93.1 F

Jazz returns to the stage… with challenges (commentary)


Submitted by Chuck Reider, Reno Jazz Orchestra

The joys and trials of live music were on display for our two planned concerts with Grammy award winning jazz artist Diane Schuur.

First, the joys.

Doug Coomler conducted the Reno Jazz Orchestra through rehearsals and the August 22concert at University of Nevada’s Nightingale Hall. This was Schuur’s first performance in a year-and-a-half and she was nervous during rehearsal. The concert was a different story, as she came alive and the RJO was up to meeting the energy she radiated. Both thrilled the audience, who gave her and the RJO a rousing standing ovation at the end.  

Because the event was indoors, the audience was required to wear masks. The musicians were not when performing. Thanks for that, as we would have had to cancel the concert. I want to thank Rich Norris and all his staff at Nightingale Hall who are wonderful hosts providing an inviting space to perform.

We experienced the trials at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Monday night series the following night. With smoke engulfing Lake Tahoe we had to make an early Monday morning decision on whether to cancel. The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival organization used a 200 AQI level as a threshold to cancel their performances. That day it was over four hundred so the decision, though disappointing, was made to cancel for the safety of the audience and staff. 

At 10 a.m. RJO staff met online to discuss notifications, especially to the ticketholders.  In addition, the RJO had teamed with Chase International to host a pre-event at the pavilion at Sand Harbor. With the caterer already preparing the food we really did not want to just throw it out. What to do?  

By 11 a.m. the team had developed a webform for ticketholders for handling refunds and ticket donations. That was sent to the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival to include in their email notice to patrons. The food was donated to the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District in Incline Village, a small thank you. 

Catered meals for the Reno Jazz Orchestra’s VIP event at Sand Harbor (canceled due to wildfire smoke) was donated to North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District as a thank you for their hard work. Image: provided by RJO

I can’t thank staff enough for great teamwork under a pressure situation! 

Making lemonade out of lemons. Schuur was so thrilled by the RJO and disappointed by the cancellation she has offered to return for a performance at no extra fee! Hey maybe for February’s Jazz in the Schools.

Chuck Reider is the Executive Director of the Reno Jazz Orchestra

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.