Chapman music student makes time to be peppy

The Pride of Chapman Pep Band performing at lunch during Orientation 2008.

Photo courtesy of Margie King
The Pride of Chapman Pep Band performing at lunch during Orientation 2008.

For most people who attend football games, the plays are the most important part. But for senior Jake Vogel, half time is game time.

His blonde hair flops back and forth on his head as he passionately flails his arms to conduct the Pride of Chapman Pep Band. Because of his unmatched spirit and goofy dance moves, the crowd can do nothing but cheer louder.

In addition to 18 units, four hours of rehearsals everyday, and six music ensembles, Vogel created the Pride of Chapman Pep Band. Even with a demanding schedule, he remains passionate, motivated and driven by what he truly loves: music.

“He’s a bolt of lightning, a thunder ball and a cheer squad all in one,” said Daniel Wachs, director of instrumental studies.

Vogel, a music education and French horn performance double major, started the pep band in 2006 for Homecoming weekend. Robert Frelly, director of music education, approached Vogel about starting a band for opening entertainment. A drum major in high school, Vogel had a love for marching band and put the ensemble together.

Fifteen musicians and two practices later, Vogel stood in front of hundreds of students and families at the Homecoming rally. There, he directed the band to play songs like “Wipe Out,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and “The Hey Song.”

He has since helped the band grow from 15 to 40 members, and not only directs, but arranges songs. In addition, the band performed at every home football game this semester and was given official uniforms: red polo shirts, black windbreaker jackets, black hats and red Converse shoes.

Aside from his involvement in Chapman music groups, Vogel also participates in outside ensembles, such as the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. He plays almost every brass instrument, including French horn, trumpet and trombone, as well as guitar and drums. In addition to outside ensembles, he gives private lessons to students, and is the director of a student brass quintet.

“He thinks he’s super human and probably is on some level,” said Wachs. “But I don’t think he is suffering from [being too busy].”

Jessica Bogenreif, Vogel’s girlfriend, rarely sees him. They briefly see each other between football games on Saturdays, and rehearsals during the week. However, she is proud of everything he has accomplished.

“He goes for things people wouldn’t think he would achieve and he does,” said Bogenreif.

This determination showed before Vogel came to Chapman. In his hometown of Hisperia, Calif., many students from his high school stayed behind to attend community college. Vogel, however, went against the norm, and left to study at Chapman.

He initially wanted to come to Chapman because of the theater program. In high school, Vogel was very involved in student productions. He was almost offered the lead role in his school’s Shakespeare play. His teacher, however, denied him the part because Vogel had just taken a large role in the drum corps.

“That’s when I turned my brain on and kept auditioning [for music],” he said.

Music truly seems to be what Vogel excels at most. He has made tremendous progress as a musician, said Wachs.

“He is the least self conscious person I know in that he isn’t afraid to get out there,” said Wachs.

Because Vogel loves performing and teaching, he is not sure what he wants to do after graduation. He will, however, attend graduate school to get a higher degree in music. He may one day even return to Chapman.

“I’m a hard act to follow because I’m a nut,” said Vogel.

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