Teaching music initially was not Joni Prado’s career choice, but more of a side hobby. She never really intended to study music. Little did Joni Prado would find herself 20 years later, teaching music to university students and sharing her joy of music to others.
Dr. Prado explains, “Upon my completion of a Music and Psychology degree, all of the doors for graduate school in music swung wide open and offer opportunities that I had never dreamed of, or even considered.”
Joni Prado received her DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) at USC and has many musical accomplishments. Prado had the opportunity to conduct at Carnegie Hall in 2019 and is one of her most memorable experiences. She reminisces on memorable memories including Opera Scenes, WC Broadway Shows, Chamber Choir concerts, and the LIFE song tour to AZ. She has grown to love and cherish the dynamic, both in and out of performance, in the choral groups.
Reflecting on her time at Vanguard, Joni Prado is reminded of how the Lord had a plan for her beyond what she could have ever dreamed. Prado arrived at VU in 2002 and felt something special at about arriving to the campus.
”When I came to interview, I took a brief tour of the campus and just felt a rhythm, like a heartbeat telling me that Vanguard was a very special place, and it instantly felt like home,” Prado explains.
After teaching for so many years, she came to a point where she no longer felt the need to prove herself as a young female professor, but instead, she changed her approach.
“Something I have learned is that you can’t work for anyone’s approval, or recognition. Do what you love and love what you do! Do what you love and love what you do! Your work will stand for itself when done with excellence, and God honors that in the end!”
She began to focus on her energy on helping students, which led to a tremendous growth in the program. She holds a desire that students upon graduating not leave with just a diploma but leave inspired.
“I want students to leave inspired. That somehow, I have impacted their lives in such a way, that they want to also find ways to inspire and impact others. I want them to see how pursuing excellence in all areas of our life is a posture of worship,” Prado explains.
To celebrate Prado’s 20 years of teaching, A reunion benefit concert will be held on February 26. The Behold How Good Concert will feature songs and Alumni from the last 20 years of Prado’s teaching. Including Alumni, felt to be an essential part of the celebration, as to inspire others current students to see the long line of singers and for them to be inspired of being part of the Vanguard Music Legacy.
“It’s almost like a “This is Your Life” recap of the last 20 years! More than a celebration, it is my hope and vision that it will be a beautiful reunion of so many students who have come through our ensembles here at Vanguard.”
Prado in the past 20 years, has grown a deeper love not only for music and her students, but for her job where she can inspire other to pursue life with an attitude of worship and desire to pursue excellence.
“We should to our utmost best with what we have been given. I love watching students grow and develop their gifts, find confidence, and become leaders. I honestly have the best job in the world!”
Here’s to your 20 years of excellence, Dr. Joni Prado.