Strathclyde University Glasgow   

2019-20 Applications Open - Closing Soon!

Applications for SYJO2, Jazzschool and Jazzschool for singers are now open. We accept applications from instrumentalists and singers at all levels, beginners right up to advanced jazz students. If you're not sure which SYJO group is right for you, don't worry - just apply and we will sort out the best place for you.

SYJO Jazzschool meets every week on a Monday for eight weeks in each of Autumn, Spring and Summer. Jazzschool is a fun, workshop style group where you can play jazz with other keen jazzers, and learn to improvise on popular jazz tunes like a pro! And you get to show off your new skills at end of programme concerts!

SYJO2 ensemble meets every week, on Sundays throughout most of the academic year. The band covers improvising learning, rehearses jazz tunes and performs.

SYJO: You don't need to have passed any formal exams to play in SYJO Big Band. But you need to be playing and reading at an advanced level - Grade 8 and above for this ensemble. Your sight reading needs to be very good. And you do need quite a bit of advanced jazz playing experience. Most SYJO players have good improvising skills, too.

Singers: You don't need any formal vocal training but you do need a decent voice, a good ear, good sense of jazz rythmn - and a love of jazz! Jazzschool for singers meets weekly. Our advanced singers sometimes get opportunities to sing with SYJO ensembles and other youth jazz organisations, and we present our singer gigs. 

Applications: Message Facebook, use the online application link above, or email Tell us as much as you can about yourself. Tell us about any jazz experience, about what you like in jazz, what music you like to listen to and why you want to play jazz. Please give as much information as you can about your music in the text box on the form, or in your email. If you prefer to text us before applying you can do that here: 07776 196203


New on YouTube

We have a new YouTube Channel at Strathclyde YJazz. The channel has some new videos of SYJO performing and we will be adding some vids of SYJO2 very soon. Here's the link:






Look out for SYJO at Glasgow's hottest new jazz club, Blue Arrow. We'll be popping up throughout the year!


SYJO & SYJO2, Sunday, May 28, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, City of Music Studio

We've had masses of messages after SYJO's big band performance at GRCH on International Jazz Day, asking us when the band will perform again. Thanks! We're delighted to announce another gig soon - on Sunday May 28th.

Long recognised as a springboard for young talent, Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra has been at the vanguard of jazz education since the first Glasgow Jazz Festival in 1987. The current band, led by band director, Alan Benzie, presents a fabulous new programme of traditional and contemporary big band numbers. Also featuring our SYJO vocalist, Luca Manning.

Players from our SYJO2 ensemble, led by SYJO2 director, Brian Molley, will also perform a short set.

Tickets available soon at the GRCH box office 0141 353 8000.

Glasgow Jazz Festival, Big Bands Festival: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, June 23.

A day of big bands at GRCH. SYJO Big Band at 4.45p.m.

Tickets 0141 353 8000

Renfrewshire Schools Get in the Groove

We've had a fabulous time working with some of Renfrewshire Council's primary schools where pupils delighted us in the last month or so with their enthusiasm and jazzy inventions. Langbank, St Fillans and Elderslie P6 & P7 pupils are now seasoned jazzers!!

We've also been having a blast in six Renfreshire secondary schools, working with S2 and S3 pupils: Glennifer High, Park Mains High, Renfrew High, Gryffe Academy, Castlehead High and Trinity High. Thanks everyone for such great fun and brilliant jazz learning!

Glasgow Jazz Festival - TWO great gigs from SYJO's award winning young jazzers

SYJO Big Band: Thursday 25th June, Ramshorn Theatre, Glasgow, 2.30 p.m.

Long recognised as a springboard for young talent, Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra has been at the vanguard of jazz education since the first Glasgow Jazz Festival in 1987. The current band present a fabulous new programme of traditional and contemporary big band numbers. Also featuring Ailie Anderson -  one of our SYJO singers and the first ever vocalist on the jazz degree course at the Royal Conservatiore of Scotland.

Tickets £8 full price, £6 concession for sale on the door only

Contact: Tricia Barlow


SYJO Vocal Showcase: Friday 26th June, Ramshorn Theatre, Glasgow, 2.30 p.m.

In 2014 SYJO began a programme for young jazz vocalists under the direction of SYJO alumnus, vocalist Stephen Duffy (presenter of BBC Radio's Jazz House). We are delighted to feature five of these young singers: Delilah Rose Niel, Ailie Anderson, Luca Manning, Chell Young and Alexander Maxwell. The superb young singers show off their abilities across a range of styles accompanied by acclaimed pianist Euan Stevenson and his trio.

Tickets £8 full price, £6 concession on the door only

Contact: Tricia Barlow



SYJO Drummer wins UK Young Drummer of the Year

Huge congratulations to Euan Leslie, our SYJO Combo drummer, who has just won the UK Young Drummer of the Year title. The competition attracts hundreds of young drummers every year across rock, pop and jazz. As part of the award, he'll be appearing at the London Drum Show and getting some great opportunities to support famous professionals at drum clinics across the UK. 


SYJO musicians head for top jazz colleges

No less than four of the fiercely contested places on the jazz degree course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have gone to SYJO musicians. 

Bassist Mark Hendry is headed for RCS after a sparkling audition secured him an unconditional offer. Mark started jazz in East Renfrewshire schools jazz orchestra. He joined SYJO Jazzschool to develop his improvising and has been with us through Jazzschool and SYJO2 before graduating to SYJO and our weekly combo group. 

Not one, but both our 2015 school-leaver drummers have also won places at RCS! Former jazzschool drummer, Lauren Macdonald, from East Renfrewshire, will be the first female drummer on the course. And our SYJO2 drummer, Jack Cruttenden, is looking forward to taking up his place and the chance to work with some of the world class teachers on the course. Jack plays in South Lanarkshire's jazz orchestra, as well as brilliantly holding the band together in SYJO2. 

In another spectacular first, SYJO singer, Ailie Anderson will be the first ever vocalist on the RCS jazz degree. Ailie sang in West Dumbartonshire soul bands before she auditioned for SYJO's weekly vocal Jazzschool to pursue her love of jazz. She says she was completely stunned when she received her unconditional offer and can't wait to get started.

Meanwhile, saxophonist Harry Weir has won a place at Birmingham Conservatoire, another of the top UK jazz schools. Harry will join SYJO trumpeter Christos Stylianides, who started at Birmingham in 2014. Harry also came through his area jazz orchestra - Renfrewshire - to SYJO Jazzschool and, like Mark, has developed his skills through SYJOs various training and performing ensembles.

All our musicians have had spectacular success against very strong competition from across the UK - and beyond. We are delighted to see so many of our members chosing to pursue jazz studies - and winning places on such great courses. 


SYJO at the Jazz Bar

SYJO has just returned from a fantastic gig at Edinburgh's famous Jazz Bar, led by leading UK saxophonist, Brian Molley. The band wowed the audience with tunes from Gershwin to Wayne Shorter and we've already had requests for a return visit!



SYJO Drummers at the front in National Jazz Competition

We were pretty delighted this summer when the Scottish Young Jazz Musician Final featured a close run finish between two... drummers.

Not only that, but both of them SYJO players!

In a tremendously high quality final, outstanding performances by SYJO alumnus, Corrie Dick, and our current drummer, Mark Scobbie, had the audience and BBC listeners at home chewing their nails to the last moment. Our congratulations to both musicians. Congratulations also to the three other finalists for such high quality playing  -  and, of course, to Corrie, named 2013 winner.

As if that’s not enough good news for aspiring drummers and the state of youth jazz drumming in Scotland, our SYJO2 drummer, Euan Leslie, was one of the youngest musicians yet to reach the semi finals. Watch this space!


International Praise for SYJO at Glasgow Jazz Festival

SYJO has been the springboard for many of Scotland’s top jazz names, so there wasn't a spare seat to be had when our multi-award winning band returned to Scotland’s premier jazz event with a Festival Special of classic and contemporary favourites. The band was joined for part of the gig by up-and-coming musicians from SYJO Jazzschool, in a lively showcase of Scotland’s best young jazz talent. And the audience was treated to an impromptu "extra" when leading Scottish saxophonist and SYJO band leader, Stewart Forbes, took out his own saxophone for a wonderful duo interpretation of Body and Soul with guest pianist, Alan Benzie.

Among the capacity audience out to spot the future stars of Scottish jazz were fans and critics from as far away as Japan and Germany.They know their jazz in Germany, so we were more than a little delighted with the review that appeared from one German writer:

"The young musicians of the SYJO are remarkably talented... this orchestra can travel and be more than a merely local institution"

Rush Hour Jazz 2012-13

SYJO returned to City Halls, Glasgow, with several new faces, masses of energy and a great new programme of classic big band numbers and contemporary compositions for unwinding during rush hour. The regular concerts were a great success and we are looking forward to more of ther same - but different - in 2014.


SYJO at Edinburgh Jazz Bar

SYJO travels to Scotland’s best known Jazz haunt for a Saturday afternoon of big band favourites in the Spring. Watch this space for dates.

Ramshorn Theatre, SYJO Jazzschool

SYJO’s weekly Jazzschool brings together some of the most talented young jazz musicians from across the West of Scotland. 2014 was an exceptional year with several from the group now in SYJO’s advanced bands.

Park Mains High School, Erskine, Renfrewshire.

Young jazzers from schools across Renfrewshire with SYJO. The young musicians took part in SYJO jazz workshops throughout the Spring term, organised by Renfrewshire Council. The concert brought them together with SYJO lead players for a wonderful evening of hot big band sounds.


MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL - SYJO recently travelled to the Montreux Jazz Festival on the shores of Lake Geneva to give two performances at the Parc Vernex stage.  A huge, enthusiastic crowd, Incredible scenery, world class music and atmosphere all combined to make this a very special & memorable event.

RENFREWSHIRE YMI JAZZ INITIATIVE - SYJO  is providing jazz training to school musicians in Renfrewshire schools and through our special Renfrewshire Jazzschool band again in February and March 2015.