In Friday’s (7/31) Reno Gazette-Journal (Nevada), Forrest Hartman writes, “When the Reno Philharmonic played its first concert on Aug. 3, 1969, then-music-director Gregory Stone rolled out a lush program populated solely by George Gershwin tunes. This weekend, in celebration of the philharmonic’s 40th anniversary, new music director and conductor Laura Jackson is taking the orchestra back to its roots. Her first program as artistic leader of the orchestra is an all-Gershwin affair featuring guest vocalist Anita Johnson and Reno pianist Jim Winn. Johnson will sing a number of the composer’s best-known tunes, including ‘Someone to Watch Over Me,’ ‘Fascinating Rhythm’ and selections from ‘Porgy and Bess’ and ‘Girl Crazy.’ Winn will be the soloist on the Gershwin classic ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ … ‘We’re celebrating the 40th anniversary, and yet I really was able to put my stamp on the programming of the concert,’ Jackson said. ‘It’s my first concert as music director, and I feel like I got to put something together that is something I feel great about.’ … Jackson also said she thinks this concert will appeal to music lovers who might shy from the philharmonic’s more ‘classical’ shows.”

Posted August 3, 2009