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 2016, VRQ has commissioned new compositions from seven young composers including Douglas Hertz, whose work From Lidless Eyes (Time Knows No Bounds) was recently featured at the 2017 Midwest Composers’ Symposium. The ensemble’s commitment to deep collaboration with fellow musicians and artists results in performances that elevate the reed quintet’s versatility, sensitivity, and power and “connect [the] audience with the intentions of the composer.” 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, where they received an award for the best performance of a work by a current U of M student or graduate. 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 will perform on a concert of premieres at National Sawdust in August 2018.
The ensemble is recording its debut album in 2018, which will feature world premiere recordings of VRQ-commissioned works by Karalyn Schubring, Nina Shekhar, Gala Flagello, Karl Ronneburg, Douglas Hertz, and Daniel Zlatkin.