NYJO Now Accepting Applications for 2018 Auditions

Applications are now open for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra! NYJO invites young musicians aged 24 and under with experience of playing big-band jazz, and who are preparing for a performing career, to apply for positions in their flagship 23-piece jazz orchestra.  Unlike other youth music organisations, NYJO musicians are paid for gigs, broadcasts and education work they undertake.

Successful applicants will work with Artistic and Music Director Mark Armstrong, and Deputy Music Director Winston Rollins, to prepare an eclectic repertoire of historic and contemporary music for big-band, and perform around 40 concerts a year around the UK and internationally. NYJO musicians are also invited to take an active part in our Learning and Participation work, and may have opportunities to work in smaller ensembles alongside the jazz orchestra.

Who can apply?

  • Musicians aged 24 and under
  • Musicians should play instruments in the NYJO line-up (alto, tenor & bari saxes, flute, french horn, trombone, bass trombone, trumpet/flugel horn, piano, bass, drums, guitar, female and male vocalists)
  • YES we are auditioning vocalists this year

How to Apply

First stage: Application Form and Video Submission

  • Download the NYJO 2018 Application Form
  • Complete the form and RENAME THE FILE WITH YOUR OWN NAME
  • Email your completed form to Roger Wilson, Orchestra Manager, roger@nyjo.org.uk
  • INCLUDE A YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK WITH YOUR APPLICATION. See below
  • The closing date for applications is strictly 10.00am, on Monday 27 November 2017.
  • Applicants will be notified of the result of their application as soon as possible after this date.

Your Video Submission

Join NYJOAdvice from Artistic Director Mark Armstrong: “For 2018, we’re changing the format of the application process slightly; the first round of auditions will be by video: for this please submit one piece that you feel best shows off your specialism within a large jazz ensemble. For example, if this is jazz improvisation, a few choruses over a tune of your choice would be good, with whatever backing is most easy to organise. If playing lead trumpet than a ‘minus one’ play-along or a solo performance of a lead part would be a good choice. If you are a section player, something that demonstrates your technique and ability to play with style and groove is ideal. Keep the video short – five minutes is long enough to demonstrate your abilities.”

INSTRUMENTALISTS

What we need to see

  • 3-5 minutes of you playing some music that best showcases your musical strengths and their relevance to performance in a large jazz ensemble
  • though 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. If you are a lead trumpet player or bass trombone player it could be excerpts from some big band charts, for example
  • You can play solo, with a backing track or with a rhythm section or other live ensemble providing your playing is clearly audible

 

How we need to see it

  • 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 if they search ‘awesome jazz trumpet’ (for example)

VOCALISTS

What we need to see

  • 3-5 minutes of you performing some music that demonstrates your singing style and ability, as appropriate for a big band context
  • though if part of a longer video performance please indicate the timing of the sections you wish to be heard
  • Original and jazz standard material is acceptable and you can accompany yourself, or use a backing track or backing band. Your performance can consist of song performance, vocalise, improvisation, or a combination of all three

 

How we need to see it

  • 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 if they search ‘awesome jazz vocalist’ (for example)

 

 

Second Stage: Live Auditions

Auditions will be held on:

Saturday 6 January 2018 – London (venue tbc)

Sunday 7 January 2018 – Leeds College of Music

Saturday 13 January 2018 – Vocalist auditions, London (venue tbc)

 

INSTRUMENTALISTS

  • Each audition lasts 15 minutes
  • Prepare one piece, max 5 minutes long, different to the material in your video audition, to play for the panel. You will also be asked to sight-read. Like the video stage, the material you prepare should reflect the part you would play in a big-band context
  • 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
  • The audition will also include a short interview with the panel

 

VOCALISTS

  • Each audition lasts approximately 15 minutes
  • You may bring your own copy of a big band chart to sing through with the band or choose a song from a list that will be provided to you when invited to audition.
  • You will also receive some notated quick study music shortly before the rehearsal day that you will be expected to sing with the band
  • The audition will also include a short interview with the panel
  • We’re looking for how you perform the song, and your ability to either sight-read or assimilate new material quickly and accurately. Other important skills include how you sing lines within the band as an ‘instrumental voice’, and the ability to improvise/scat with assurance.

 

 

Results and Feedback

  • Second round auditionees will be notified of their results as soon as possible after the audition dates
  • You may be offered a Chair in NYJO, offered a place on the Deps list, offered a trial in a chair position, or given detailed feedback including development points and pathways
  • If offered a chair in NYJO, you would be expected to commit yourselves to the majority of weekly rehearsals, and workshops and concerts with the band (approx. 40 per year)

 

Best of luck, everyone – we look forward to hearing you play!

 

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