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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

Announcing Mrs. Juliana McRae, Secretary, JOI Board of Directors

Jazz Outreach Initiative is pleased to announce our third in a series of announcements spotlighting the growth from a working board to a governing board with our new Secretary, Mrs. Juliana McRae.

First, we must properly acknowledge the hard work and dedication of JOI's former Secretary and current Executive Director, Mr. Donny Thompson. Donny served that dual role with the organization for nearly three years prior to the Board welcoming Juliana to the team. Before Donny, the Founding Secretary role was held by Emeritus Board Member Renee Rampton.

Originally from the East coast, Juliana and her husband, Matthew, relocated to Las Vegas in 2003 to Sun City Summerlin.

A graduate of Yankton College, Yankton, SD, she received a BM in Voice Performance / Music Education. Her MM in Vocal Performance / Music Education was awarded from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, CT. Special studies included work with Maestro Robert Shaw at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and Orff Schulwerk Music Education certificates from the University of Connecticut.

In Connecticut, Juliana taught vocal music for 32 years at all levels from elementary to college; was an Orff music education specialist; served in various churches as children’s choir Director; mentored student teachers while working for the B.E.S.T.- Connecticut State Teachers evaluation program; served as a vocal adjudicator for All - State Auditions; and sang for 16 seasons with the Connecticut Opera's Opera Chorus. She also spent 5 summers directing the Treble Choir at the New England Music Camp in Waterville, Maine.

Upon arrival in Las Vegas, Juliana immediately became involved with the Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild and served as President from 2004-2008 and 2014-2016. Other positions included Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Special Advisor along with co-chair for various fundraisers.

In joining the Jazz Outreach Initiative Board of Directors, she brings her years of experience in music education and performance mixed with leadership in non-profits. The mission of JOI aligns with her personal mission of quality music education and opportunities for young musicians to hone their skills under excellent mentors. JOI's affiliation with Jazz at Lincoln Center is an extraordinary bridge for these young musicians. By joining the BOD, Juliana wants to further the mission and expand any new paths where JOI gains recognition and appreciation for their stellar contributions to the Creative ARTS in the valley and beyond.

We hope you will all join us in celebrating this milestone in our organizational development by welcoming Mrs. Juliana McRae. You can reach out to Juliana at

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