Stage 1: Application and Video

  1. Complete the NYJO 2020 Application Form
  2. Complete the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form
  3. Record your audition video in line with the below guidelines and upload to YouTube (as unlisted or private if you prefer – as long as you can give us access to it!). Please check that your link works before sending it
  4. Email your two forms (saved as Word or PDF files only) and a video link (including telling us the timecode we should navigate to, if not the beginning) to Orchestra Manager Roger Wilson at: by 10am Monday 21 October


What we need to see


  • Tell us about your playing experience, what inspires you, and why you’re interested in playing in NYJO
  • Make sure you tell us about any specific skills and experience you have relating to large jazz ensembles
  • Tell us about other instruments you play, even if they’re not an obvious double for your primary instrument



  • 3-5 minutes of you playing some music that best showcases your musical strengths and their relevance to performance in a large jazz ensemble
  • If part of a longer video performance, please indicate the timing of the sections you wish to be heard
  • Video can consist of improvisation over a jazz standard, performance of composed music (i.e. written-out or pre-devised rather than improvised by you) or a combination of both
  • You can play solo, with a backing track or with a rhythm section or other live ensemble providing your playing is clearly audible
  • Send us your video as a LINK to a YouTube video. If you prefer, you can upload the video so it’s unlisted, i.e. we can see it by clicking the link, but the public won’t find it
  • You needn’t record something specially. If a recording of you already exists that you think is suitable, it’s fine to reuse it. If your part starts mid-way through the video, just tell us in the cover email where in the video to navigate


Further guidance for non-improvising players

  • We are not just looking for jazz soloists
  • Please play a piece or excerpt that demonstrates your ability to play music which is rhythmic and has some connection to the jazz style, for example a study in swing rhythm, some funky or Latin-based music. This can be solo, with a backing track or with a rhythm section or other live ensemble, and could be excerpts from big-band charts
  • We are looking for technical assurance on your instrument and the ability to articulate and project with style in a way that is suitable for large ensemble jazz


Stage 2: Audition

Stage two is an audition and interview, in your choice of Leeds, London or Cardiff (dates to be confirmed) and we can cover travel expenses for those travelling from outside of the city.

  • Each audition is about 12 minutes long
  • Prepare one piece, different to the material in your video audition, to play for the panel
  • You will also be asked to sight-read
  • A rhythm section (piano or guitar, bass and drums) will be provided for you – please bring any written music that they would need to accompany your playing. As at video stage, your piece should best reflect what you consider to be your role within a large jazz ensemble/big band
  • For non-improvising musicians please bear in mind that accompanists may not be able to sight-read difficult written accompaniments – please be prepared to play solo
  • The panel will speak to you briefly about your what inspires you as a musician, your musical goals and your playing experience


Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.