A Year Full of Joy
by Chuck Reider, Board President of the Reno Jazz Orchestra
Ten years ago at the 2013 Reno Jazz Orchestra board retreat, I brought forward the need for succession in case something happened to me. I am happy to say I am still here, but much has changed in the RJO thanks to the hard work of the board, staff, and band. Since this is the season of thanks and sharing, I want to give a shoutout to all the folks who are the RJO.
Lee Koch, our Marketing and Program Director, joined us in 2014. She has been a key factor in growing RJO recognition in our community. She has recently moved to Montana but continues her work with us.
Our Webmaster and graphic artist Danne Polk also joined us in 2014.
Executive Director, Tim Young, joined us this past spring and has jumped right in working with staff, donors, band, and board. A welcome addition!
A big event this year was the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra (RYJO) coming under the wing of the RJO. Karen and Vern Scarbrough began RYJO in 2006 and will continue as the executive and music director respectively.
Our education director, grant writer, and band manager (she can do it all!) Nichole Heglund, has been expanding our education outreach for several years. Next year I will focus an article on all the great work she is doing.
Diana Stewart is our event manager and has been outstanding making sure everything is just right for our concerts, from logistics to food and beverage, and working with all our volunteers.
One of our newest staff members is social media manager Alana Ridge. She works with Lee Koch in planning social media and then posting at the right time.
Here are a few highlights of events they put together this past year:
December 3 Holiday Concert featuring vocalist Cliff Porter, our second director candidate
Doug Pierce, RYJO, and of course the band.
November 11 and 12
Such Sweet Thunder, paying tribute to two great contributors to the arts Jim and Mary Ann Kidder.
October 21 at the Nevada Museum of Art
Next-New Directions a culmination of a recording project of all original material.
Check it out here:
The great saxophonist Tom Scott performed with us on a chilly Sand Harbor night in August.
We revisited the swing/dance craze of the 1930s with Hot House, One Night at the Savoy Ballroom.
And… how about that band!
Thank all of you who are a part of the RJO, we love you madly and I am looking forward to 2024.
Happy Holidays to all,
Chuck Reider is the RJO Board President