Surrey County Youth Jazz Orchestra

SCYJO was formed over twenty five years ago and along with the Surrey County Youth and Wind Orchestras, it is one of the flagship orchestral ensembles organized by Surrey’s award winning arts service.

It has performed in venues all over the county in schools, theatres, jazz clubs and concert halls. It has also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and on the South Bank. Many past members have gone on to study jazz at music college and university and have become professional musicians while others have developed a life long enthusiasm for jazz and ‘Big Band’ music.

SCYJO rehearses on Wednesday evenings (term time) at Westfield School, Woking, 6.45-9pm.

lp-scyjo-14 reasons to join the Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra

1. Represent the county

2. Play with other talented instrumentalists

3. Learn and develop playing and performing techniques from highly experienced conductors and tutors

4. Perform and tour in iconic venues in the UK and across Europe

lp-scyjo-2How do I become a member of SCYJO?

Membership is open to players aged between 13 and 21, of the following:

alto, tenor and baritone saxophone; trumpet; tenor and bass trombone; piano; electric guitar; double bass/bass guitar;

drum kit and percussion

To become a member, you will need to read music fluently. If you are a pianist, guitarist or bassist, some knowledge of chord symbols will be required. All members will be encouraged to learn to improvise and ‘speak the language of jazz’.

If you have already studied how to play jazz solos you will be at an advantage; however, players who have no experience of improvisation will be welcomed.

If you are studying the new Guildhall and Associated Board Jazz grade exams, the Band will offer an ideal opportunity for you to develop your playing with others who are also enthusiastic about jazz music.

Complete the online application form at
You will then be invited for an audition when you will be expected to play two contrasting piece, a few scales and some sight reading.

Auditions take place throughout the year

lp-scyjo-3Conductors and Tutors

The band is coached by a team of professional tutors under the directorship of John Whelan. John is a well known conductor and arranger, with many years experience of teaching in this field.


The Orchestra has a classic ‘Big Band’ instrumentation and plays music from the ‘Swing Era’ through to modern jazz/rock pieces.

lp-scyjo-3Concerts and Events

Our next concert is Tuesday 22 March at The Electric Theatre, Guildford.


Check for latest SCYJO news.

lp-scyjo-4How we sound

Spring Concert 2017 Rehearsal

If you would like to listen to Surrey County Youth Jazz Orchestra, copies of their CDs can be purchased through Alison Harding:

01483 519307

lp-scyjo-5The Gallery

See some of our talented musicians in action in our photo album


Many of our members audition successfully for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and National Children’s Orchestras. Quite a number also go on to study music at college or university and become professional musicians.

Perhaps more importantly, the majority join local bands and orchestras years after leaving SCYJO with playing their instrument remaining an important part of their lives.

Contact us

For further information about SCYJO and how to join, please contact Alison Harding:

01483 519307