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Employment Opportunity

The Reno Jazz Orchestra (RJO) is seeking an accomplished musician with diverse musical tastes to serve as Music Director/Conductor. The ideal candidate will have a track record of leading and building jazz programs, as well as experience working with youth in a musical context. We are looking for an inspiring leader who can build relationships with the members of the orchestra and throughout the community.

This part-time position reports to the board of directors and supervises the personnel manager and the Orchestra's musicians. Applications are open until filled, with priority given to those who submit by August 15, 2023.

Here are the details:

  • Position: Music Director/Conductor
  • Closes: Open until filled, priority to applicants who submit by August 15, 2023
  • Employment Status: Part-time, exempt
  • Reports to: Board of Directors
  • Supervises: Personnel Manager, Musicians


Our Vision: The RJO inspires, connects, and unites the community of northern Nevada and the region through locally produced professional jazz orchestra concerts and education programs.

Our Mission: To build a greater appreciation of jazz in Northern Nevada by providing outstanding jazz orchestra concerts, promoting the artistry of Reno Jazz Orchestra musicians through a variety of performance opportunities, and by providing jazz education programs.

The Reno Jazz Orchestra is a 17-piece contemporary big band based in Northern Nevada. The band was formed in 1997 by musicians who performed with acts such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Natalie Cole in the casino showroom orchestras. Currently, the band is comprised of highly skilled veteran musicians as well as graduates from UNR's jazz program, and has recently featured such guest artists as Kurt Elling, Patti Austin, Ernie Watts, and Dianne Schuur. The RJO has recorded five albums with a sixth to be released later this year. The RJO typically presents approximately six stand-alone concerts each year and is engaged to perform for other organizations for a similar number of concerts. In addition to performances by the Jazz Orchestra in Reno and at Lake Tahoe, the RJO manages extensive education programs including the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra, the "Jazz in the Schools" event, jazz mentors and private lessons. Following a stellar 27 years, founding Executive and Music Director Charles "Chuck" Reider has decided it is time to step down from his position. The Board has hired Tim Young to serve as Executive Director and is now seeking to fill the Music Director/Conductor role.

Position Summary

The Music Director/Conductor of the RJO is responsible for all aspects of the Artistic Affairs of the RJO and its performance programs and is engaged with the education program. It is envisaged that for greatest effectiveness the RJO Music Director would reside in Reno, NV. However, the search committee is open to candidates living elsewhere who could commit to travel to northern Nevada to perform the roles and responsibilities described below.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Rehearsals and Performance
    • Conduct RJO rehearsals and concerts as required.
    • Be prepared for rehearsal and performances through stylistic research, score study, and recordings.
    • Refine rehearsal schedule to efficiently accommodate the availability of musicians.
    • Determine what needs to be rehearsed and arrange schedule of what work is to be accomplished during each rehearsal.
  • Programming
    • Responsible for all programming
    • Solicit input from band members, audience and general public on potential repertoire.
    • In conjunction with the ED, prepare an annual program for Board approval.
  • Selection of Guest Artists
    • In conjunction with the ED, select guest artists suitable for the identified performances for approval by the Board.
  • Contracting RJO Musicians
    • Work with the ED and Personnel Manager to identify appropriate musicians for each performance.
  • Logistics
    • Work with Event Coordinator and ED to develop a vision for each performance and ensure that rehearsals and concerts are properly coordinated.
  • Education
    • Work with the Education Coordinator and ED to develop an annual education program for Board approval to ensure successful implementation.
    • Develop working relationships with local and regional music educators to encourage cross-communication and support common artistic goals.
    • Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra tasks to be determined.
  • Community Relations
    • Communicate the goals and objectives of the RJO effectively to donors, volunteers, other arts organizations, as well as public and private agencies. When requested, participate in meetings with potential donors with the ED, Marketing and Development Director, and/or Board President to encourage financial support for the organization from the community.

Traits and Characteristics

The Reno Jazz Orchestra Music Director and Conductor will be an accomplished musician with diverse musical tastes. They will have the ability to build relationships with the members of the orchestra as well as throughout the community. They will either have already established a presence in northern Nevada or be willing to invest time to do so. They will be organized and effective communicators. Overall, they will be able to inspire the jazz community with strong and visionary leadership.

Qualifications, Education and Experience

The successful candidate will have a track record of Jazz Orchestra conducting experience, and of building jazz programs. They will also have experience in working with youth, in either an academic institution or through educational programs. A mastery of at least one instrument, and skills in composition or arrangement would be appreciated.

Compensation and Benefits

The starting salary for this part-time position will be between $10,000 and $30,000 commensurate with the extent of involvement with RJO community development and education programs, especially the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Application Requirements

The RJO is committed to a diverse and inclusive working environment. The RJO is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, protected veteran status, age, gender, gender identity, or other legally protected status. Please email cover letter describing qualifications, resume, and three references to RJO Music Director Search Committee at No phone calls please.