Saturday, November 28, 2015


NYJO is recruiting new members for 2016

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is very pleased to announce that it is recruiting for members for 2016. NYJO is inviting young musicians aged 24 and under with experience of playing big band jazz and who are preparing for a career as a musician to apply for a chair in the band.

Auditions will be held in Birmingham and London in January 2016 and successful applicants would normally hold that position in the band for at least one year.

You will work with MD Mark Armstrong on some great music and give inspiring concerts. Recent highlights include performances at the EFG London Jazz Festival, a tour of Germany, annual residency at Ronnie Scott’s and recording our 50th Anniversary double-album. Future plans include another tour of Germany and a partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Barbican. NYJO will help give you the training and skills for the world of professional music-making, if this is the path you choose. We will also be taking the music to a younger generation through school concerts and workshops.

“We are looking forward to auditioning potential new NYJO chair members in January. It is always great to meet new young players who are interested in getting involved with the orchestra. Although an audition is a short amount of time to make a judgement about a player’s potential, their choice of material and ability to play it combined with sight-reading tests gives a good indication of how they might fit in the band. For some really important chairs, a trial period may be needed to ensure the right person fills the role.

Although we rehearse in London every Saturday morning, through our partnership with Help Musicians we do have the funds to help pay travel expenses to any players based away from London, should they be invited to attend regular rehearsals. Even if you are not successful in becoming a chair with the band it is possible that you will be asked to be an “authorised deputy” which means doing some gigs with the band, provided you can attend some rehearsals. We’re excited about hearing you play!”

Mark Armstrong, Artistic & Music Director


Auditions will take place on 9 January 2016 at the London Centre of Contemporary Music and on 10 January 2016 at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Applications are open to all musicians aged 24 and younger who play instruments in the NYJO line-up. Please note that we are also auditioning vocalists this year.

To apply for an audition, please click  here to download an application form. You must rename the document with your own name before sending to us.

Please email your form to Roger Wilson, Orchestra Manager, The closing date for applications is strictly 10.00am, on Monday 23 November 2015.

Successful applicants will be invited to audition and will be required to perform two contrasting pieces of their choice with a professional rhythm section provided by NYJO along with a piece of sight reading. You will be notified if you are not invited to audition. For more experienced musicians (perhaps studying jazz at a conservatoire or beginning to work in the profession) NYJO will guarantee an audition upon personal recommendation to the NYJO Music Director by an appropriate person (such as your Head of Jazz).  Applicants should still complete and return an application form to NYJO by the closing date.

If you have any questions please contact Roger Wilson, Orchestra Manager on or call 020 7494 1733.