At NYJO we pride ourselves on nurturing fantastic young musicians and equipping them with the skills they need to thrive in the professional world. As our musicians reach the age limit of 25 they leave the band – but they will always be part of the family!
We asked outgoing lead trumpet James Davison and split lead trumpet Sam Moffitt to reflect on their time at NYJO.
How did you come to join NYJO?
Sam: Completely by accident! I knew some of the members from studying at RAM, but as I was on the classical course, it wasn’t something I’d thought about until being asked to dep on a gig. I haven’t looked back!
James: I’d been listening to NYJO since I was about 12, and it was something I’d always wanted to do!
What unique experiences has NYJO offered you?
Sam: Being a part of NYJO’s unique and talented pool of young musicians all finding their way in the industry has led to countless professional opportunities, many of which I wouldn’t have thought possible before. The best moment was having Ingrid Jensen come in to take us through some charts she’d been playing with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. I had only recently discovered this music, and her passion for beautiful music-making definitely rubbed off on everyone in the room that day.
James: My best experiences have been travelling to Germany and Holland to work with their equivalents of NYJO. It was amazing to play with two whole big bands’ worth of people our age, from different countries. We had so much in common and clicked immediately. We played brilliant music in awesome venues in all three countries and I’ve now got mates in Germany and Holland.
Sam: Playing ‘Mark Armstrong Bingo’ during the gigs: pick three phrases you think he will say to the audience (“this CD goes very well with a glass of wine…”) and then shout ‘bingo’ if he says them all.
How has NYJO helped you?
James: Mostly by giving me the opportunity to play lead trumpet regularly. It has helped me develop confidence in leading a section and take on the ‘lead trumpet’ role, as well as giving me the chance to meet like-minded musicians and make lots of new friends.
What are your plans for the future?
James: to carry on playing as much as I can with as many people as I can! I am also just about to record a debut album with a big band that I co-run called the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra.
Sam: Immediately, to carry on with what I am doing – playing and teaching the trumpet, and doing as much of it in London as I can. I would love to one day be in a position to offer the kinds of musical and personal development to others that NYJO offered to me.