Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE to join NYJO Board

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Cindy Sughrue to join National Youth Jazz Orchestra Board

Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE to join NYJO Board

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is delighted to announce that Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE is to join the organisation’s board. Currently Director of the Charles Dickens Museum and former Chief Executive and Executive Producer of Scottish Ballet, she brings with her a wealth of experience at the top of the UK arts and education worlds. She follows jazz musician and educator Orphy Robinson who joined the NYJO board earlier in 2015 and joins at the end of NYJO’s 50th anniversary year during which NYJO won ‘Jazz Educator of the Year’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards and released a critically acclaimed new album ‘NYJO FIFTY’ .

Nigel Tully, Executive Chair of NYJO said:

“All of us at NYJO are delighted to welcome Cindy to the Board. She brings with her huge knowledge of organisation development and transformation in the world of the arts as well as a real love of and commitment to jazz and music education. We look forward to working with her immensely; she will help us take NYJO to the next stage of its development.”

Cindy Sughrue commented:

“I am truly honoured to be invited to join the Board of this dynamic, world-class organisation, especially at such a milestone as its 50th year. I very much look forward to working with the team and getting to know the incredibly talented musicians that we support.”



Dr Cindy Sughrue OBE has worked at senior level within the cultural sector in the UK since 1990, with extensive knowledge of the performing arts, including an early career as a dancer. She was born in Boston, USA, and received a first class honours degree from Boston University before coming to the UK in 1985 as a Marshall Scholar to undertake her PhD in Dance.

She has recently taken up post as the new Director of the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

Prior to that she was Chief Executive & Executive Producer at Scottish Ballet for over 10 years. Previous posts include Chief Executive/Executive Producer of Scottish Ballet, Director of the Collective Gallery, General Manager of Dance Base (Scotland’s National Centre for Dance), and Head of Dance at the Scottish Arts Council. Dr Sughrue has served on the Boards of the audience development agency Culture Republic, Dance Base, and Scottish Ballet amongst others, and is a Governor of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a Trustee of the Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund.

During her leadership of Scottish Ballet (2004-2015), Dr Sughrue was responsible for a significant programme of organisational change, cleared an historic deficit, developed and delivered a major (£11m) capital project in the form of new national headquarters for Scottish Ballet at the Tramway international arts centre, increased audiences by nearly 100% p.a., and increased annual turnover from £4.3m to £6.4m p.a. She established a range of creative and educational partnerships, including a new BA in Modern Ballet with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and she expanded touring in the UK and internationally, increasing the annual touring schedule from 14 weeks of Scottish and regional touring in 2004, to 28 weeks of UK and international touring in 2014/15, including regular appearances in London and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is Britain’s longest-running ensemble for young people up to 25 playing big-band jazz. Its mission is to perform exceptional music to excite audiences and engage with young people of all backgrounds around the country. In addition to the main performing orchestra, the organisation also operates the weekly NYJO Academy which contains several training bands and a vocal ensemble, and a nationwide series of inspirational workshops and educational events intended to inspire children and young people with a love of music and jazz. The organisation has helped launch the careers of many of the UK’s most-renowned jazz musicians including Amy Winehouse. It celebrated its 50th anniversary throughout 2015 and has just released a special double-album ‘NYJO FIFTY’.

“It takes only two tracks of this celebratory double album to establish the breadth, maturity and technical excellence of this long-established proving ground of UK jazz talent.” Financial Times, November 2015


For enquiries contact:

Stephen Chamberlain at NYJO:  stephen@nyjo.mrsdemo3.co.uk 020 7494 1733

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