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 Band 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 Vanguard University Jazz 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.
The Vanguard University Jazz Band 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.
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.
The Vanguard University Jazz Band 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request the group for your specific event, church, or school.