WA Youth Jazz Orchestra in tune at new Maylands Hall rehearsal space


Tessa Campbell, Matt Smith, Max Wickham and general manager Simon Keen Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d481360
Tessa Campbell, Matt Smith, Max Wickham and general manager Simon Keen Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d481360

WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) musicians are thriving on the professional and fancy feel of their refurbished rehearsal space at the 1920s Maylands Hall.

In September 2017, WAYJO received a $50,000 grant from the State Government to upgrade the building.

The upgrades, which include recarpeting, repainting, airconditioning, sound panels, recording system, a new kitchen, new lights and a TV, were the first major works made since the orchestra moved into the hall in 2015.

There will be an official opening ceremony on April 12, where the Jazz for Juniors band will have a rehearsal in front of Maylands MLA Lisa Baker, Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman and Perth MHR Tim Hammond.

The orchestra currently has 54 musicians across three, 18-piece bands.

WAYJO general manager Simon Keen said the final upgrades, including the installation of recording equipment, would be completed within the next two months.

“The band members expect a certain professionalism from us and we expect it from them,” he said.

“We started our WAYJO hall of fame last year, so we are going to start putting the plaques for the hall of fame members around the room so the band members can see the history of WAYJO for the last 35 years.

“We wanted to recognise that a bit more around here and give a bit of inspiration to these guys.”

Mr Keen said there was a focus on getting more female brass players in 2018.

Alto saxophone player Tessa Campbell of Floreat said the “fancy” space felt nice to record and rehearse in.

“I know a lot of the band members have their own ensembles or little groups – WAYJO lets us use the space if we need rehearsal space,” she said.

“It feels like we are coming into a proper space, before it was just like a room but this is a rehearsal space.”

The orchestra will be performing with Kate Ceberano at the Astor Theatre on May 19.

They will also be holding the King Street Corner Pocket Festival in Perth’s CBD from July 5 to 7.

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