University professor honored by Governor

2/25/2011 - By: Tiffany Moore
Female professor and student playing piano and violin University of Nevada, Reno Music Department Chair Andrea Lenz performs with graduate student Roberta Franca. Lenz will receive the Governor’s Art Award for Excellence in March for her contributions to Nevada through music.

University of Nevada, Reno Department of Music Chair Andrea Lenz will receive the Governor’s Art Award for Excellence in the Arts on March 2.

Lenz will be one of five individuals and two organizations to receive a Governor’s Art Award. The award is presented by the Nevada Arts Council and the Governor’s Office for outstanding and enduring contributions to Nevada through artistic achievement and service to the arts.

“I’m actually a little overwhelmed,” she said. “It’s a real honor to be in the company of the previous recipients. I have a great respect for them, and it’s an honor to join them.”

Lenz joined the staff of the University of Nevada in 1975 and has taught a variety of classes. She received her bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from Mills College, and her master’s degree in composition from the University of New Mexico.

She recently retired as principle oboist after serving many years with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic, Nevada Opera, Nevada Festival Ballet and AVA Ballet. Upon her retirement from the Reno Chamber Orchestra, she became the third musician to ever receive the title Principal Oboist Emeritus. She has also performed with renowned soloists such as James King, Delora Zajick, Daniel Heifetz, Leonard Nimoy, Martin Chalifour, Ray Charles and Evelyn de la Rosa.

“Oboe is my solo instrument; great for solo artistic expression,” Lenz said. “But it’s very physically demanding. To keep up with the standards expected, I just didn’t have the time anymore.”

Lenz also served as staff accompanist for the Department of Music since 1975 and has played for several recitals, end-of-semester student juries, festivals and competitions for students in the Washoe County School District. She has also been the only accompanist for the Reno Chamber Orchestra’s concerto competitions since the orchestra began in 1980, and has accompanied the Reno Philharmonic, Reno Pops and University of Nevada concerto competitions.

Lenz says she will continue playing the piano for as long as she can and plans to spend more time doing so after her term as department chair ends July 1.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a prominent supporter of the University, will also be recognized for Patronage in the Arts, and former State Senator Bill Raggio will receive the Nevada Arts & Humanities Award for Public Service. Raggio, known for his support of the University and higher education in general, has been recognized as Outstanding Alumnus of the University, where the College of Education was renamed the William J. Raggio College of Education. Other recipients of the Governor’s Arts Award include:

  • Mary Warner, Las Vegas - Excellence in the Arts
  • Tsurunokai Taiko, Reno - Excellence in Folk and Traditional Art
  • Sue Kitts Jesch, Carson City - Leadership in the Arts: Education
  • Wally Cuchine, Eureka - Leadership in the Arts: Individuals
  • Nevada State Museum, Carson City - Leadership in the Arts: Organization
  • Former Speaker of the Assembly Joseph E. Dini, Jr. - Nevada Arts & Humanities Award for Public Service

The reception begins at 5 p.m. and the ceremony starts at 6:15 p.m., March 2 at the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City. More information is available on the Nevada Arts Council website.

The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department serves Nevada’s citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, preservation and promotion of cultural resources, and education. The Department also includes the Division of Museums and History, State Historic Preservation Office, and the State Library and Archives. For more information, visit the department’s website Nevada Culture.


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