The Youth Program will begin with an orientation meeting on Tuesday September 3rd at Steinway Gallery in Reno at 5pm. The youth program will meet on Tuesdays beginning September 10th at Steinway Gallery in Reno from 5-7pm.
Rhonda LaFountaine, Director
Rhonda graduated with highest honors from the University of Idaho with 3 degrees: an M.S. in Child Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Guidance and Counseling, a B.S. in Elementary Education, with a minor in Science, and a B.S. in Child Development. She is a certified specialist in Gifted and Talented Education K-12 and has a K-8 Teaching Certificate. Rhonda has performed in a wide span of dramatic, musical theatre, and operatic roles with Nevada Shakespeare Company, Nevada Opera, Nevada Repertory, TMCC Theatre, Circles of Light Productions, and others. Over the years, Rhonda has had extensive vocal training with Ted Puffer, Jon Fay, & Helen Lee. Rhonda spent time last year volunteering with High School Students. She was the Acting and Vocal coach for the students competing in the Regional and State Thespian Festival. Eleven of those students received “superior” ratings and went on to the International Thespian Festival to compete last June. With her educational background and her extensive performance experience, Rhonda brings the skills and talent necessary to create the premier training program for the youth in our surrounding areas.
Neal Long, Pianist
Neal D. Long is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and holds a degree in Piano Performance (BM). He studies piano with Dr. James Winn and has served as accompanist for several organizations and artists throughout Northern Nevada and California. Neal is the pianist at South Reno United Methodist Church and enjoys teaching at Western Nevada College and the University of Nevada, Reno. In the summer of 2013, he was invited to participate in the Saarburger Serenaden International Music Festival in Germany. Neal joined Nevada Opera over 13 years ago as a member of the youth chorus and has since worked with the company in multiple capacities including adult chorus member of P’Opera, accompanist, music director, and tenor soloist. Neal’s experience in the NVO youth program is a great strength as he has an understanding of the feelings these young performers may have as they begin their musical journey and will be an example to them of what can be if they stick to it.