The Vanguard Reed Quintet (VRQ) is committed to breaking new musical ground, increasing the depth and diversity of the reed quintet’s core repertoire, and engaging audiences with innovative, adventurous, and inspiring musical experiences. The ensemble was founded at the University of Michigan in 2017. Its current membership includes Sagar Anupindi (oboe), Mickayla Chapman (clarinet), Sean Meyers (saxophone), Nico Chona (bass clarinet), and Joseph Swift (bassoon).
Since its founding, VRQ has commissioned new compositions from seven young composers including Nina Shekhar, Gala Flagello, and Daniel Zlatkin, whose works were premiered at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York in August 2018. Another commission from Douglas Hertz, whose work From Lidless Eyes (Time Knows No Bounds) was featured at the 2017 Midwest Composers’ Symposium. These works, along with two others by Karl Ronneburg and Karalyn Schubring, will be featured on VRQ’s debut album, which will be released in 2019. The ensemble’s commitment to deep collaboration with fellow musicians and artists results in performances that connect the audience with the intentions of the composer and elevate the reed quintet’s versatility, sensitivity, and power. VRQ also performs reed quintet standards ranging from original works by Nico Muhly and David Biedenbender to arrangements of Mozart and Ravel.
The Vanguard Reed Quintet was awarded the Silver Medal in the Senior Winds Division at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. In addition, VRQ took second place at the Dale & Nancy Briggs Chamber Music Competition in 2017 and received an Honorable Mention at the 2019 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. In 2017, the ensemble was featured at the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance’s (SMTD) Annual Scholarship Showcase and at the A-maize-ing SMTD concert in honor of the university’s bicentennial celebration.
VRQ has been featured at the Kerrytown Concert House, Northside Community Church, Novi Public Library and other venues throughout the greater Detroit area. In addition to performing, Vanguard has led various educational engagement activities, partnering with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Public Schools, Brightmoor Arts Camp, and other schools throughout southeast Michigan.