Smith: Santa Rosa Junior College Jazz Band triumphs at Reno Jazz Festival

Twenty-six musicians in the SRJC Jazz Band are back from a big-deal competition in Reno and allowing their instruments to cool.

The band triumphed at the weekend’s Reno Jazz Festival, finishing first among California community college bands and second among all of the competing two-year-college bands.

As far as Director Jerome Fleg can tell, this was the highest the SRJC jazz band has ever scored in the large and acclaimed festival at the University of Nevada, Reno.

And, Jerome swears, “We are just getting warmed up!”


HAVE TRUMPET, will travel.

It’s fairly astonishing that 15-year-old David Green, who’s played trumpet with the Santa Rosa Symphony’s various youth ensembles since he was 10, has been selected by Carnegie Hall to train and perform this summer with a hugely prestigious, nationwide teen orchestra.

Because this is the second year in a row David made the cut for the National Youth Orchestra 2.

He’s the son of Sonoma County physicians Don and Cherie Green, and can he play a trumpet. David is one of only four American trumpeters aged 14 to 17 to be accepted into this summer’s NYO2 program.

He and the teens will play alongside Philadelphia Orchestra musicians at Philly’s Verizon Hall, and, ultimately, Carnegie Hall. David, a member of Santa Rosa Symphony’s Youth Orchestra, aspires to become the principal trumpet player in the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


THIS NEW HORN: A second Youth Orchestra player, 16-year-old Nick Hidy of Sebastopol, is becoming familiar with the gift of a lifetime.

Nick is the winner of the largest donation ever given to the Santa Rosa Symphony - $15,000 - for the purchase of an instrument for a member of the Youth Orchestra.

The money from Ken Stults and the Stults Family Instrument Scholarship allowed Nick to buy what he’s calling the Ferrari of French horns: a Wichita Band Instrument New Alexander 200MAL double horn.

“It’s wonderul,” Nick said. “It projects and it sings.”

Nick regards also as wonderful his teacher, Daniel-Gianola Norris, who, by the way, has long taught David Green, too.


THIS LAST ARTIST is not a musician but the primary designer and builder of many of the towering, majestic temples that have been erected at Burning Man and, on the last night of the desert festival, burned to the ground.

David Best lives outside of Petaluma and is known internationally for his eight ephemeral Burning Man temples and other grand pieces he has created around the world.

On the evening of May 18, Best will share stories - he’s got lots of them - at the art-friendly Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa. Tickets are available at

As a guest of the Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation, Best will share images of many of his works, including a preview of the commission he received from the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in D.C.

There will be wine and appetizers, and an opportunity to see and touch Best’s first permanent steel structure, his 34-foot-high Temple of Remembrance. It resides there at the winery.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette