Some info about NYJOS

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The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland is the country’s foremost jazz ensemble and performs throughout the UK at high profile jazz venues and festivals.  Under the direction of Malcolm Edmonstone (Head of Jazz, Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Andrew Bain (Senior Lecturer, Birmingham Conservatoire) NYJOS provides education, performance experience and the opportunity to play with and learn from world class soloists.

To date, the jazz orchestra has undertaken new commissions, made studio recordings, performed at international jazz festivals (including London) and has worked with international jazz artists including Liane Carroll, Iain Ballamy, Mike Walker & Iain Dixon, Chris Batchelor, Mark Lockheart, Jacqui Dankworth and Duncan Lamont.

2016 will see two exciting projects for the flagship jazz orchestra who will perform new commissions for a double big band ensemble as well as undertaking a high profile summer tour with guest soloists, Liane Carroll and Iain Ballamy.

NYJOS is one branch of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) organisation which provides a complete orchestral experience for its students aged between 8 and 25, through its pathway of orchestras, jazz bands, training ensembles and outreach programmes.  In addition to organising residential training courses, intensive rehearsals and national and international concert tours, NYOS also provides musical experiences to young people through workshops in communities through Scotland.


Some info about WYJO

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Formed in 1976 by Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra  aims   to   train   and   develop   the   musical   skills   of   its   members   through   the performance of big band music from 1930’s to the present day.

Over the years, WYJO has received many national and international honours, most notably from the BBC Radio Big Band Competition, the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Competition and the National Festival of Music for Youth.  In 2010 they were runners up in the Great North Big Band Festival at Sunderland University and in 2014 and 2015 were winners of this prestigious trophy.  The band has worked with a number of the world’s top musicians including Maynard Ferguson, Bobby Shew, Phil Woods and James Morrison.

Every year brings personnel changes in the orchestra.  Many members go on to study at music conservatoires and forge careers in the professional music world.  Drawing on the work of its training ensembles, Wigan Schools Swing Band and Wigan Youth Big Band, there are always new and eager young players waiting in the wings to fill vacancies.  Up until 2011, WYJO was directed by Ian Darrington, MBE.  Upon Ian’s retirement, former WYJO member and now Wigan’s Head of Music Service has served as the band’s MD.

Some info about Mike Gibbs, composer

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Some info about Mike Gibbs, who is busy composing a piece for the combined double big band ensemble – 

Mike is a composer, conductor, arranger and trombonist. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, he has worked with many jazz greats including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Mike Stern and Joni Mitchell.

He made his recording debut in 1962 as arranger and composer for Gary Burton, with Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Tommy Flanagan and Joe Morello. After studying in America, Mike moved to the UK in 1964, playing trombone for Tubby Hayes, Graham Collier, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. By the late 1960s, Mike was generally recognised as one of the leading young composer/arrangers in jazz and in the early 1970s he won several ‘Melody Maker’ awards including First Composer, Best Big Band, First Arranger and Musician of the Year.

Mike has written extensively for film and television, in addition to regularly working with the NDR and WDR Big Bands in Hamburg and Koln and more recently with the HR Big Band in Frankfurt. In 2004, the Birmingham Conservatoire awarded him an Honorary Fellowship.

In 2007, he toured the UK with a large group of his own which included Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow, Adam Nussbaum and Chris Hunter, to celebrate his 70th birthday.