Laura strives to bring the symphony's musicians and community together around important historical and artistic events, organizing special projects that leverage history to inspire orchestral music to speak more deeply and broadly to every day life.


Celebrating The Transcontinental Railroad's 150th Anniversary 
with Composer Zhou Tian & The Reno Philharmonic #RenoPhil50

Laura Jackson and Composer Zhou TianThe 2018-19 season marks the Reno Phil’s 50th anniversary and I have chosen as a pinnacle project of the season to celebrate the birth of the city of Reno as well as that of the orchestra. We are commissioning a new symphonic work by Grammy-nominated composer Zhou Tian to commemorate the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad which is not coincidentally celebrating a major anniversary this year—150 years.  It has been enormously gratifying to witness the enthusiasm, pride, creativity and investment of the Reno community around the celebration of an historic event so seminal to the birth of the city. Our collaborations will include partnerships with seven orchestras including the Utah Symphony and Chicago Youth Symphony, local and national historical organizations such as  the Nevada Historical Society and the National Railroad Hall of Fame, plus a PBS television documentary on the project by KNPB—Arteffects.

Tomorrow's Voices Today
I am constantly on the lookout for new musical voices that speak to me about our world and who I think will excite my audiences. This season I have personally commissioned two up-and-coming composers to create new works for orchestra and partnered with other ensembles to bring their music to audiences across the nation.

• Composer Carlos Simon is orchestrating his symphonic band piece Amen! for the Reno Philharmonic. It will premiere on January 12 & 13, 209 as part of the Reno Philharmonic's Classix Three: Unexpected Evolution concert set. Future performances will be undertaking by my co-commissioning to be announced soon.

• On the same concert, Davidson Institute Fellow Ellis Hamilton, a jazz saxophonist and student at the Berklee College of Music, will premiere a new orchestral arrangement of his jazz tune "Possibilities" for orchestra and Time for Three. 

Play for a Day 
Musicians of all ability levels are invited to join me and the Reno Philharmonic in concert on January 6, 2019. We will rehearse and perform a concert at Reno's Pioneer Center, the Reno Philharmonic's home venue. Works to be performed in this special community side-by-side concert include music by Bizet, Grieg, Rossini, and Sousa (among others). We will use special musical arrangements that integrate parts for performers of all skill levels. If you play and orchestral instrument and read music, we want you to be a part of this new program! (More details soon...)


Chesapeake: Summer of 1814
Reno Philharmonic Orchestra commission, premiered 2013

Celebration of the 200th anniversary of the writing of the United States national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner, with the Reno Philharmonic chorus. Premiered a year in advance of the anniversary, the Reno Philharmonic performed the work in September 14, 2014, two hundred years to the day after poet Francis Scott Key gave witness to the flag proudly waving above Baltimore's Fort McHenry after a 25-hour British attack. The work featured the Reno Philharmonic Chorus with visual design by artist Anne Patterson, casting the singers as members of the American and British forces. (Click here for more information.)

Home Means Nevada
Nevada state song by Bertha Raffetto (1932); arranged by David Bugli
Reno Philharmonic Commission for 150th anniversary of Nevada statehood
Click here for free scores; click here for audio recordings.
Instructions from composer David Bugli.
In collaboration with Carson City composer David Bugli, Laura and the Reno Philharmonic led a statewide effort to perform the Nevada state song—Home Means Nevada—by creating the first-ever orchestral arrangement and working with educators across the state on a collaborative live performance.

Sean Shepherd Commissions
by Composer Sean Shepherd
Reno Philharmonic Orchestra commissions

Laura beat the New York Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra, by being the first to commission Reno native Sean Shepherd to write two pieces for his home town orchestra—Silvery Rills and the tone poem Desert Garden. Sean grew up in Reno and played in both the Reno Philharmonic's youth orchestra program and later in the professional group. His compositions paid homage to his home and home state in two deeply personal and dramatic compositions. 
<July 2019>

Become a Fan

Become a fan of Laura Jackson to hear about new music, videos, event info & special offers.

Header Photo

Credit: Jeff Dow