After a public call-out and rigorous selection process, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) is proud to announce Christopher Musitano has been selected as Associate Music Director for 2019-20, commencing September.

Proudly supported by the Simon Lee Foundation, the Assistant Music Director program offers a mentoring traineeship for a young and emerging musical director. The program is a rare opportunity for emerging band leaders to develop skills in conducting a large orchestral band, programming repertoire for an 18-piece big band, and develop the leadership skills required to inspire and enhance the skills and experience of band members.

WAYJO’s Artistic Director Dr Mace Francis selected Chris from a strong field of applications. “Chris has spent a long time with WAYJO as a musician, coming up through all the bands. This experience as Assistant Music Director will give Chris another perspective and set of skills he can take to his teaching and into the industry. We congratulate Chris on this appointment and welcome him back to the WAYJO family.”

Chris, who performed with WAYJO for 8-years, brings substantial knowledge and experience to the role, with a BA in Music Studies and Specialist Music Studies, and BMus (Hons) in Music – Jazz Performance.

“I applied for the role as I had seen the opportunities and growth that this position has allowed for those who have previously held it, especially during my time as a player in WAYJO. Getting to be on the conductor’s side of a band such as WAYJO is an opportunity not to be missed.”

“In addition to getting the experience of directing a big band, I am hoping that the position of Assistant Music Director opens me up to lots of new music and sounds that I haven’t heard before. Getting to hear new composers and players will allow me to better inform my own composing, teaching, and playing which will, in turn, help me to take on this position to the best of my ability.”

“I believe that WAYJO is an important musical institution in the Perth music scene as it fosters young talent while opening up young musicians to opportunities and music that they might not be exposed to in high school or university. Speaking personally, it helped and allowed me to grow in skill as a player, to meet and eventually play music with new friends, and fostered a love of jazz and big band music that then informed the direction of my career.”

“I think this position is important because it not only gives experience in running a band, but also gives those who have previously played in the band an opportunity to give back to the organization who helped them to get there in the first place.”

Applications for this paid traineeship position are invited annually. Head to, and subscribe to WAYJO eNews, to stay informed about all upcoming opportunities within the orchestras and organisation.

Chris Musitano (26) – WAYJO Associate Musical Director 2019-20.

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Media Contact
Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 (0)8 9471 1950