Pathways Program nominated for 2024 Art Music Award

We are thrilled to announce that our Pathways Program has been nominated for the national 2024 Art Music Awards for Excellence in Music Education for the second year in a row!

Founded in 2014 in Perth, WAYJO’s Pathways Program includes both Progressions and the Northern Corridor Band (WAYJO NC).

Progressions (formerly known as Young Women in Jazz) is designed for female and non-binary instrumentalists who want to dive deeper into jazz and improvised music.

Participants get the chance to perform live at a professional jazz club and work with some of Australia’s top jazz professionals. The workshops, held at WAAPA, feature guest artists, alumnae tutors, and culminate in live performances.

The upcoming program runs on Saturdays from 2-4 pm, from 27 July to 14 September, with renowned trumpeter Chloe Rowlands (USA) as one of the guest artists. Registrations close on 24 July.

Our dedicated team, led by Gemma Farrell, includes Mace Francis, Monique Douglas, Emily Stokoe, and Lucy Iffla, all of whom contribute to making this program a success.

WAYJO NC, founded by Adrian Hicks and currently run by Jessica Herbert and Andrea Stimson, helps young musicians develop their skills in big band jazz. Rehearsals, held in a big band format, focus on jazz phrasing, articulation, artistic expression, improvisation, and playing various musical genres including jazz, funk, and Latin.

In addition to regular rehearsals, participants benefit from masterclasses, performance opportunities, collaborations, and mentoring from both Australian and international guest artists, WAAPA staff, and experienced WAYJO alumni.

We extend our congratulations to our fellow finalists for Excellence in Music Education:

• The Song Room for building thriving communities for children by championing Australian music in remote NT
• The Sonicrats (Alon Ilsar, Ciaran Frame, and Erick Mitsak) for You’re an Instrument! 2023 Victorian Schools Program
• Speak Percussion for Sounds Unheard 2023 Program

A special shout-out to WAYJO alum Linda May Han Oh, nominated for Work of the Year: Jazz for Ephemeral Echoes.

The APRA AMCOS and Australian Music Centre’s Art Music Awards is an annual celebration of the national art music community, recognising excellence among creators, performers, and community leaders in contemporary classical, jazz, experimental music, and sound art. The Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, 14 August at Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne/Naarm.

Being nominated again is a tremendous honour, and we look forward to sharing all the exciting developments in the Pathways Program this year.

Swingin' at St Stephen's

WAYJO presents Swingin’ at St Stephen’s, proudly supported by St Stephen’s School.

From high school jazz musician to WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) member and beyond, join us for a night of swingin’ classics as we celebrate WAYJO’s Pathways Program and its ongoing relationship with St Stephen’s School in the development of young jazz musicians in WA.

Featuring WAYJO’s MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra with special guest artist David Theak (NSW) and support from WAYJO’s Northern Corridor Band and St Stephen’s Swing Band, these three big bands will be performing the music of the greats including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, and more at St Stephen’s School’s state-of-the-art performance venue in Duncraig.

In national recognition of WAYJO’s Act Belong Commit Pathways Program made up of ‘Progressions’ for female-identifying and non-binary instrumentalists as well as the ‘Northern Corridor Band’, a high-school based big band that attracts students from Perth’s northern corridor and as far as Mandurah, Rockingham and Byford to rehearse at St Stephen’s School in Duncraig; the Pathways program was recently nominated as a finalist in the prestigious Art Music Awards for Excellence in Music Education for 2022.

Providing inspiration and opportunity for students to perform and develop, on the night they’ll be joined by a special guest – accomplished saxophonist David Theak, who is head of Jazz at the Sydney Conservatorium, co-artistic director of the Australian National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and artistic director of the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Festival.

Don’t miss the special evening of vintage rhythms and timeless classics as WAYJO presents Swingin’ at St Stephen’s, proudly supported by St Stephen’s School.

WAYJO thanks Government Partner the Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries, Principal Partner North West Shelf Gas, Major Programs Partner Minderoo Foundation, MinterEllison Monday Night Orchestra Naming Rights Partner, City of Joondalup and Healthway Act-Belong-Commit for their continued support.

Swingin’ at St Stephen’s
7:30pm – 9:30pm, Friday 15 September
St Stephen’s School Theatre, Duncraig

Young Women in Jazz Concert (2022)


Progressions, WAYJO’s Pathways Program for female identifying and non-binary instrumentalists encompassing workshops focused on jazz and improvisation, takes to the stage for their 2023 showcase under the Musical Direction of Gemma Farrell.

Run in Perth since 2014 and developed in 2002 by Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) and Dr. Sandy Evans OAM, these workshops have seen young female and non-binary musicians build support networks, refine their skills, and increase confidence while learning about jazz and improvised music from some of Perth’s most accomplished jazz professionals.

We invite you to support these talented young people as they demonstrate their newly acquired skills in a fun and inspirational performance at the culmination of 8-weeks of intensive workshopping.

6pm – 8pm, Sunday 2 July
Lyric’s Underground

Progressions is presented in association with the Sydney Improvised Music Association, with venue support by the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Progressions is part of WAYJO’s Pathways Education Program, supported by Healthway promoting the Act Belong Commit message, and major partner The Minderoo Foundation.