Now in its 11th year, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence program has annually supported two emerging composers to develop new works for a large jazz ensemble, offering both generous commission fees and artistic mentorship.

This year we had the largest number of entries we’ve ever seen, making the usual difficult decisions even harder. This is a good indication that jazz composition is still alive and well in this country, especially seeing the quality of the submissions.

However, only two composers could be selected to fill the Associate Composer in Residence and the Composer in Residence positions. They were chosen based on their previous work, education, and proposed ideas for the commission.

WAYJO Alumni Joshua Nicholls was successful as the 2019 WAYJO Associate Composer in Residence.

Joshua has a good grasp on orchestration, voicing and arranging craft as well as having an eclectic range of influences and styles he brings into his music.

Scott van Gemert will be the 2019 WAYJO Composer in Residence.

Scott’s skill and craft in writing for big band instrumentation, and respect for the tradition, was displayed in his previous work.

Scott’s proposal to push his concepts of form and structure while still acknowledging the jazz tradition promises to deliver us some exceptional new Australian big band music.

The WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra will premier and record these young composer’s exciting new works at the 2019 King St Corner Pocket Jazz Festival, Sat 6 July Downstairs at The Maj – 6.00pm & 7.30pm.

For more information about WAYJO’s composer in residence program and commissioning, please visit


2019 WAYJO Composer in Residence – Scott van Gemert
2019 WAYJO Associate Composer in Residence – Joshua Nicholls


Justine Thornley
WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950

Mace Francis
WAYJO Artistic Director
+61 8 9471 1950