The Reno Jazz Orchestra's Educational Programs

RJO's Mentor Program

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

Open to Music Programs in Northern Nevada and Northern California.

Each semester the RJO partners with several schools in the Northern Nevada/Northern California area and provides additional jazz instructors to work with their jazz ensembles at no cost. Each school is assigned 2 mentors and a total of 8 sessions per semester.

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

All partnering schools are asked to perform at our annual Jazz in the Schools event held in February and at the Reno Jazz Festival. The director also submits a pre-recording and a post-recording to show the ensemble’s growth and students, directors and mentors provide feedback to help us improve the program each semester.

For more information, contact Nichole Heglund at

Spring 2023 Mentor Schools

  • Billinghurst Middle School
  • Carson High School
  • Depoali Middle School
  • Desert Skies Middle School
  • Incline High School
  • Jazz Academy of Spanish Springs
  • McQueen High School Eclectic Orchestra
  • Mendive Middle School
  • Reno High School
  • Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra

Meet the Mentors

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.