Big band fans in Henley need to listen up this Christmas - The Stratford Observer

Big band fans in Henley need to listen up this Christmas

BIG band fans are in for a real treat in Henley this Christmas.

The award winning Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a performance in the town.

MYJO will present a variety of big band music as part of its A Fanfare to Christmas concert on Monday December 19 at Memorial Hall.

Celebrating over 50 years since its inception, the long-established orchestra supports young people in developing their musical talents, under the direction of award-winning trumpeter and conductor John Ruddick MBE.




The group has a broad repertoire of music and was unbeaten in 20 years in the BBC National Big Band Competition.

MYJO has played across the world from Canada to Germany and from Russia to America with venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Disneyworld Florida, Symphony Hall, and the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.


The orchestra has also featured on radio and television, performing alongside the BBC Big Band, and as part of the 400-year celebration of Shakespeare’s birth, performing with members of The Royal Ballet on BBC 2.

Many of the group’s alumni have gone on to forge successful careers in international jazz music, attending prestigious institutions including Birmingham Conservatoire, Guildhall School of Music and the world-renowned Manhattan School of Music.

Alex Cardall a drummer and vocalist with the band when he was 16, currently performs in the UK wide theatre tour of The Osmonds and will be returning to sing with MYJO as part of the Christmas concert.

Alex said: “I am really excited to be returning to the Midlands this December and to perform as part of MYJO’s A Fanfare to Christmas.

“I am proud to call myself an alumnus – my time in the orchestra was instrumental in shaping my early steps as a musician and performer and I am looking forward to performing in a cracking show, full of fun and festive tunes for everyone to enjoy.”

John Latham, a retired charity consultant who has worked with the band for 12 years, said: “We are delighted to return again to Henley for the band’s annual Christmas concert. We are looking forward to putting on a great show and getting everyone into the festive spirit with some big band music.”

The evening, which kicks off at 7.45pm, includes a raffle and bar, with all cash raised helping to support the orchestra’s 2023 events.

Tickets cost £15 and can be bought by contacting John Latham on 07719 618 843 or emailing him on [email protected]

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