Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 7pm
Ronald Jones, Conductor
Ronald Jones has been Director of Orchestras at Port Angeles High School since 1975. His musical career ranges from symphonic performance to conducting and teaching. A native of Pasco, Washington, he holds a degree in music from Eastern Washington University and has done graduate work at Western Washington and Seattle Pacific universities. His involvement in educational reform includes participation in national projects such as Harvard University’s Reinventing America’s High Schools.
His teaching career includes teaching strings at all grade levels, leading an award-winning high school jazz band, and serving as the District Music Coordinator. He has conducted honor orchestras in Washington and Oregon, and has extensive experience as an adjudicator throughout the Northwest. He has served in leadership roles in several professional organizations, including the Washington Music Educators Association and the National School Orchestra Association.
He has received numerous local, state and national awards for his work as an educator, including three official Proclamations from the City of Port Angeles recognizing his work with the youth of Port Angeles and the accomplishments of his orchestras. He was honored by the Boy Scouts of America, named a “Real Hero” by the American Red Cross, and was a recipient of the 2014 Clallam County Community Service Award.
Mr. Jones was named the Outstanding Public School Music Teacher by the Washington chapter of ASTA with NSOA, the state Music Educator of the Year by WMEA/WIAA, and the Outstanding Music Educator Award by the National Federation Interscholastic Music Association, and is a member of the WMEA Hall of Fame.
Port Angeles High School Concert and Symphonic Orchestras
The Port Angeles High School Orchestra has been in existence for ninety-eight years, making it one of the oldest orchestra programs in the state. Nestled between the towering Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Port Angeles, Washington, is the gateway to Olympic National Park. Despite its relatively isolated location in the northwestern corner of Washington State, this small community of 18,000 has consistently encouraged its youth to participate in the arts. Over seven hundred students in grades four to twelve are participating in the strings program in the Port Angeles Schools this year. Currently there are three high school orchestras: a freshman Concert Orchestra, a Symphonic Orchestra, and a chamber group of sixteen selected students.
In addition to a regular schedule of six concerts per year, these groups travel throughout the Northwest to perform in a variety of contests and festivals. The Symphonic and Concert orchestras have won numerous awards at the state and regional levels. The Chamber Orchestra has won the large string ensemble division of the Washington State Ensemble Contest multiple times, and small ensembles and individuals have won their divisions as well.
In 2002 the Chamber Orchestra was one of nine international orchestras selected to perform at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, the first Washington orchestra in the 62-year history of the conference. Mark O’Connor, world-renowned fiddler, and Anthony Kearns, of the Irish Tenors, have performed with the orchestras on stage in Port Angeles.
Tonight’s concert is the eighth appearance in Carnegie Hall for Port Angeles High School orchestras since 1989. The continued enthusiasm of the community, parents, and students has enabled the orchestra to achieve this high level of performance.