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Holiday Concert for Vanguard University is a sparkling sellout

Vanguard University student Kaciny Emile

In a holiday blur of  twinkle lights and heartfelt song, Vanguard University's department of music staged its 19th annual Christmas Fantasia Concert on Dec. 8 at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Festivities began with a cocktail and buffet supper reception at the  Center Club where university boosters and staff members feasted on holiday treats ranging from mini candy apples and eggnog to cake pops and candy canes. The event was a sell-out, with more than 1,600 concertgoers attending the concert presented by 200 students.

"Our Fantasia event is an excellent representation of what is right and good about our school," said University President Michael Beals as he mingled with supporters at the Center Club. "It reveals how important the arts are to us. But it's more than just the talent of the students" that is on display, he added. It also showcases the "character development we nurture in our students. We not only want them to be talented people---but good citizens as well."

During the festivities, Beals awarded Janelle Harriman the Ralph Carmichael Scholarship Award for outstanding academic performance. Carmichael, a Vanguard alum, wrote arrangements for performers such as Bing Crosby, Stan Kenton, and Ella Fitzgerald.

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