We were delighted to welcome 96 of our NYJO alumni to Pizza Express’ new Holborn venue on Monday 21 August. A very respectable number, despite Bruce Forsyth’s passing denying us the company of Dave Arch, who was whisked away to play for this tribute episode of The One Show.
Still, a good time was had by all who could make it (certainly if the drinks bill is anything to go by!), and it was wonderful seeing our current and former musicians meeting and mingling and passing on that NYJO magic through the generations.
Magic happened on stage too – our NYJO rhythm section (Joe Hill on piano, Max Mills on drums, Jack Tustin on bass and Nick Fitch on guitar) were joined for a short set by our lead tenorist Tom Ridout and trumpeter Harry Evans, followed by some cracking sit-ins by Simon Gardner, Callum Au, Dave O’Higgins, Seb de Krom, Darren Altman, Sam Gardner, Asha Parkinson, Gabriel Garrick, Tom Smith, Michael Lack, Ellie Bignall, James Hudson, Ed Rice, Nigel Fox, Mark Armstrong, Chris Valentine, Adam Chinery, and WOULD YOU FORGIVE US those we’ve missed? (We were enjoying the bar too.)
Meanwhile at the bar, important business was being conducted, catching up with friends of old, and of course with the ever-dapper founder of our great organisation, Mr Bill Ashton OBE.
Buoyed by the success of this event, we’re motivated to forge closer links with all of our alumni, and plan to repeat this event in a year or so (to give us time to pay off the tab).
If you’re an alumnus reading this who wasn’t on the invite list, perhaps we don’t have up-to-date contact details for you, so please get in touch!
We will leave you with four new contributions to our NYJO Archive, brought to us by alumnus and pianist Nigel Fox on Monday evening, featuring a 15 year-old Guy Barker and a 12 year-old Graham Ward in 1976. NYJO Trustee (also an alumnus) Ted Rockley has done a sterling job uploading 50 years worth of memories to our new website; well worth a browse.
Explore the NYJO Online Archive