Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Rosa Junior College
“From as early as I could remember, music was a part of our lives,” says Dr. Jerome Fleg, Director of Instrumental Music and conductor of the Santa Rosa Junior College orchestra, symphonic band and jazz band. Jerome’s father is a doctor and a part-time professional and community trumpet player, his paternal grandmother was a pianist and his great-grandmother was an opera singer. Raised in Columbia, Maryland, Jerome and his three brothers made music by hitting on pots and pans when they were little, then used plastic instruments from the toy stores. Later, two of his brothers began playing the piano, another played the saxophone and Jerome picked the clarinet. While they all have a love for music, their careers are quite different: one is in medicine, one is a DJ, one is in education, and Jerome is in both education and the world of professional music.
Jerome privately studied classical music, and then jazz, since he was ten years old. His parents guided him toward a well-rounded education with many options, and he loved music, sports, and science equally. When it came time to choose a career path, he decided that teaching music would also support his passion for performing. A Bachelor’s from the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland, a Master’s in Music Performance from the University of Northern Colorado, and a doctorate in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado helped him secure a teaching position in an extremely competitive field.
Before coming to Santa Rosa JC, Dr. Fleg taught at Casper College, the University of Wyoming at Casper, and the University of Wyoming. He has presented master classes and clinics throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America. He performs frequently and holds the position of clarinet and bass clarinet with the Central City Opera, Colorado. He has toured as the principal clarinet with the Mantovani Orchestra from Florida and has performed with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and many other prestigious orchestras and jazz combos, winning prizes and medals in specialty competitions and teaching awards.
Coming to California in the fall of 2014 “felt like coming back home,” since he loves the energy of Sonoma County, the diversity of cultures, and the outdoors where he could hike or surf nearby. As he says, “what I love about SRJC is the range that we find in our students. In my ensembles, we have everything from a high schooler who is 16, to a traditional college student who is 19, to a nontraditional student who has a full-time job and is 35, to a guy who’s roughly 80 years old. It makes it a very exciting classroom.”
Dr. Fleg leads a very fast-paced and exciting academic life at SRJC, geared toward doubling the enrollment in our instrumental ensembles, discovering local talented musicians who could benefit from the thriving music environment at SRJC, and bringing more visibility to our music program. As for challenges, he mentions the limitation of time: “I’m still looking for a way to invent another extra 20 hours in a day.”