On Saturday, February 27th, Vanguard University hosted its third annual Guitar and Jazz Festivals. Vanguard’s campus was buzzing with excitement from all of the local middle school, high school, and community college participants. This year, the two unique festivals welcomed over 200 participants!
2016 Guitar Festival
The Guitar Festival kicked off with a recital on Friday night, featuring Trio Camino. Trio Camino is the collaboration of three masters of the classical guitar, including David Grimes, Dr. Gregory Newton, and Vanguard’s very own, Professor Michael Nigro.
Saturday morning, guest conductor, Chuck Hulihan, led all of the participants in a joint rehearsal to prepare for the evening concert.
In the afternoon, the acclaimed voice/guitar duo Crouse Denman performed, followed by simultaneous sessions including a master class with Matt Denman, a jazz improv workshop with Duane Broberg, a flamenco workshop with Walter Molina, and mock auditions with P
rofessor Nigro and Dr. Gregory Newton.
The evening gala concert consisted of each school performing for one another and then all participants performed the final pieces Ballad and Tango together. We would like to especially thank La Mirada High School, Orange County School of the Arts, Riverside Community College, Santa Maria High School, Benton Middle School/Los Coyotes Middle School, Cypress College, and all of our guest clinicians for making this festival such a success!
2016 Jazz Festival
The Jazz Festival jumped right into the morning performances and adjudications at the festival concert stage, welcoming the jazz bands of Estancia High School, Calvary Murrieta Christian School, Heritage Christian School, and Bakersfield Christian School. Each performance session featured 2-3 selections from the school’s repertoire, followed by a debrief clinic by our guest adjudicators: Elliot Deutsch, Ronald Kobayashi and Jonathan Rowden.
After enjoying lunch at Vanguard’s Cafe, the participants then attended one of our workshops at various locations on campus, also facilitated by our adjudicators, covering brass, sax, woodwinds and rhythm techniques.
To finish off the day, everyone reconvened at the festival concert stage to enjoy a special performance by Vanguard’s Jazz Ensemble and Combo, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Foerch. In between pieces, awards were presented to recognize outstanding soloists as well as entire groups from among the visiting schools.