Heather Turk-Fiecoat has played piccolo in the RWS since its inception. Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, Heather was a member of the Texas All-State Band as well as first flute/piccolo for the McDonalds All-American Band.
She began playing flute and piccolo professionally while still in high school with the Amarillo Symphony, Randall Chamber Orchestra, and Amarillo Opera. Her training was supplemented by attending the Aspen Music Festival and School.
After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance and Music Business as well as her Master of Business Administration degree from West Texas A&M University, Heather worked in arts administration as the Manager of the Amarillo Youth Symphony and Education Director of Amarillo Opera. She also served as a founding board member of the Amarillo Wind Ensemble. In 2001, Heather moved to Nevada and began work at the University of Nevada, Reno where she earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration and now serves as the University Registrar. Heather enjoys spending time with her young twins, Daniel and Katie.
Catalina Familia plays the Violin, Cello, Classical Guitar, Flute and Piccolo and has over 50 years of experience as a musician. She is a professional Accountant, Strategist & Financial Consultant. She has been performing since age 7 through Grade School, High School, College with Nogales High School Marching Band, Fullerton College, Orange Coast Community College, Santa Ana Winds Marching Band, and Symphony of Northern Virginia.
She served as Executive President for the Etiwanda High School Marching Eagle Regiment under the direction of Donald Jaramillo from 1998-2006. She was also a Booster Parent for Pacific Crest Drum Corp from 2002-2004. She received her Bachelor in Business Administration and Management degree working for 3 Fortune 500 Companies in California, and for the past 12 years at the National Energy Marketers Association in Washington DC serving the USA with Energy Choice opportunities.
She was a single parent raising 5 children through college and proud Mother of Ronald Eichstedt, Director of Bands at Edward C Reed High School. Her favorite quote is “Opportunity is for those that seize the day!”
Sarah Elizabeth Bell
Flutist Sarah Bell joined the Reno Wind Symphony in September 2015. Sarah began her musical instruction in both piano and flute at age 10. Sarah was a flutist in the Centralia High School marching and concert band in Centralia, IL from 1996- 1999. Sarah was named first chair her senior year of high school. She participated in solo and ensemble contests and played in recitals each year. She went on to play flute in the Lake Forest College Orchestra and continued her musical instruction in flute throughout her college years. She received a Minor in Music in 2003 from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL.
On and off throughout her musical career she played in various ensembles. Prior to joining the Reno Wind Symphony, she was a member of the Memphis Wind Symphony, previously called the Rivercity Concert Band, in Memphis, TN. She was a member of this ensemble for 4 years.
Elena Butcher was born in The Netherlands and immigrated to the United States at the age of ten. She started playing the flute when she was 12 years old at MacArthur Middle School in Maryland. She moved to the northern Nevada area in 1996, where she also learned to play the alto and tenor saxophone in the Jazz band at Dayton High School. She played in solo and ensemble festivals and made the honor band each year in high school.
After graduating from Dayton High School in 1999, she returned to The Netherlands, and joined the Harmonie Orkest Concordia Treebeek.
She moved back to Northern Nevada in 2006, but took a break from music for a few years. In 2012 she joined the Capitol City Community Band, and performed with that band for 6 years before joining the Reno Wind Symphony in 2018.
When she is not working or playing music, she likes to spend time with her husband John and her two young children, Henry and Evelyn. They like to go to the playground, and enjoy hiking, swimming and camping.
Flutist Kristina Côté joined the Reno Wind Symphony in 2009. Ms. Côté began her musical instruction through the public school system at age 10 and earned principal chair with the Conejo Youth Symphony Orchestra during her senior year of high school.
After graduating in 1987 from Royal High School in Simi Valley, California, she attended California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where she studied flute performance with Arthur Hoberman, and was a member of the Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony under the direction of Dr. David Whitwell and Gary Pratt. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance, Ms. Côté completed two additional years in music education and was awarded the Student Teacher of the Year award upon completion of the program.
She holds music teaching licenses both in California and Nevada, and has taught music at the elementary and middle school levels at the Hueneme and Washoe School District. She earned a Master of Education in Technology in 2001. Ms. Côté spent several years teaching early childhood music and movement programs at Step Into Music in Reno, NV and has certifications both in Kindermusik and Musikgarten curricula. Currently, Ms. Côté is employed at the Nevada Department of Education, working under the Title I program.
Beth Freemont began a life-long love of music with piano lessons at age 8 and violin lessons at age 9 with her mother. She added flute studies when she was 11 with a school band director. She was accompanist for junior high chorus students. Beth also sang in junior and senior high school choruses. She attended music camp in Laramie, Wyoming.
Beth Freemont joined the Reno Wind Symphony as a flutist in 2008. She began piano lessons at an early age and added violin, flute and piccolo. She is a long-time resident of Reno, Nevada. At the University of Nevada, she studied flute with Dr. Catharine Smith and piano with Dr. Ronald Williams. Beth studied with other area flutists, Suzanna Watling and Grace Langfeldt. Beth belonged to other groups in Northern Nevada, the Sierra Wind Ensemble and the Reno Municipal Band. She is employed at AT&T Nevada as an Engineering Administrator. She and her husband, Curtis Freemont, also a musician share their home with two cats, Otto and Patches.
Oboe/English hornist Sharol Brailey Thomsen has been a member of The Reno Wind Symphony since 2015. She began her musical training at age 10. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Nebraska and continued her studies to obtain her bachelors in hospitality management from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and her masters of business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Sharol also holds a Mouseter’s Degree in business and her Ducktorate Degree in Studio Production from Disney University, earned while completing her internship through the College Program at Walt Disney World. Prior to moving to Reno, she was a 7- year member and section leader of the UNLV Community Concert Band. She also performs with the Reno Municipal Band and the National Community Band – a project of the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
Miguel Gonzalez is a medical student at UNR School of Medicine. Miguel is a clarinet, saxophone and snare drum player who began his journey in 2005. Miguel has performed in the Clark County Sousa Band, CCSD Honor Band, and Nevada All State Band. During his senior year Miguel made CCSD honor band on five instruments and played as principal clarinetist.
Miguel went on to complete a Bachelors in Preprofessional Biology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. During this time, he performed with various ensembles at UNLV including the marching band, community band, and symphonic wind group. Miguel also competed on snare drum with Vegas Vanguard. He also has performed in numerous world-famous nightclubs on the Las Vegas Strip. Throughout this time Miguel was also a percussion instructor, percussion director, and music and drill writer at various Las Vegas programs.
Miguel moved on to begin medical school at UNR School of Medicine in 2018 where he aspires to be an orthopaedic surgeon after completing medical school. During his time in Reno Miguel has been a percussion and woodwind instructor and has performed with the UNR Wolfpack Band on snare drum, at the BBMAs with Vegas Vanguard, and now as a clarinet player with the Reno Wind Symphony.
Jim Heller grew up in San Diego where he matriculated to San Diego State University after graduating from high school. Though a piano major, he also played saxophone and clarinet in various university ensembles and sang in choral groups. Ultimately, his passion for teaching led him to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education.
Later moving to San Bernardino County, he completed requirements for a California Teaching Credential at California State University San Bernardino and embarked on a 24 year career teaching music in public schools. During his career, Jim also found time to earn a Master of Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting from Southern Oregon University that served him well in his profession.
After retiring, he and his wife Helen relocated to Reno where he continues to teach and perform as a pianist, instrumentalist and vocalist. He has been a member of the Reno Wind Symphony since 2012, and also plays in the Reno Municipal Band.
Patricia has been a clarinetist with the Reno Wind Symphony since the group originated. Growing up in Sparks, she was very fortunate to take advantage of the phenomenal music programs in Washoe County where she developed her love for music. After graduating from Reed High School, she went on to pursue a degree in Music Education at the University of Nevada, graduating with honors in May 1998. Patricia taught band and choir at Mendive Middle School from 1998-2004 and loved every minute of it. Her life took another direction from 2004-2010 when she took the hardest job of her life, stay at home mom.
In 2010, Patricia bought local music company, Step Into Music that teaches early childhood music classes to children. In 2018, she sold the company to fellow RWS member, Steven Alberti.
In 2019, Patricia returned to her true passion, teaching middle school band. She teaches over 300 students grades 6-8 at Sky Ranch Middle School. She says, “My love for middle school music is because of my amazing middle school band teacher, Earline McGrannahan. I try everyday to give my students the same passion for music that she gave me.”
With her husband Todd, they are raising little musicians. Emily plays percussion and bassoon and Lexi plays the French Horn.
Randy Humphreys has a masters of music from UNR 2015, and is a retired band director from California. He currently works as an adjunct music professor at Sierra College in Truckee CA. He also teaches skiing at Palisades Tahoe at the Alpine Meadows base area.
Randy has played with many performing groups in the Reno-Tahoe area over the years, including the Reno Wind Symphony, Toccata, and the Western Nevada Community Theater Company. Randy has a wide range of musical interests and has also performed in small clarinet groups, jazz bands, and Dixieland bands throughout the years. He currently lives in Truckee with his wife, and a few animals!
Earline McGrannahan graduated from Utah State University where she studied with Max Dalby, William Ramsey and Dean Madsen. She was honored as the Nevada Music Educator of the Year in 2000.
She began her teaching career in Melbourne, Australia where she designed, developed and initiated music programs in multiple high schools. In the Reno area, she taught band, choir, jazz band, music appreciation and guitar before retiring after 25 years. Her bands and choirs received numerous awards and invitations to perform. Her award winning Reno High School Marching Band was invited to and performed in the New Years Day Parade in London, England.
Since her retirement from the district she was the primary care giver to two of her grand children. While they were young she worked as an instructor with ‘Step into Music’ teaching music to children 18 months to 3 years old.
Earline presently performs as a clarinetist with the Reno Wind Symphony and the RWS woodwind quintet. She has been invited to perform with the Reno Pops Orchestra, The Ruby Mountain Symphony and the Pinkerton Nutcracker Ballet orchestra. She also performs with and produces practice recordings for the Nevada Gay Men’s Chorus. She is in her 13th year as music faculty at Truckee Meadows Community College. More than anything else, Earline loves being Nana to Owen, Kaili, Emi, Gage and Gracy.
Melissa joined the Reno Wind Symphony in November 2017 after moving back to the Reno area with her husband, Grady McGrannahan and their daughter, Frances Grace. She began playing the clarinet in the 6th grade, and continued to play throughout high school and college. After graduation, Melissa continued to
play her clarinet at Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) concerts in Des Moines, Iowa. She also sang in the SAI Des Moines Alumnae women’s vocal ensemble, The Singing Grannies.
Melissa grew up in Reno, and graduated from Robert McQueen High School. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2002 with the Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Linguistics with a minor in music. She went back to the university in 2007, completing degrees in Chemistry and Secondary Education at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Melissa currently teaches Biology and Physical Science at Galena High School.
Christine Prater joined The Reno Wind Symphony in the fall of 2007. She began playing the clarinet when she was eleven years old and continued to play throughout her sophomore year at Diablo Valley College where she studied with Ernest Thompson.
Music was put on hold for a while due to marriage and raising children. However, she soon returned to music and began studying with Robert Borbeck. She also continued her education at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in English Literature. After graduating, she began a long career of teaching English and Spanish at Virginia City High School and also taught private Clarinet lessons.
Prior to joining the RWS, she played with the Carson City Symphony, the Elko Symphony, The Western Nevada Community Theater Orchestra, and the Reno Municipal Band.
Nica has played the clarinet with RWS since 2008. She grew up in the Reno area having attended Reno HS and University of Nevada, Reno. She was the drum major for the UNR Pride of the Sierras Band in 2001 and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelors in Science Biology Degree. She returned back to school to get her second degree in Nursing, and she is currently working as an RN, and has been with Renown Regional Medical Center for over 15 years.
She is currently working on her MSN-DNP degree in hopes to open up her own practice someday. She currently is the acting music director for the FAANN (Filipino American Alliance of Northern Nevada) and conducts the choir at St. Albert Church. She is married to an Air Force Veteran who is currently working at the NV Air National Guard, a mom to a little boy named Gavin, and also a mom to two fur babies named Buster and Boomer.
Hannah grew up in Truckee, CA where she began playing clarinet in fourth grade. After
graduating from Truckee High School, she went on to study food science at Fresno State
University where she played under the baton of Dr. Gary P. Gilroy in the Fresno State Wind
Orchestra, while also playing in the marching band and basketball pep band. After college, she
played for Dr. Gilroy once again with the newly formed Wind Symphony of Clovis for two
seasons, ending her time with the group with a performance at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL
in December 2018.
Hannah moved to Reno in December 2018 to be closer to her family and hometown. She is
extremely happy to be back in the mountains and snow and is very excited to be a part of the
Reno Wind Symphony!
Marianne Foster has been a member of the Reno Wind Symphony since 2008; she took a brief hiatus from 2015-2022 while she lived in Rhode Island.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno and currently works as an Internal Auditor at International Game Technology.
In addition to the Reno Wind Symphony, she also plays in an ensemble at her church on most Sundays. In her free time, she enjoys participating in church activities, volunteering at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, traveling, and reading.
Bass Clarinetist Josian joined the Reno Wind Symphony in 2015 after a long musical hiatus. She began her instrumental schooling at age 11, and plays primarily Bass Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone. She played in Marching, Pep, and Jazz bands, graduating as Salutatorian from Fernley High School in 1994. Josian graduated from the University of Nevada in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and performed with the Marching and Concert Bands, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Labs.
As an initiate of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity, she stays active with several aspects of the musical community and is currently the Delta B Province Officer. She travels extensively in her position as a Loan Underwriter with Harley-Davidson Financial Services, financing dreams of personal freedom.
Josian resides in Sparks, with her husband Kevin, 2 stepkids, 2 stepdogs, 4 horses, 2 cats, and multitudes of misfit instruments.
Steven Alberti, born and raised in Reno/Sparks, has been playing bassoon for 25 years, and has been a member of the Reno Wind Symphony for eight. Steven studied music performance at Indiana University and earned a Master’s of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, Australia.
While in Australia, Steven worked as a freelance musician, and was able to play with many of Australia’s top orchestras including the Sydney Symphony, Sydney Philharmonium Choir, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He also worked as a studio musician, recording music for movies, video games, and local artists. To supplement his freelancing, Steven began teaching for some local schools, and that’s where he discovered his passion for teaching. He has been teaching music to children for the last 11 years, and is the current owner of Step into Music, an early childhood music school, with over 50 students ranging from 6 months to 12 years.
Steven is incredibly excited to be a part of this organization, and the many generations of Nevada musicians involved. In fact, three of his former music teachers from middle school and high school are also current members of the Reno Wind Symphony.
Chelsea Lane discovered her love of music in the sixth grade. With all the wisdom of an eleven-year-old, she chose flute because it was small and easy to carry. When Chelsea’s parents recognized her strong interest and natural musical talent, they enrolled her in private lessons with legendary jazz saxophonist, Frank Perry. It wasn’t long before she was improvising solos on the flute and ready to take on the saxophone.
With equal interest in both classical and jazz music, Chelsea moved through high school and into college playing both instruments often. She was consistently a member of wind ensembles, jazz bands, marching bands, and jazz combos. She enjoyed competing in local and state Solo and Ensemble Festivals and was a member of the All-State Honor Band her senior year. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music.
As a proud Reno native, Chelsea participates in much of what the local area has to offer. She enjoys golfing all year long, and skis the beautiful resorts around Lake Tahoe. Some of her other hobbies includes riding her motorcycle and taking her labradoodle, Harley, to the Truckee River. Apart from the Reno Wind Symphony, she plays with various small jazz ensembles throughout the year.
Noelle Roso, alto saxophone, has been playing with the Reno Wind Symphony since 2015. Noelle grew up in Northern Nevada where she attended Fernley High School. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno, and was a member of the marching, pep, and symphonic bands from 1999-2002. She received the Bachelor in Elementary Education degree in 2002. In 2014 she received the Master in Education degree from Sierra Nevada College.
Leslie has been a Reno Wind Symphony member since 2011. She graduated from Galena High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and French from the University of Nevada, Reno. Following graduation, Leslie became a wildland firefighter for the Forest Service and traveled throughout the western United States as a fire engine crewmember and a helicopter crewmember.
Leslie returned to Reno and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2011. She works at Renown in the Interventional Radiation department as a procedure nurse and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Nursing. Leslie plans to take the Boards in 2018 to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Her goal is to help the people in her community lead healthier, happier lives through health promotion and disease prevention.
Leslie is married with two small daughters, a dog, and two chickens. She enjoys hiking, swimming, reading, and spending time with her family.
Larry Anderson is a founding member of the Reno Wind Symphony. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. He is certified as an accountant in Nevada and California, and currently has his tax practice in Reno.
He has played in various community bands since college. In addition to the Reno Wind Symphony and Reno Municipal Band, Larry has performed with the Stockton Concert Band, San Luis Obispo Wind Symphony and the Carson City Community Band.
In addition to his interest in music, Larry is an avid model railroader. His home layout is featured each November in the local train show.
*Member Photos by: Rick O’Neill