The Reno Jazz Orchestra's Educational Programs

RJO's Lessons Program

 logos of City of Reno, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and EL Cord foundation

Piloted in the Spring of 2022, the lessons program is an RJO outreach program for low-income schools with band programs in Northern Nevada. The purpose is to offer lessons and small-group instruction for band students who are not able to afford lessons. Many of these schools have highly motivated students who would like to improve but do not have access to small group or individual instruction. The RJO hires instructors from the community who are music educators as well as music education majors at the university. The instructors work with the band director to address the needs of the students and help students improve their instrument technique and overall music knowledge. The goal is to have these motivated students continue in music with a better opportunity to participate in high level ensembles in the community, in their school districts and other RJO education offerings.

For more information, contact Nichole Heglund at

About RJO Education Programs

Our mission is to build a greater appreciation of jazz in Northern Nevada by providing outstanding big band performances, promoting the artistry of Reno Jazz Orchestra musicians through a variety of ensembles, and supporting jazz education through a mentorship program in middle schools, high schools, and colleges.

Since 2000, RJO has been providing educational opportunities for Northern Nevada/Northern California students. The annual Jazz in the Schools event helps ensembles improve their skills with feedback from nationally recognized clinicians. The Mentor Program provides additional jazz instructors to schools to help ensembles with improvisation and jazz style. Both of these programs are provided at no cost to students and are funded by grants and donations. The Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra is an auditioned community group that focuses on performances and rehearses once per week. The Jazz Workshop is offered in the spring and fall semesters. The 9 week program helps students learn jazz standards, improvise and perform in a small group setting.