Reno Philharmonic Orchestra
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History and organizational facts
The Reno Philharmonic Association’s mission is to produce inspirational orchestral performances of the highest quality for broad audiences, support exceptional educational and outreach programs, and provide leadership in the performing arts community.
The orchestra, led by music director Laura Jackson, is made up of over 60 professional musicians. They perform in Reno, Carson Valley, and the Lake Tahoe Region in various outdoor and indoor venues. The popular MasterClassics Series is presented from September to April. The orchestra also presents over 10 specialty performances throughout the year from the holiday classic, Spirit of the Season to 4th of July in Genoa, Lake Tahoe Music Festival, and the perennially sold out Pops on the River.
Conductor Laura Jackson was named music director after the 2008-2009 audition season. The two-year search audition gained national recognition for its detailed process, the talented and diverse candidates, the use of technology to engage the community in the process, and the increases in ticket sales. Ms. Jackson's most recent prior post was Associate Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
The Reno Philharmonic Association also boasts an award-winning, impressive, and diverse education department, which includes three youth orchestras, a series of 12 “Young People’s Concerts” performed throughout the school year, “Celebrate Strings,” an after-school violin instruction program, and the “Discover Music” program, which brings music ensembles into schools. The education programs reach over 30,000 school-aged children per year and cover many areas of music and arts education that the school district does not have the resources to provide.
In 2009, the orchestra was recognized for its longevity and artistic merit by a Governor’s Arts Award for Leadership in the Arts. The orchestra has been named the “Best of Reno Award” by Reno Magazine in 2006 and “Best Performing Arts Group” in Reno nine times from 1991-2001 by Reno Gazette-Journal readers. The RPA has been honored to receive several Silver Star awards for education programs and concerts from Truckee Meadows Tomorrow for enhancing the quality of life in northern Nevada. In 2003, the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestras received a Best of Reno Award from the Reno News and Review.
Education Programs of the Reno Philharmonic Over the course of the past decade, the Reno Phil has provided music education, enrichment and exposure to thousands of Washoe County and greater Truckee Meadows region’s school children. As federal funds for music education in public schools continue to decrease and more attention is placed on academic testing, the Reno Philharmonic Association (RPA) is committed to growing and enhancing its programs in order to provide children ages 5-18 with the music education they deserve and need.
Young People’s Concerts With a strong commitment to building and expanding educational programs for students and young people of our region, the Reno Philharmonic currently presents 12 Young People’s Concerts for all third, fourth and fifth grade students of Washoe County School District and outlying area schools. As part of a comprehensive program, teachers and students are provided with study guides and recordings in advance to prepare them to fully appreciate the concert-going experience.
Discover Music The Discover Music Program consists of musical ensembles of two to five musicians, who travel to selected Washoe County and regional elementary schools to perform interactive child-friendly music programs. Ensembles for the 2009-2010 season include strings brass, harp/vibraphone, and percussion. These are designed to give elementary school children a close-up look at symphonic musicians, music, and instruments through performances, demos, and participatory activities.
Celebrate Strings The newest addition to our education programs, in its third year, Celebrate Strings provides free after-school violin instruction to underserved students at Bernice Mathews Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club, reaching more than 80 students with group lessons two to four days per week.
Youth Orchestras The mission of the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestras (RPYO) is to provide an exceptional orchestral experience where students learn, share and enjoy the performance of music to the benefit of the community. The Reno Philharmonic Association boasts three full high-level youth orchestras consisting of woodwind, brass, percussion, and string players between the ages of 12 to 18 from the greater Truckee Meadows region. The Youth Concert Orchestra (YCO) is a preparatory ensemble geared toward developing technical and performance skills. The Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) is composed of exceptional musicians seeking an additional challenge, performing advanced symphonic repertoire. Students from the YSO have gone on to perform with the Reno Philharmonic and other professional orchestras. The YCO and YSO are conducted by Dr. Jason Altieri, who also conducts the University of Nevada Reno Orchestra. In 2009, despite economic pressures, the Reno Philharmonic is introducing a new strings-only ensemble, the Youth Strings Symphonia (YSS), in partnership with the Washoe County School District. The YSS, conducted by Carol Laube, was established to serve the abundance of young string players in our community in grades 4-8.
Vision, mission, and goals
Vision The Reno Philharmonic is recognized as a significant contributor to the artistic, educational, social, and civic enrichment of the region’s quality of life. Mission To produce inspirational orchestral performances of the highest quality for broad audiences, support exceptional educational and outreach programs, and provide leadership in the performing arts community. Goals • Produce orchestral programs of the highest quality
• Support exceptional educational and outreach programs
• Attract and retain larger and more diverse audiences and participants
• Lead and support the performing arts in the community
• Ensure a stable and sustainable financial position
Chronology of music directors
- Reno Philharmonic Annual Report, 2007–2008