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Applications open for the Will Michael Jazz Awards

28th November 2019

Supported by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Will Michael Jazz Education Award recognises excellent provision within jazz & improvised music and innovative approaches to engaging young musicians. The winner of the award will be announced on Wednesday 4th March at the Music & Drama Education Expo at Olympia in London.

This year, the award will once more be administered by NYJO and continue to be supported by The Musicians’ Company. Applications are open until the 24th of January. We encourage all music education hubs to apply, regardless of their size and funding, the judging panel will take these into account when making its decisions.

Last year’s award was presented by jazz musician Soweto Kinch to the Camden Music Hub, who was recognised for their outstanding commitment to gender diversity in jazz and engaging in cross-genre collaboration. Kate Hannent, Jazz lead for Camden Music Hub, said: “We were delighted to receive this year’s award, amongst many other worthy nominees. It’s brilliant that the award exists to encourage and recognise great jazz provision in education. During the application process we were able to reflect on our achievements, and bring into focus what we can now build on. It was interesting and useful to discover what provision is happening elsewhere.”

The judging panel:
Ivor Widdison – former chair of Jazz Services Education Panel and Music Education Council Music Education Awards Panel
Claire Furlong – Head of Learning & Participation of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Dr Catherine Tackley – Head of Music at Liverpool University
Andrea Vicari – Jazz Pianist and Educator
Richard Michael – Scottish Jazz Educator and brother of Will Michael
Bill C Martin – former Music Education Manager at Yamaha

Shortlisted hubs in 2019 included Durham Music Service, Devon Music Service, Greater Manchester Hub, Oxfordshire Music Service and Sheffield Music Hub.

Claire Furlong, Head of Learning & Participation at NYJO, said: “In these challenging times for music education, it’s important that we take time to celebrate the innovative and exciting work happening within jazz education. It is a real pleasure for NYJO to facilitate this award and we look forward to receiving the submissions, and being inspired by the fantastic work being delivered across the UK.”