Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra I Band Director
After earning the Saxophone Award Scholarship at the UNR Jazz Festival, Doug Coomler attended the University of Nevada in 2003 and received his Music Education Degree with a strong emphasis in Jazz Studies.
Upon getting to know some of the area’s professional musicians, Doug began gaining performance opportunities such as Broadway style shows and concerts. Doug has played with artists such as Johnny Mathis, Robert Goulet, Frank Sinatra Jr., The Temptations, Four Tops, Gordie Brown, Supremes and many more. Some of the shows Doug has played include Hair Spray, Smokey Joe’s Café, Grease, Rat Pack, and Shake Rattle and Roll.
Realizing the importance of education, Doug received his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at the University of Nevada-Reno in May of 2014.
Along with being the Director of the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra I, Doug currently is a faculty member at UNR, has a private teaching studio, and continues to perform professionally.
Co Founder and Director of Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra II
Colonel (Retired) Vernon Scarbrough has spent most of his life in the Reno- Sparks area, attending local schools. It was in the Washoe County School District that he learned his craft as a musician, with an emphasis on the saxophone.
Vern graduated with a Bachelor of Music, with a minor in Music Education from one the country’s most prestigious jazz colleges, the University of North Texas.
He received his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Music Education from Southern Oregon University.
Vern earned an additional Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Mr. Scarbrough taught band in the Washoe County School District for eighteen years, the last seven of which were for Pine Middle School. While the Band Director at Pine, the Pine Patriot Jazz Ensemble traveled to Hawaii, San Diego, New York, and Disney’s Music in the Park for jazz competitions. At each venue, the Patriot Jazz Ensemble won first place and gold awards.
In addition to being the Director of the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra II, Vernon teaches saxophone and jazz band at the Lake Tahoe Music Camp each year.
Colonel Scarbrough has been an officer in the Nevada Army National Guard for over thirty years and has deployed twice to the Middle East.
Vernon and his wife, Karen, are Co Founders of the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Co Founder Director of Programs and Development of the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra I, II & Combo
Karen Scarbrough was born and raised in the Reno area and attended local schools, including the University of Nevada. She ultimately received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis on Advertising and a minor in Business Administration from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Karen worked for three years at the Reno Gazette Journal in the Retail Advertising Department before pursuing a Master’s Degree.
Along with her husband Vernon, Karen is a Co Founder of the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra. Looking at the needs of Northern Nevada, Karen and Vernon discovered there to be a Reno Youth Philharmonic and a Nevada Youth Opera Chorus, but no youth jazz programs. So, in 2006, they sought grants and donations and began the RYJO to serve our community’s youth jazz needs.
Earning a Master of Arts in Counseling and Education Psychology from the University of Nevada, Karen went on to a her current co-career as a Marriage and Family Therapist.