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The department of music exists to nurture a lifelong pursuit of musical excellence in emerging artists from diverse backgrounds.

The Department of Music offers the following degree options:

The department also offers a minor in Music for students looking to increase their musical proficiency while pursuing a different major. 


Fast Facts About Our Degrees:

1. Our degrees foster hands-on experiences and valuable skills, giving students a competitive edge as they go out into the marketplace. We facilitate an environment of musical creativity, expressive performance, and contextualized music education with a Christ-centered and Spirit-empowered perspective and worldview.

2. Vanguard University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and thereby meets the highest national standards in each and every area of study within the discipline. This ensures that students receive a quality education recognized and respected on a global scale. Accreditation underscores the department's commitment to excellence in both academic and artistic endeavors, providing students with a well-regarded degree upon graduation.

3. As a student in the music department, you will have access to world-class performance opportunities, including collaborations with renowned guest artists, international tours, and participation in prestigious music festivals. These experiences not only enhance your artistic growth but also expose you to the professional music world on a global stage.

4. Our dedicated faculty members are not only exceptional educators but also active practitioners in the music industry. They regularly perform in professional ensembles, record albums, and publish scholarly works, providing you with real-world examples of successful careers in music and invaluable insights into the current music landscape.

5. The music department fosters a close-knit community with a strong emphasis on service. You will get to engage in music outreach programs and collaborate with local schools and community organizations to share the joy of music and make a positive impact on the lives of others. This service-oriented approach not only enriches the community but also instills in students a deep sense of social responsibility and the transformative power of music.

A Sampling of Music Courses


Music and Worship

Vocal Pedagogy

Is a degree in Music the next part of your story? Hear from students and faculty about why you should consider this major at Vanguard.

Studying music at Vanguard equipped me with the skills and experience needed to succeed in my career. The small class sizes and dedicated professors gave me a personalized education with unique learning opportunities I would not have received elsewhere. Because of their NASM accreditation, I was able to start my credential program without taking the Music CSET or any other tests.

Garrett Young
Class of 2023

Program Highlights

Professional Development

Every year, we sponsor students to attend professional conferences and our students actively participate in collegiate chapters of professional associations.

Community Engagement

From performing at senior living facilities, to hosting festivals for school partners, to leading worship at churches, we are committed to bringing music to under-served populations and our local community.


All music students complete professional internships in the field. Recent internship placements have included concert promotion, booking, artist management, private teaching studio, and field work with a master teacher.

Overture Week

Open to all current and incoming Vanguard students who intend on joining Music Ensembles, Overture Week kicks off our semester with summer fun, music rehearsals, exciting activities, and community-building.


Held at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, the Annual Christmastime Concert is a magical evening that celebrates the joy of Christmas and features all of Vanguard University’s ensembles.

Students pose for a selfie with the Statue of Liberty in New York


Students in our ensembles have the chance to participate in local, national, and international music tours each year, including at venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the City National Grove of Anaheim, and more.

Compose Your Future

Music graduates go on to work in a variety of roles in music, education, entertainment, ministry and related fields. 

Recent alumni work for:

  • Mariners Christian School
  • Disneyland Entertainment
  • St. Andrews Presbyterian
  • Costa Mesa Middle/High School
  • Voctave
  • Arts & Learning Conservatory Costa Mesa
  • Transparent Productions
  • Voices of Hope
  • Vanguard University
  • Bonita High School

Recent alumni work as:

  • School Music Educator
  • Worship Leader
  • Professional Musician
  • Private Music Instructor
  • Recording Artist
  • Broadway Performer
  • Artist Manager
  • Music Director
  • Higher Education Staff 
  • Educational Leader

Recent alumni study at:

  • University of Southern California
  • Chapman University
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • University of Redlands
  • Baylor University
  • Vanguard University
  • Biola University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • California State University, Northridge

Program Faculty

It is an honor for me to be a part of the Vanguard music faculty where the mentoring of students and family atmosphere is real. I love watching our students evolve throughout their four years as their spiritual, musical, and practical skills develop and mature.

Susanne Reid, DMA
Department of Music Chair

Susanne Reid sits under a sign that reads Music

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