Skip to main content


December, 22, 2023
04:15 PM - 05:30 PM




Community Jazz Ensemble


Conductor Thumb
Ronnie Rios



Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

The Rio Grande Valley Jazz Orchestra was founded in the Fall of 2017 by Ronnie Rios as a community jazz band. Mr. Rios serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor for the RGVJO. The purpose of the organization is to provide opportunities for talented jazz musicians (who also serve as music teachers in the immediate area) to perform in a big band at a professional level for the students and communities in South Texas and beyond. These communities are located in Cameron County where 32.4% of its residents live below the poverty level with most students attending Title I schools throughout the county. The ensemble is comprised of almost all music educators who reside in Harlingen and Brownsville, Texas. Rehearsals are held two to three times a month while in season with consideration of ensemble members availability. All performances have been free to the public and have received overwhelming enthusiasm.

Rio Grande Valley Jazz Orchestra

Conductor's Bio

Ronnie Rios is a multi Grammy Nominated Music Educator originally from Alice, Texas. He holds a Bachelors of Music Education and a Masters in Music Education graduating Summa Cum Laude. After 25 years plus experience as a high school band director, Mr. Rios now serves as the Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley and was just appointed to the Texas Bandmasters Association Board of Directors. At 21, he began teaching in the Kingsville ISD, TX where his middle school and high school Concert Bands received consistent UIL Sweepstakes Awards and Best in Class Awards at various state and national festivals. His Jazz Ensembles also received Best in Class and numerous “Outstanding Band of the Festival” Awards. He had All-State Band and Jazz Band students and led the Marching Band to the Texas State Marching Band Championships in his final year. As Director of Bands at Harlingen High School, TX for 21 years, all Six Concert Bands received consistent UIL Sweepstakes Awards, Best in Class, State and National Awards and All-State Band and Jazz Band students. The Harlingen High School “Big Red” Cardinal Marching Band made 11 consecutive appearances at the Texas State Marching Band Championships, qualifying every opportunity from 1998-2018. The group also earned positions in the finals of the Bands of America Regional Championships, including being named a Regional Champion. In 2011, the Harlingen HS Band was named the Texas Bandmasters Association “Exemplary High School Band Program of the Year” in Texas. In 2022, Mr. Rios also led the Port Isabel, TX Tarpon Marching Band to the Texas State Marching Band Championships and a Bands of America Class Champion. Both Marching Bands have won numerous 1st Place Festival Awards and Grand Champion Marching Band Awards throughout South and Central Texas. His Concert Bands have advanced to the TMEA State Honor Band and Outstanding Performance Series State Finals numerous times finishing as high as 7th in Texas. The Harlingen HS Jazz Ensemble received consistent Best in Class and numerous “Outstanding Band of the Festival” Awards. HHS was named the Invited High School Jazz Ensemble for the State of Texas and showcased at TMEA in San Antonio. His high school jazz ensembles have performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago two times. Rios' Jazz Ensembles have shared the stage with artists Wynton Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, Michael Brecker, John Fedchock, Conrad Herwig, Mike Steinel, Woody Witt, Armin Marmolejo, Dennis DiBlasio, Terell Stafford, and Arturo Sandoval. Mr. Rios’ groups have performed throughout Texas, Florida, California, New Jersey, Washington DC, Illinois and Central Park in New York City. Mr. Rios has been named to the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers numerous times and was also named Teacher of the Year in the Harlingen CISD. He is also a past Phi Beta Mu ‘Texas Young Bandmaster of the Year’ recipient and was recently awarded the prestigious Texas Bandmasters Association "Meritorious Achievement Award." Mr. Rios continues to serve as the Artistic Director for the community group - Rio Grande Valley Jazz Orchestra in Harlingen, TX. This group has also performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago two times and has shared the stage with the World Famous Count Basie Orchestra. He is a member of TMEA, TBA, TMAA, and Phi Beta Mu. He is the Past President of IAJE-Texas, TJEA, a past TMAA Vice-President and served as the TMEA Texas State Band Chair. He is currently the TMEA Area G Band Chair and has served as a clinician and adjudicator in Texas, Arizona, Kentucky, Georgia, Nevada, Utah, California, New Mexico and Indiana. He currently serves as an active adjudicator for UIL, DCI, and BOA.

Additional Directors

Additional Conductor Image

Michael Corcoran