For the penultimate Music @ Ardingly concert of this, the tenth season, we were delighted to welcome the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain to the College.
This was a wonderful opportunity for the College’s jazz musicians to work with these wonderfully humble and exceptionally talented young musicians. The Prep Jazz Band were treated to an improvisation masterclass from the director of the band, Mr Mark Armstrong, before the Senior Jazz Band were given the opportunity to rehearse for an hour with the band ahead of the evening concert in which they would perform three numbers; Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, Fascinating Rhythm and I Concentrate on You. Making a big band of some forty players, there was a powerful and explosive sound in the Under and the sheer virtuosity and groove of the ensemble was wonderful to see and hear. NYJO performed a concert of diversity featuring compositions by own band members, fluent and impressive soloing, and even some jazz recorder! In addition, they were joined by the wonderful tones of Rosie Bullen who sang a series of songs with the band.
This was a most memorable evening of music making by one of the country’s foremost ensembles and, coupled with wonderful insight into the creativity of Jazz through the two masterclasses, will last long in the memory of the College’s musicians.