of the repertoire, the Guitar Ensemble is a fresh and exciting experience for the ears, mind and soul. The Guitar Ensemble began in 2005 when Dr. Greg Glancey and three Vanguard students performed his guitar quartet arrangement Jam Ye Merry Gentlemen at Vanguard’s annual Christmas Fantasia concert. That same year, Dr. Glancey hired classical guitarist Michael Nigro to teach guitar at Vanguard University and help build a legitimate guitar program and guitar ensemble. Together, Dr. Glancey and Mr. Nigro have developed a fourteen-member guitar ensemble that has now toured nationally. The Guitar Ensemble has been featured in the Bing Concert Series at Stanford University, the Guitar Frenzy Festival at El Camino College, the Clark County Library Concert Series in Las Vegas and the Ventura and Las Vegas Classical Guitar Societies. Additionally, they perform at various church services to enhance worship and schools to educate and inspire K-8 and high school students to appreciate the arts.
Dr. Greg Glancey, Ph.D. & Prof. Michael Nigro, M.M.
The Guitar Ensemble is under the Direction of Dr. Greg Glancey and Michael Nigro. Dr. Greg Glancey, received his Ph.D. in Theory and Composition from Stony Brook University in New York. His teaching areas include Music Theory, Music Composition, Orchestration, Arranging and Music Technology. Dr. Glancey is the founder and director of the Vanguard University Guitar Ensemble. Dr. Glancey’s music ranges from concert pieces for orchestra and chamber ensembles to rock/pop arrangements of original songs. His music is performed at a variety of venues throughout Southern California and he has had works commissioned and performed by noteworthy orchestras, such as the Stony Brook Orchestra in New York and the East Lansing Orchestra in Michigan. Professor Michael 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 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
In 2013 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.
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request the group for your specific event, guitar society, church, or school.