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Percussion program eNVision struggles to keep on crashing
by Garrett Valenzuela
Jul 14, 2011 | 2098 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne
Erica Wyatt, a resident of Spanish Springs, turned the percussion skills she learned with the eNVision program into teaching jobs at Reed and McQueen high schools and Shaw Middle School.
Tribune/John Byrne Erica Wyatt, a resident of Spanish Springs, turned the percussion skills she learned with the eNVision program into teaching jobs at Reed and McQueen high schools and Shaw Middle School.
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RENO — A recent budget crunch has left nonprofit youth organization eNVision Performing Arts facing a $30,000 deficit.

Since its founding in 2007, eNVision has provided local students with the opportunity to engage in percussion, brass, dance and color guard performances. The organization has used several facilities and equipment throughout Reno to hold its various competitions, performances and fundraisers.

“We have lost access to about half of the equipment that we use,” eNVision director Aaron Hines said. “For our program to continue we need about $30,000 to fill out our equipment.”

Through past fundraisers the program has been able to obtain its own drums, cymbals and recording equipment. It currently lacks the orchestral percussion instruments needed to fulfill its performing reputation, Hines said.

One of the founding members of eNVision, Hines brought his percussion enthusiasm to Reno and began working with the marching band at the University of Nevada, Reno. He realized that no specialized percussion program existed and relished the opportunity to help local music programs.

“The whole point is for a student to experience eNVision, then go out and teach or come back to the program and get others excited about taking on the things they learned,” Hines said.

Hines added that the program has been one of the best music programs in Reno.

“We put Reno on the map for percussive arts,” Hines said. “People know Reno now and we are respected because we have won the western region for the last three years and placed in the top 10 nationally at the world championships in Dayton, Ohio.”

Erica Wyatt has been a member of eNVision since its founding and now is the section leader of the first percussion ensemble. She said eNVision has enabled her to become a better player.

“My technique has developed dramatically in the past four years,” Wyatt said, adding that she has been given great opportunities. “I have traveled to Ohio to see some of the greatest drum lines in the world.”

Wyatt also has taught percussion for three years at Shaw Middle School and McQueen and Reed high schools. She said those positions came with the help of eNVision and added that the loss of their funding would be devastating to the music community of Reno.

“If it was cut there would be no arts to look up to,” Wyatt said. “All of the high school drum lines might not have anywhere to perform because eNVision hosts all the competitions in Reno.”

Jasmine Bera, captain of the color guard of eNVision, said the fundraising efforts are in full force.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the word out so that people know that this nonprofit youth organization is going to crash,” Bera said.

The program is planning a Chili’s Night on Monday where guests can present a flier to their server and 15 percent of the bill will be donated to the program. The fliers will be handed out by members of eNVision, according to Bera.

As captain of the color guard, Bera has been working with her team for the last two summers and now is attempting to compile a team to compete in winter.

“I’ve been with the program for so many years and been helping to build (the color guard) up,” Bera said. “We’re almost to the point where we can have a winter program, which we’ve never had before.”

Without the necessary funding Bera will not be able to continue coaching her team, which she says has been beneficial to many of her students and friends.

“It helps you get prepared for every day life,” Bera said. “The responsibilities and leadership you have help you hold yourself to high standards.”

eNVision will be hosting an Artown event at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in front of Reno High School. For more information on eNVision or to donate, visit www.envisionarts.org.
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