How did that happen? We’re less than a week away from the start of our new season and the excitement of welcoming players old and new to our first Gathering Day at Kay House, which is also a Recruitment Day.
We’ve said our goodbyes to players leaving DYJO1, who are off to music college, university, or elsewhere, players have been promoted from DYJO2 to fill the vacancies, and the core remaining DYJO2 players will be welcoming and inspiring the new young musicians who join DYJO2.
New players won’t have to go through the rigours of a formal audition. Many young musicians come along to DYJO never really having done jazz before, so the ethos of our welcome is to give the new players a chance to play alongside those with experience, and to work out if they can cope with the music and enjoy themselves in our dynamic learning environment.
One of my own main focuses is to develop young musicians’ aural learning – after all, jazz developed as an aural/oral tradition – and so the first session with DYJO2 won’t involve notation, letting players use their ears and musical understanding to tell them what to play.
But, of course, big band music does also involve reading notation, so later sessions will feature a few fully-scored and notated pieces (or ‘charts’, as we call them in the big band world), starting with something fairly straightforward, and progressing through the day, to stretch players of the range of abilities I anticipate will be there.
Graham Hutton, with DYJO1, will be making the promoted DYJO2 players feel at home, and will be stretching everyone with a range of music, and giving everyone opportunities to explore solos. As usual, everyone will be in the same boat, learning new charts from scratch!
The main thing, for everyone, including me, will be to have fun playing music, and through that fun, to learn a load of stuff. That’s really the DYJO ethos, in a nutshell.
So, to the practicalities…
You can see more details about the day itself on our Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/794381770723590
And you can see things about suggested entry standards and so on on our (soon-to-be-revamped) website here: http://dyjo.org/page19.html