What a joy it is to bring multiple choirs together to sing and experience the beauty of choral music! The Vanguard University Music Department held its first ever Invitational Choral Festival on October 27 and 28 which included 400 plus students from schools all over Southern California.
The Festival began Tuesday night with the Women’s Chorus Festival featuring Woodbridge High School’s Bel Canto Women’s Chorus under the direction of Rob Blaney followed by the women’s chorus from Corona Del Mar High School, Vox Angelica under the direction of Andrew Ball. Each group performed their three pieces beautifully and had the opportunity to work with our guest adjudicator and clinician Stan McGill. The Tuesday night festival concluded with a performance of Vanguard’s own Women’s Chorus Luminaria under the direction of Dr. Joni Prado.
Wednesday’s Festival hosted seven different mixed Choirs from high schools including Woodbridge High School under the direction of Rob Blaney, Heritage Christian High School under the direction of Dr. Galen Clark, Brethren Christian High School under the direction of Ryan Yoder, Edison High School under the direction of Joe Kral, La Mirada High School under the direction of Evan Eliason, Hesperia High School under the direction of Amanda Graley, and Marina High School under the direction of Eric Graham. Each school performed a variety of pieces ranging from classical to contemporary spanning hundreds of years of music composition. All the choirs gave commanding performances and drew praise from their peers and and directors. Wednesday’s festival ended with a performance from the Vanguard University Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. James Melton.
Stan McGill taught 33 years in secondary choral music education in Texas and Missouri. Professional positions include Texas Music Educators Association Vocal Chair, and President of both TMEA and Southwest American Choral Directors Association. He has served on numerous TMEA, TCDA and ACDA committees including Program for the 2009, 2013 & 2017 National ACDA Conferences. He is active as an adjudicator, speaker, director and clinician throughout the United States. He was one of four national authors for the Warner Brothers Music Expression Textbook for Secondary Choirs. Mr. McGill, along with co-author Dr. Morris Stevens, wrote “90 Days to Sightreading Success” and “Another Sightreading Success” available through AMC Publications. Their middle school sight reading methods book “18 Lessons to Sightreading Success” is available through Hal Leonard. His choral methods book “Beyond Singing”, is also published by Hal Leonard and co-authored with Elizabeth Volk. His choral arrangements are available through Shawnee Press and he is editor of the Stan McGill Choral Series with Hal Leonard. He is a contributing author for the 2015 release of the Leonard/McGraw-Hill music textbook Voice in Concert.
Mr. McGill has had extensive leadership service with ACDA and his articles have been published in the Southwestern Musician, Common Times, Choral Journal, and Texas Sings. He has directed numerous honor choirs including all state choirs in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. He directed the 2008 SWACDA 8-10 Boys Honor Choir in Kansas City. His choirs have performed nine times for TMEA, SWACDA and National ACDA Conventions and have made 3 European tours. A native of Sikeston, Missouri, Mr. McGill graduated from William Jewell College and received his master’s degree from Arizona State University. In 2014, Mr. McGill received the “Choral Excellence Award” from the Texas Choral Directors Association, based on his contributions to choral music in Texas, mentorship and inspiration to colleagues and students, and continued advocacy for the future of choral singing. He continues to serve as a church choir director.
“Thank you to the 400+ students that represented 8 schools in our first-ever Vanguard University Invitational Choral Festival. We hope to see you all next year!”