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 for 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 an incredible growth in our area’s jazz ensembles that continue to participate in our mentor program.

For more information or to sign up your ensemble, contact Nichole Heglund at