Annabella Cervero - Composition Intensive

Student Spotlight: Annabella Cervero Attends Summer Composition Intensive

Bachelor of Music in Composition candidate, Annabella Cervero, was admitted as one of sixteen emerging composers to partake in the Saint Mary’s College Summer Composition Intensive in South Bend, Indiana this past summer. The Summer Composition Intensive consisted of twelve days of presentations, workshops, and lessons in different topics including Texture: Depth in Music, Joining Music Cultures, and Balancing Architecture and Emotion.

Q: Why were you interested in attending the Summer Composition Intensive?

Dr. Glancey introduced the idea to me.  He thought attending an event such as this would help improve my composition skills and prepare me for graduate school.   We found this particular composition intensive at St. Mary’s College through “The Composer’s Site”.

Q: How would you describe your overall experience?

I had a wonderful experience.  I learned so much about composition, networking, and the reality of what life is like as a professional composer.  I also met many amazing people.  As the only composition major at Vanguard, I don’t really have the opportunity to collaborate with other composers very often.   It was so refreshing to be surrounded by other composers for two weeks in Southbend, IN.

Q: Out of all of the different presentations and workshops you attended, which one stood out to you the most? Why?

I thought that every workshop and masterclass I attended was beneficial.  I was most inspired by the workshop with Dr. Paul Salerni on the topic of art songs.  However, the workshops that were most beneficial to my growth as a composer were the workshops with Dr. P.Q. Phan.  The topics of his workshops forced me to get out of my comfort zone and compose in ways I had never tried before.  For example, I have not spent much time researching or writing opera yet in my compositional studies, and in one workshop, I was given a project that required me to research, analyze, and compose an operatic monologue for a dramatic soprano in less than 24 hours.  On another occasion, I had project that required me to abandon all of my musical intuition and compose a piece completely based on numbers.  For this assignment, we were also encouraged not to use any instruments while generating our material, or even listen to the piece until it was completed.  This was particularly challenging for me, because I am usually very auditory in my composing process, and I like using a piano when I am in the process of notating my ideas onto paper.   This project forced me to really hone in on my written and aural theory skills to produce a completely technical piece.

Q: What do you think was the biggest lesson you learned while you were there?

In addition to all of the great lessons I learned about the art of composition, I also learned about the importance of networking and relationships in the music industry.  Who you know is just as important as what you know.  The composition intensive gave me a reality check on how challenging it is to make a living as an academic composer, and that you have to be willing to be flexible and versatile.  Almost everyone who makes a living as a composer also teaches or performs in some capacity.   Nevertheless, everyone I spoke to said that it was worth it.  The key is loving what you do.

Furthermore, because there was such a wide range of age, experience, and skill level among the participants of the intensive, I had the opportunity to learn about grad school programs as well.  It was a nice way to get me thinking about the near future.

Bella Composition Intensive

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Vanguard University Music Program Receives National Accreditation Membership

We are excited to announce that we are now accredited by The  National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)!

Written by Holly Clinard from the Vanguard University Marketing & Communications Office.

Costa Mesa, CA, July 27, 2015 – Vanguard University’s renowned department of music has been granted membership into the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Dr. Susanne Reid, professor of music at Vanguard University, made the announcement this week.

NASM serves as the national accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines among collegiate and postsecondary schools. Founded in 1924, NASM continues to establish a more uniform method of granting credit, developing and maintaining basic standards for granting degrees and credentials. The association is made up of approximately 650 schools.

“We are most thrilled that our program is recognized nationally, and what this will mean for our students, knowing that NASM membership more easily paves the way for them in applying for graduate school,” said Dr. James Melton, chair of Vanguard’s department of music and professor of music.

Vanguard University’s department of music offers a bachelor of music, bachelor of arts in music and bachelor of arts in worship studies. Students who have graduated from the program currently earn graduate scholarships and assistantships to some of the strongest graduate programs in the nation in their chosen area of performance or concentration.

Member institutions of NASM develop national accreditation standards and guidelines in consultation with other organizations, focusing on artistic and educational essentials.

For more information about the National Association of Schools of Music, visit

For more information on the Department of Music at Vanguard University, visit

To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications


Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top veteran-friendly college for 2015, and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit

For more Vanguard University press releases, go to:

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Single Subject Program in Music Is Approved by CCTC


The Department of Music is thrilled to announce that The Single Subject Matter Preparation Program in Music has been approved by  the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), making Vanguard University one of six private universities in the state of California to hold this distinction. The Single Subject Matter Preparation Programs approved by CTCC are alternatives to the subject matter examinations and act as appropriate subject matter preparation for the Single Subject Teaching Credential.  Students interested in obtaining a teaching credential after completion of their Bachelor of Music (Pre-Teacher Certification) degree will need to apply for entrance into a credential program. Students should refer to the Graduate Program in Education at Vanguard University or other institutions for specific information concerning completing a teaching credential.


For more information on music degrees at Vanguard University, please visit:

VU Music-12-076

An Afternoon of Classic Concert Band Music

Please join the Vanguard University Concert Band in An Afternoon of Classic Concert Band Music

Newport Mesa Church Worship Center

Sunday, November 16, 2014 4:00 pm

This is the inaugural performance of the newly formed Vanguard University Concert Band.  The ensemble has not had a formal concert in 30 Years.  You will hear works by John Phillip Sousa, Gustav Holst, Frank Ticheli, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and more.  Please join us for an event where you will hear a variety of works written for the wind band.

2013 Christmas Fantasia

2014 Fall Orchestra Concert

2014 Fall Concert

Presented by the

Vanguard University Concert Orchestra

Friday, October 24, 2014 | 7:00pm | Newport Mesa Church


Jenny Chen, Christian Lucas – Concerto Winners | Dr. Joni Prado – Faculty Soloist | Mildred Yi – Conductor


  • SCHUBERT Overture in D Major, D.26
  • STAMITZ Viola Concerto No. 1 in D Major
  • WEBER Clarinet Concertino in Eb Major
  • STRAUSS Ständchen, Zueignung, Cäcilie
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Swan Lake Suite

*Admission is free to the community. Contact 714.619.6412 or with questions.


Master Class with Marc Teicholz

Vanguard University Department of Music is excited to welcome guitarist Marc Teicholz for a Master Class on October 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm in Needham Chapel. Guitarist Marc Teicholz was awarded first prize at the 1989 International Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the largest, most prestigious contest of its kind in the United States. He was also a prize winner at the 1991 New York East-West Artists Competition. Described by Gramophone as “arguably the best of the new young guitarists to have emerged,” and by Soundboard magazine as “among the best we have ever heard,” Teicholz’s performances throughout the world include tours of the United States, Canada, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Fiji. His recitals and master classes have received critical acclaim, and he has been featured in concert with orchestras in Spain, Portugal, California and Hawaii. For more information, see Mr. Teicholz website:


Concert Band Featured in OC Register

Vanguard University Department of Music Reveals Addition to Instrumental Music Program Costa Mesa, CA, August 14, 2014 – Vanguard University’s assistant professor of music, Dr. Kenneth Foerch, recently announced the return of the Vanguard University Concert Band. The ensemble will be infused with Vanguard University students, alumni, professional community musicians, and accomplished high school students looking to broaden and strengthen their musical skills. “The ensemble will perform a diverse blend of classic concert band repertoire, new works written for the ensemble, and festive numbers that will challenge the performers, and resound in the listener’s ear,” says Foerch, who will perform in the upcoming Kennedy Center production of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On with John Legend at the Hollywood Bowl. Foerch has also performed with the LA Philharmonic, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Solonen, Zubin Mehta, John Williams, and others. The Vanguard University Concert Band will perform in the local Orange County community to help deepen a sense of pride in the music found in Southern California, and help bring an awareness of the musical excellence in the department of music at Vanguard University. “We look forward to contributing to the rich performing arts tradition in Orange County,” says Foerch. The Vanguard University Concert Band is actively seeking motivated volunteer members who enjoy this type of ensemble experience.  Rehearsals begin Monday, September 8, 2014 from 7-9pm on the campus of Vanguard University.  If interested or know of someone who is, contact Dr. Kenneth Foerch at   ‘

See the original link here:


The new Bachelor of Music degree

The Vanguard University Department of Music is delighted to announce the new Bachelor of Music degree.

The Bachelor of Music degree is tailored to the student desiring rigorous performance and academic training as part of their undergraduate experience.  The degree combines the core music curriculum with specialty courses within the student’s chosen field of concentration.  The Bachelor of Music degree is a professional degree that prepares and equips students to continue on in their performance field in graduate school.  Entrance into the Bachelor of Music degree is by audition only.

The Bachelor of Music degree is a professional degree preparing and equipping students to continue on in their performance field in graduate school.  Entrance into the Bachelor of Music degree is by audition only.


Performance is designed for the student desiring rigorous performance and academic training as part of their undergraduate experience by combining the core music curriculum with specialty courses within the student’s chosen field.

Music Education

Music Education is designed for the student intending to teach in the public or private schools.  The program coursework prepares the student for the subject matter requirements for a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music. 


Composition aims to advance the technical, creative, and intuitive skills of young composers in support of the creation of unique, original works for a wide variety of musical settings: acoustic and technological.  Our program endeavors to ground young composers in an understanding of the historical, cultural, spiritual and conceptual basis for the creation of modern music.

Church Music

Church Music exists to prepare students as full-time church musicians and servant leaders who can creatively integrate excellence in music performance and the arts into the worship and mission of the evangelical church.

Jazz Studies

 Jazz Studies is designed for the student seeking a professional career in jazz and related arenas of contemporary music. The philosophical objective is to develop the talents of the creative jazz artist as well as the adaptable skills required of the successful, well-rounded musician.  Education in the history and traditions of the music with professional performance opportunities designed to integrate students in a jazz environment that uphold the standards of the tradition.

Information, class requirements, and sample four year plans can be found here:

Bachelor of Music Degree Information


Europe Tour 2014


Vanguard Singers & Band

Europe Tour 2014

The Vanguard Singers and Band traveled to Europe this past May and went through seven different countries in three weeks.Although this trip has much to do with Music, is has so much more to do with sharing God’s love with people who do not know Him. This team of 35 musicians shared God’s love by just spending time with the people who have never been loved in a way with such grace. Vanguards had two home stays, which is where they would sleep in somebody’s house that lived nearby the church that they were to perform at. The first home stay was in Biberach, Germany; they stayed with these families for three nights and really got to understand the home stays lifestyle and culture. Many of the students really enjoyed this part of the trip and developed real relationships so much so that the home stays said they are welcome in their home whenever they returned to Germany. The second home stay was in Lisbon, Portugal, where they stayed in homes for three nights, also some of the men stayed in local churches. The team traveled throughout Portugal and would set up in local areas like a farmers market, along with parks, and have worship music playing for the people walking around. They were sharing God’s word in a different language but with a common love of music. The music was expressed to the people of Portugal in a way of praising God and they enjoyed it! The trip was an amazing experience for the whole team!












“I went to China last year and had an amazing yet humbling experience of seeing people love God regardless of their circumstance. This trip was completely different because I got to see God’s beauty and see the transformation of people from the beginning of our concerts to the end. God moves in people lives, and for our team we were able to help with the simplicity of music” –Katy Martinez, Class of 2016