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WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO)

WAYJO 2024 Donation Fund

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The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) exists to inspire and support the artistic development, life skills and well-being of young musicians. We know that music changes lives, and we believe in creating positive change through music. Our training programs build professional, personal and artistic skills, and lifelong collegiate and support networks.
With a proven track record of over 40 years, we are one of Australia's longest-running arts organisations. Since 1983, WAYJO has supported thousands of young people by providing quality music learning and big band performance opportunities where they otherwise don’t exist, being one of the few pre-professional performance-based training institutions and offering the only annual large-scale big band season in Australia. We support three jazz orchestras comprising 54 musicians aged between 14 and 25, as well as training pathways, and school and community workshops; intercultural and international collaborations; regional and remote touring; professional studio recording; performing new Australian music of our Young AustralianComposer commissions; and mentorships for budding musical directors.

WAYJO plays an identifiably unique and significant role within the WA jazz ecosystem and beyond, and contributing directly to the quality and make-up of major Australian arts companies, the top big bands, classical orchestras, TV and show bands, and contemporary rock, pop, acoustic groups in Australia and overseas.WAYJO Alumni have become eminent contemporary artists on the national and international scene, ARIA, Grammy, and global scholarship winners, prominent music educators, cultural ambassadors, and community and business leaders. 

In 2023, WAYJO was a finalist in the national APRA Art Music Awards for Excellence in Music Education. Our Artistic Director, Mace Francis, was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to continue that excellence by investigating organisational structures and presentation methods of international organisations. And Gemma Farrell, musical director and coordinator of our Progressions Pathway program for young female and female-identifying musicians, was a finalist for the Australian Women in MusicHumanitarian Award. It was Gemma’s third nomination for this award, for “making a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and assisting female artists working in remote and/or regional communities”.

This year, we ask you to support necessary increases in our resources to sustain these programs and our capacity to continue, and improve upon, our support of WA’s young musicians and future leaders.


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PO Box 134

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