Ensemble Director: Ian Chalk

Our acclaimed Jazz Education Programme takes young musicians from having never played jazz before to improvising freely and with confidence.  Our young musicians also learn to play together in smaller jazz combos, big bands, funk bands and eventually in our award-winning jazz orchestra plus they can have one-to-one tuition with professional jazz musicians.

Jazz Stars is for any young musician taking their first steps in playing jazz and it doesn't matter what instrument they play. During our sessions we learn about playing jazz rhythms, how to play in a band and to begin to improvise jazz solos.


We play fairly simple arrangements so that we grow in confidence and have a lot of fun while we do! The young musicians in Jazz Stars are approximately Grades 1 - 4.

60 minute session

Jazz Explore is where our students learn to develop their jazz improvisation skills. During our sessions we learn about jazz harmony, solo construction, the use of space and how to play within a small jazz band environment. This group is also where our students develop the skills and confidence to use within the Big Band, Forum Funk and the Jazz Orchestra when taking improvised jazz solos.

60 minute session

The York Music Forum Youth Big Band is a senior jazz group for players of brass, saxophone and rhythm instruments.


We rehearse and perform sophisticated big band arrangements and learn to work together as a high quality and disciplined jazz ensemble.


Players in the Big Band are Grade 4 and above.

75 minute session

Funk! is a senior jazz funk group for players of brass, saxophone, rhythm instruments and singers.


We rehearse and perform very cool original jazz funk compositions and classic material from the genre.


Players in Funk! are Grade 4 and above.

60 minute session

This is our elite youth jazz ensemble and is open to players up to 21 years of age, who have already achieved a high standard on their instrument.​ We play very sophisticated, professional standard arrangements and we aim to be one of the best Youth Jazz Orchestras in the country.  Because of the nature of this ensemble, entry is by invitation or audition only.

Click here to watch the Jazz Orchestra in performance at The Music For Youth National Festival at Birmingham Town Hall in July 2018.


Click the album artwork below to buy the Jazz Orchestra's new album 'Mist And Reflection'! 

75 minute session

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Vale Of York Academy, Rawcliffe Lane, York YO30 6ZS, UK

©2019 by Yorkshire Performing Arts Ltd.