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News from NYJO and Conservatoires UK

NYJO is changing and becoming much more aligned and integrated into the national jazz education scene. A lengthy press release, which we reproduce in full, has a number of major steps forward:

– Conservatoires UK (eight conservatoires, a body with one notable absentee – the Royal Academy of Music) has signed a collaboration agreement with NYJO

– The conservatoires will work closely with NYJO, recognize membership of NYJO as being “the best of the best” and give credits within courses for the activity

– From January 2012, NYJO will be changing its selection processes with an aim to far greater transparency

– The Arts Council which started the process, insisting that NYJO change and integrate, hasn’t spoken but should (surely) approve (?)
Here’s the full text of the PRESS RELEASE

Conservatoires UK and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Combine for Unique Collaboration

Conservatoires UK and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra have signed an historic agreement that will allow students from the eight member conservatoires to gain professional experience and artistic excellence at national level.

Marking this special relationship, both organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see the development and fostering of relations, creating a lasting cultural legacy in the education of young jazz players in the United Kingdom. Building upon the informal partnerships that already exist with NYJO, the MOU will extend between individual conservatoires to build a mutually supportive environment in which British youth jazz education is stimulated by the opportunity presented by a peer group of “the Best of the Best”.

Amongst a raft of new initiatives announced, CUK students who play with NYJO will be given more opportunities to gain first-hand performance experience alongside some of the UK’s leading young jazz performers at both educational and commercial gigs. Indeed, NYJO was the setting of the first ever professional performance by Amy Winehouse in 2000. Students will also be given access to a network with a broader group of musicians, thereby increasing the liklihood of high-quality professional employment and the opportunity to write their own material and have it performed professionally. NYJO and each individual conservatoire will agree regional residencies, summer schools and how NYJO rehearsals, gigs, workshops or compositions can form part of student’s coursework and contribute to their degree studies or form part of a professional development programme.

In January 2012 NYJO1 will become a 30-strong “pool” of musicians, from which the senior staff will select 22 players to perform at each gig. Membership of this pool will be determined by a selection committee, consisting of NYJO Music Director Mark Armstrong, a representative of CUK, a representative of the RYJO’s, and an independent jazz musician of national repute. A fund will be set up to aid those members who live or study a long way from London. NYJO, founded in 1965 by Bill Ashton OBE, is partly funded by Arts Council England, with funding channeled via Jazz Services Ltd. The signing of the agreement by CUK Chairman, Professor John Wallace and NYJO Chairman, Nigel Tully, now provides more opportunities for students and gives NYJO greater access to a vibrant artistic and academic resource.

Professor John Wallace says: “I am delighted that CUK is reinforcing its relationship with NYJO. This partnership demonstrates that both organisations are at the heart of the cultural wellbeing of our country. It is partnerships like this that enable us to train a new generation of artists for the UK and beyond. It is important to instill a real sense of collaboration between the UK’s conservatoires and our great orchestras and companies, and this issue is an excellent starting point. I am thrilled that world class conservatoires and the outstanding NYJO are part of it, and I can think of no better environment for aspiring players in our profession to really learn the tools of their trade ”

Nigel Tully, Chairman of NYJO, added : This partnership will help cement NYJO’s role at the centre of British jazz education. I’m particularly glad that our tradition of preparing young musicians for professional life sits so well alongside the training provided by our leading academic institutions, who are clearly giving jazz the attention that this serious art form deserves.”

Honorary Vice President of NYJO Sebastian Coe commented: “I’m very pleased about this exciting new partnership, which confirms what I have long thought – that NYJO is the UK’s elite team for youth jazz. I look forward to even more success for NYJO, on the national and international stages.”
End of Press Release

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1 reply »

  1. NYJO is starting a new monthly Sunday afternoon series at the Vortex from January 22. This is in line with the afternoon series which have developed nicely from London Jazz Orchestra and Township Comets.

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