7th – 12th Grades for all except the Commerical Music Program, which is 9th – 12th Grades: Students in the Instrumental Music Conservatory take a wide variety of courses, including a four-year course of study in music theory and history. Students participate in programs based upon their specialty, including the Pianist Program, the String and Orchestra Program, the Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble program, the Guitar Program, and the Jazz and Commercial Music program. Student ensembles include Symphony Orchestra, the Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble, the Orpheus Guitar Ensemble, Ambassador Jazz Orchestra, Piano Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, Concert Band, Jazz Combos, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, and Chamber Music ensembles.
The Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble Program under Christopher Rountree offers a comprehensive wind studies education that allows students to enroll in master classes, work with an inspiring caliber of guest artists, and attend festivals and field trips. Recently, students have worked with composer, Frank Ticheli, conductor, H. Robert Reynolds, with Boston Symphony Principle Trombonist, Toby Oft, with Les Benedict of Hollywood Studios, and with saxophonist Harvey Pittel.
The award winning Symphony Orchestra performed at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, in summer 2008, and at Carnegie Hall in New York in spring, 2006 with regular conductor Christopher Russell. The orchestra has also worked with such internationally renowned guest conductors as Stéphane Denève and some of today’s foremost living composers such as Oscar winner Tan Dun and Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Stucky. The Symphony Orchestra’s debut CD on MMC Records is scheduled for released in 2009.
Performing groups and individuals from the Jazz and Commercial Music program have won several local and national awards, including the Reno Jazz Festival and the Spotlight Awards. Guest artists such as Bob Sheppard, Gary Foster, Ira Nepus, Bill Cunliffe, and Gilbert Castellanos, have all recently performed with the Ambassador Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Keith Fiddmont. Top musicians like Sal Lozano, Chuck Tumlison, and Ramon Banda, have eagerly conducted clinics for our talented students.
Solo pianists from the Pianist Program under Patricia Dobiesz have worked in piano master classes with nationally and internationally renowned educators and concert pianists, which have included Ingrid Fliter, Thomas J. Lymenstull, An Perry, Susan Svrcek, Christopher O’Riley, and Bill Cunliffe. Piano students may choose to participate in a classical or jazz focus curriculum.
Students in the Guitar Program under Vasil Chekardzhikov participate in regional and national guitar festivals, and work with professional guitarists and pedagogues such as Martha Masters, Roland Dyens, Miroslav Tadic, David Grimes, and Gregory Newton.