The Reno Jazz Orchestra's Educational Programs

RJO's Mentor Program

Open to Jazz Music & Jazz Band Directors in the Washoe County School District

Each semester the RJO works with a dozen schools in the Northern Nevada area and provides jazz mentors to work with their jazz ensembles at no cost. Each school is assigned 2 mentors that visit a total of 6-8 times. In return, the ensembles are asked to perform at our Jazz in the Schools event and the Reno Jazz Festival. The director submits a pre-recording and a post-recording to show the ensemble’s growth.

Having the mentors attend rehearsals allows the ensemble to get additional feedback, work on improvisation and practice techniques and receive instrument-specific guidance. Mentors also work with directors to assist in picking charts and running sectionals. We have seen incredible growth in our area’s jazz ensembles that continue to participate in our mentor program.

For more information, contact Nichole Heglund at

Fall 2022 Mentor Schools

  • Alder Creek Middle School
  • Billinghurst Middle School
  • Carson High School
  • Depoali Middle School
  • Desert Skies Middle School
  • Herz Middle School
  • McQueen High School Eclectic Orchestra
  • Reno High School
  • Sky Ranch Middle School
  • Truckee High School

Meet the Mentors for Fall 2022

Tap the names or images for details

Help Support the RJO's Mentor Program

Sponsor a school semester (8 sessions): $1,000

If you are interested in sponsoring the 8 session school semester, please email Chuck Reider or call 775-372-6160 to get acquainted.

You can donate online for the following levels:

Sponsor a Mentor for a semester: $500

Sponsor an online masterclass: $250

Sponsor one mentor session: $150

For more information on sponsorships, please contact Chuck Reider, RJO President at or call 775-372-6160.