2018 Program | View the 2018 Schedule | Read about the 2018 Clinicians

Category: Jazz Education

Yearly Jazz Music Clinics

The Reno Jazz Orchestra’s annual Jazz in the Schools event takes place each February in the Department of Music's prestigious Nightingale Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Reno. Each year, this all day event starts at 9am with jazz clinics presented throughout the day by nationally recognized guest clinicians from music departments and schools from around the country. There are also several clinics offered by members of the UNR Jazz Faculty. The clinicians critique each student group’s performance and then work with that group immediately after their performance to improve their jazz performance skills.  In years past there have been as many as twelve groups participating and performing on stage.

As part of the day's event, the Reno Jazz Orchestra performs on stage for a 45 minute concert at noon. A pizza lunch is provided at a nominal fee and afterwards the RJO performs a concert for the students and audience members featuring performances by UNR Jazz and Improvisational Music studies professors. Also offered is a jazz workshop for local educators.

In recent years, guest clinicians have included Tom Scott, GRAMMY award winning saxophonist and recording artist, Craig Faniani, former director of the award winning Rio Americano High School Band Program in Sacramento, John Davis, director of the Jazz Program at University of Colorado, Boulder, George Stone of Cuesta College San Luis Obispo, and Robert Knop of Cal State San Bernardino. Although not all UNR Jazz Faculty members participate each year, members include jazz pianist Adam Benjamin, M.F.A.; guitarist Joey Berger; guitarist Ed Corey, lecturer in music composition and theory; trumpet player Larry Engstrom, D.M.A., Director of the School of the Arts; saxophonist Peter Epstein, Director of Jazz Studies and associate professor of world music, jazz and improvisational music; string bassist Hans Halt; percussionist Andrew Heglund, D.M.A., associate professor of music theory and percussion; percussionist, Cody Remaklus, M.F.A. Not all UNR Jazz instructors participate each year.

This event is free and open to the public with no cost to the participating students or schools.   The event helps to prepare the school groups to compete in the annual Reno Jazz Festival and introduces them to the UNR campus, the Department of Music, and the UNR jazz faculty.


"[The students] get the best of both worlds. They get to perform in front of a bunch of people, their friends, other schools, and then they get to have feedback on their performance by some world class professionals."


Andrew Heglund, D.A.
Associate Professor, Music Theory, Percussion
Department of Music
University of Nevada, Reno

RJO's Intensive Mentor Program

This program takes place at participating schools throughout northern Nevada. During the first week of the program, the guest clinicians assist the school's music or band director in selecting compositions for the band to play. Each day a different clinician representing his or her area of expertise (brass, woodwinds, percussion, rhythm, bass, guitar, piano) attends the school's band rehearsal. Each day, the school's music or band director records the rehearsal after which the visiting clinician is invited to discuss insights, issues and theoretical points for the band members to consider. The guest clinician also gives instructions and assignments with specific goals for the next week's rehearsal.

In the second and third weeks the clinicians come to two rehearsals in pairs.  During these sessions the clinicians test the assignments and refine the issues addressed during the first week.

To complete the program and to measure the results of the sessions, the school music or band director records the band's concluding performances. These recordings are compared to the initial recordings, thereby allowing for educational discussions amongst the instructors and the students. 

If you are a jazz music or jazz band director working in the Washoe County School District (WCSD) and are interested in the Reno Jazz Orchestra's Mentor Program, please contact the RJO Board of Directors.

Special Guest: Bobby Shew

Born Albuquerque, NM. Started guitar at age eight but switched to trumpet at age ten. At age twelve, asked to play in a local “dance band” for weddings and dance gigs. Discovered improvisation at first rehearsal. The love affair with jazz started there and has become the driving force in Bobby’s life.

Spent summers after high school in New York City listening to the great jazz masters. Attended the first two years of Stan Kenton Summer Jazz Clinics in Bloomington , IND. In 1959 and 1960, where he was able to study under jazz greats Don Jacoby, Conte Candoli, Johnny Richards, Sam Donahue, John LaPorta, Shelly Manne, etc. Attended UNM for two years studying Architecture and Commercial Art. Drafted into Army, assigned as jazz soloist to NORAD BAND in Colorado Springs. After service, moved to NYC and joined Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, rooming and playing with legendary Charlie Shavers. After Dorsey, went to Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Si Zentner, Benny Goodman. Settled in Las Vegas for 7 years playing top show bands in casinos. Toured as lead trumpeter for Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Robert Goulet, Steve Allen, Paul Anka, Connie Stevens, and Tom Jones. In 1972,  moved to Los Angeles and became a first-call studio musician as well as continuing to play on big bands of Bill Holman, Bob Florence, Louie Bellson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Ed Shaughnessy, Bill Berry, Don Menza,  and Nat Pierce-Frank Capp Juggernaut. In addition, Bobby played and / or recorded with combos of Bud Shank, Horace Silver, Art Pepper, Carl Fontana, and his own highly regarded quintet and sextet.

Co-Designer / developer of SHEW model Yamaha 6310Z & 8310Z trumpets and 6310Z & 8310Z flugelhorns. Designer of SOLOIST mute, Yamaha SHEW series trumpet and flugelhorn mouthpieces as well as SHEW series mouthpieces for the Marcinkiewicz Company and for Kelly Mouthpieces ( Lexan  mouthpieces ).

Author of “ETUDES AND EXERCISES FOR JAZZ AND CLASSICAL PLAYER”  & “BASIC STUDY GUIDE FOR TRUMPET” .  Former Chairman for IAJE (16 years ) and ITG. Former Assoc. Professor of Trumpet at USC ( Los Angeles – 11 years ) , Cal. State Northridge-18 years ) Calif. Institute Of The Arts ( 3 years ) . Numerous Artist-in-Residencies world-wide in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, Canada, Austria.

  Elected into New Mexico Music Hall Of Fame. Numerous (3) Grammy nominations and 1982 Received Jazz Album Of The Year award from RIANZ ( New Zealand ).

In 2014 awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance and Education from the International Trumpet Guild as well as the Lifetime  Jazz LeJENd Award from the Jazz Educators Network. Also awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Event Information for Clinics

The Date:

  • Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Time:

  • Workshops: 9 AM to 5 PM

The Schedule: View the Workshop Schedule

The Place: Nightingale Concert Hall

  • Church Fine Arts
    1335 N. Virginia St.
    University of Nevada, Reno

The Participants:

  • All Washoe County School District (WCSD) high school and middle school jazz bands are invited to participate.
  • Throughout the day between 12 and 15 different jazz bands are invited to perform on stage at UNR's Nightingale Concert Hall. Each performance lasts between 20 and 25 minutes. Clinicians then provide immediate feedback to each group, followed by in-depth hands-on clinics.
  • Performances and workshops are open to the public. Public attendance is encouraged to help generate an atmosphere of live, on stage experience.

The Clinicians:

  • University of Nevada, Reno faculty Ralph Alessi, Ed Corey, Peter Epstein, Hans Halt, Andrew Heglund. Our invited clinicians are Paul Harshman, Steve Zenz, Mike McMullen with special guest, Bobby Dhew. Read More

The Audience:

  • Everyone with an interest in jazz music and jazz music education is invited to watch and listen.

Cost of Admission:

  • The educational workshop event is free and open to the public with no cost to the participating students or schools.
  • Pizza with refreshments is provided in the lobby of Church Fine Arts at a nominal fee.
  • The special concert event Sunday Afternoon, February 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM. You can purchase your tickets online or at the Nightingale Concert Hall Box Office on the day of the performance.
  • Information and tickets.

Celebrate keeping jazz young and vibrant by joining us in our annual Jazz in the Schools event!

Special Event!

Bobby Shew in Concert
with the Reno Jazz Orchestra

Afternoon Concert featuring Yamaha performing artist, Bobby Shew.

Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Online Ticketing

Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Nightingale Concert Hall 
University of Nevada 
1335 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV     89557


Jazz in the Schools and RJO logos