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Music Maven
by Emily Umphrey — Special to the Tribune
Oct 23, 2013 | 1223 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Emily Umphrey -- Yvonne Sexton, known as the "Kevin Bacon of the Music World," rocks out at The Alley, a rock-n-roll bar in downtown Sparks.
Tribune photo by Emily Umphrey -- Yvonne Sexton, known as the "Kevin Bacon of the Music World," rocks out at The Alley, a rock-n-roll bar in downtown Sparks.
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Sparks resident Yvonne Sexton, known to many locals as Vonne, has had an interesting life. She moved to Reno from Redding, CA when she was just six months old. Despite moving away for a brief period of time, she says she always finds herself drawn back here.

“There are not many people who can say they can drive 30-45 min and be at one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.”

Vonne went to school for her freshman and sophomore years at McQueen High School. She then moved to the south side of town and went to Wooster for a year before ultimately dropping out to raise her kids and opting for a G.E.D instead.

She then went to TMCC where she graduated with an Associates Degree in law. After doing several jobs here in town, including tinting windows and working for Wells Fargo for six years, she moved to Truckee and began her work as legal secretary before beginning work in the OR of Tahoe Forest Hospital where she has been for 15 years. Ultimately, she found herself moving back to Sparks in 2002 and has been here ever since.

At Tahoe Forest she does a great deal. Mostly she handles the business side of things. She orders supplies, data entry, business support coordinator. Because she has been there for so long, however, she also preps OR rooms for the hospital. She can run and grab something for the surgeons if no one else is available, for example.

“I got my degree in the legal field so how I ended up in the medical field none of us will ever know.” she laughs.

Tahoe Forest is the No. 1 fracture hospital in the United States, meaning that during the winter they get a great deal of clientele from the ski resorts in California and Nevada, which is where she sees most of the patients.

Many northern Nevada natives may know Sexton from her appearances at many of the local shows that take place at the Alley or the Knitting Factory. Her music interest began to really take shape in 2008, when she tore muscles in her leg while playing softball.

“I had kind of a life-changing event happen. Life threatening on top of it.” she said.

Yvonne had developed a blood clot from her groin to her ankle and wasn't allowed to move around at all. Doctors didn't even want her going to the bathroom for fear that the blood clot would break off and move to her heart. They put her on blood thinners and bed rest.

“That was my life changing moment.”

At that time, she had just started listening to Halestorm. The band had just released its first full-length album and Yvonne found herself listening over and over to music she had never listened to before, having previously preferred '80's hair' metal-type music.

Lizzy Hale's blend of Pat Benatar and Janice Joplin vocals appealed to Yvonne and opened her to a new and exciting brand of music previously unknown.

Yvonne later went on to meet Halestorm as well Adelitas Way and many other up-and-coming bands. She has even been called the “Kevin Bacon of the music world” by friends. She can hardly go to a show or festival anymore without getting to talk to the bands.

“You don't ask for it. If it happens it happens and that's great.” she says about how she seems to get so lucky.

Her medium to get in touch with bands, and eventually become friends and recognizable, began with Twitter, where she would talk with members of the bands she liked. She quickly became a recognizable face that many bands who come to town bring backstage and chat with, even invite into the studio to hear songs off their newest album before they have been fully finished.

“If I could go to a concert every night I probably would.” she says.

OR operator by day and music maven by night, Yvonne Sexton has a great story.

Yvonne Sexton's Favorites:

Favorite Book: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Favorite Hobby: Baking and designing specialty cakes

Favorite Food: Taco Salad

Favorite Local Place: The Alley

Favorite Band: Halestorm
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