Jennifer Reason

Pianist/Vocalist/Music Director

This is the website for Jennifer Reason, an experienced pianist, vocalist, and music director. She is based out of the Sacramento area and has performed worldwide for the past decade. 

Time flies when you're having fun

*WARNING: possible presence of touchy-feely clichés ahead*

"A career in music is too risky." ~ "Do you have a back-up plan for when it doesn't work out?" ~  "I'd suggest considering a business degree instead." ~ "Do you want to be the next Britney Spears?" ~ "Careful of pipe dreams, kiddo, they cause a lot of pain when you inevitably don't get what you want." ~  "You'll regret this when you have no stability in your older years."  ~ "You better get yourself a rich man, honey." ~  "You'll find your way back to the real world eventually....but you'll have wasted a lot of time playing around and everyone will be ahead of you." ~  "Grow up." ~ " will you have children?" ~ " A hobby should not be confused with a career." ~ "Will you play me Freebird?"

And so the chorus of Nay-sayers rang on and on and on. Not that this should come as any kind of surprise.....we don't exactly live in a culture that makes self-employment anything short of terrifying. Or affordable. And I'm sorry, did you just say self-employment in the ARTS? As a single WOMAN? Ha! Cue the awkward disbelieving laughter, the loss of eye contact and the change of subject to the existence of stable state jobs with benefits, sick leave, and--novelty of all novelties--a retirement package.

But that was then.

This is now. Exactly 5 years later after I finally plugged my ears against the deafening internal and external NO's, walked away from the day job I was so "smart" to have, and threw my hat for better or worse into the ring of the professional freelancers full time. Just like that......5 YEARS gone. Half a decade, guys! It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day....I did it. Not 'I did it' in the sense that I've achieved all there is to achieve, or that I've hit the ceiling of my own goals. FAR from it. 'I did it' in the sense that I dared a terrifying leap of faith and followed my crazy heart, and I have now officially seen that risk rewarded tenfold times what my fearful brain was capable of hoping for.  I still may not stick with this forever. It's not a cakewalk of flowers and campfire songs, it's a blood, sweat and tears type of fight everyday and I may not want that forever. Hell, I may change careers and aspirations another six times in my life. But I'll do it now with the knowledge and the certainty that I CAN. I'll do it with a brand new viewpoint on fear, on doubt, on risks worth taking in this life, and even on my own self.  If nothing else, I hope this serves as an encouragement to anyone else tempted to throw off the mass definitions and expectations this society places on us every day and to pioneer a brave path for themselves that makes their own heart sing. It will take everything you've got and then some, but you SHOULD try, you SHOULD go for it.  Because, you know what? Eventually that chorus of nay-sayers turns to a chorus of atta-boys and pats on the back, and even the occasional wistful "gee, what's it like to be your own boss?" So, why even listen to begin with? You're the only one who's going to have to look back on your life and deal with how it was spent. Know thyself, one life to live, against all odds, follow your dreams, and all that jazz.  

A wise man once said, " Most fears aren't real in the way you think they are. They're just a story you tell yourself, and you can choose to stop repeating it. Choose to stop listening." Easier said than done, but god is it worth it, even just to know you tried. 


Go for it, my friends.  Whatever it is, go for it.

Recently I uprooted myself from my long-time residence in Sacramento and braved the relocation demons to arrive in the Bay Area, in hopes of bigger and better musical opportunities. So, I figured hey--I'm already being brave moving, why not be EXTRA brave and also use this opportunity to.......clean out and organize my music. ("dum- dum- dum- dummmmmm.") This is no small undertaking mind you. I have 5 large bookshelves of scores alone, and that doesn't include the black hole that is the piles and piles and PILES of sheet music collected up there in that room. (Think I'm silly for having been intimidated by paper for so long? Imagine: over ten years worth of gigs, concerts and collaborations, just.....sitting there. Daring you to plunge into the bottomless depths and get lost for ever. You'd be scared too!) 

So, after some serious glaring at myself in the mirror, some gentle calisthenics and breathing exercises, and just a liiiittle bit of drinking, I plunged in. week later, I'm happy to announce I have emerged A) still alive B) with only a slight case of dust related emphysema and C) basically on a spiritual high after so much cleansing and purging. I now have-*gasp*- CATEGORIZED shelves and, after purchasing 16 very handy organizers from Staples, ORGANIZED LOOSE SHEET MUSIC. Friends, it CAN be done. To name a *mere* few, I am now free of almost 20 freshly emptied gig binders, 15 extra copies of O Mio Bambino, 12 extra copies of Summertime, and about 5 extra copies of every Puccini aria you can think of. And that's just for starters. (Read into that list what you will....I have no idea what those selections say about my career thus far.) Also, I had a lovely time finding so many old programs from years-ago shows I would have had no chance of remembering otherwise. 

Moral of the story? Be brave! Be brave and relocate, and be braver still and wrestle that paper planet into submission while you're at it.

Here's to starting over fresh, with a sparkling grown-up style music library behind me. Wish me luck!!! 




Every now and then your career catches an unexpected curve ball.

13 years ago my mentor founded the wildly-talented professional vocal ensemble RSVP. ( I remember sitting in the audience for their shows, wide-eyed and bowled over, and wondering if I'd ever get to sing with a group like that.

Not quite 5 years ago, I won my own spot as a singer in RSVP, and could not believe my lucky stars. I was over the moon.

And here's the curve ball that little impressed and wistful college student that I was never saw coming. Very recently my mentor stepped down, and I was asked to fill in as Interim Artistic Director. (Me! What?) Well, the deal was I'd prep and run this season's concert series--as both singer AND director mind you--and then the Board and the other ensemble members would vote me in or out, based on how well everything went. (*no pressure*)

Aaannd.....**drum roll please**.....I was voted in! IN!!! I am now the permanent Artistic Director of RSVP!!!! I could not be more excited about it. Not only is the musicianship in this ensemble through the roof, but this group is special for another awesome reason: We sing to raise money for charities. 100% of our proceeds go towards the cause we've chosen to support each season. So far we've raised thousands upon thousands of dollars for over 20 charities, including Courage Worldwide, Meals on Wheels, WEAVE, Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento, Project HOPE, and so many more. So, I get to make amazing music that also has a tangible impact on the lives of people that are helpless and struggling. Seriously? Does it get any better than that?? And now I don't get to just be a part of it, I get to be at the HELM of it.  SUCH AN HONOR. I'm completely overwhelmed. And a little speechless at the turns life takes.


Watch out world, here we come.   



First blog!

Welcome to my page!! Well, welcome to my page/welcome to my very first blog, ever. We're in this together now.. no promises your mind will be blown, or even that I'll remember I HAVE a blog now and should therefore be writing somewhat consistently. (Which, obviously, you all will be checking back for daily, if not hourly...) But, rookie blogger or not, it's all about music here. I started playing piano when I was 4, after my mother grew tired of my incessant banging on her piano and decided to try to give some order to the sound by signing me up for lessons. I fought her tooth and nail for, oh, a good 12 years. "Talk to me when you're 18" she'd sigh after yet another pillow-throwing tantrum about hating piano/hating my teacher/hating her for putting me through such torture/hating life in general because of the cruelty that was my being forced to study music. And now, here we expecting the  "I told you so" or "Who was right, Jennifer?" calls from Mom after every successful performance or tour. (No doubt she'll be getting as much mileage out of that as possible...which is only fair, I suppose.) I'm so very, very grateful she dodged my pillows--was there a shoe or two in there as well?--and never relented, because I've found myself on a beautiful journey that I wouldn't trade for anything, and that I now have the privilege of sharing with you as well. Wherever said journey may take us, thanks for joining me!!