(August 16, 2022) – Maestro Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute (PYOMI), is proud to announce the launch of the Philadelphia Youth Jazz Orchestra (PYJO), a new program division of the Institute. PYJO provides advanced instrumental music students the opportunity to learn from world-renowned and highly experienced professional conductors, musicians, and teachers, rehearse professional-level jazz orchestra literature, and perform in high-profile professional venues throughout the greater Philadelphia region. 

A proud alumnus of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Maestro Justin Faulkner is the founding Director and Conductor of the PYJO, and currently holds the drum chair in the Grammy Award Winning/Six-Time Grammy Nominated Branford Marsalis Quartet. He is a faculty member at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, a Governor of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy, and a creative consultant for the Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts.  

Faulkner shared his enthusiasm about this new division and his role with PYOMI. He said, “It is an honor to return home to the PYOMI family where I was educated and trained as a budding young musician. It is now my turn to offer what was so greatly bestowed upon me by Maestro Louis Scaglione, a new perspective of my responsibility as a musician/artist and a space to learn and develop under the mentorship of the world’s greatest artists and educators. I look forward to working with our jazz musicians and watching them grow with this excellent new opportunity.” 

Maestro Scaglione takes great pride in Faulkner’s success and looks forward to watching more jazz musicians grow and develop under his guidance. He said, “Justin comes to PYOMI with the personal experience as one of our alumni and as a very successful musician and educator. We know the students will be honored to work under his leadership. Anything is possible for our music students and Maestro Justin Faulkner demonstrates that beautifully.” 

The PYJO will feature classic repertoire from the golden age of the quintessential jazz orchestra and big band format, including works by such great masters as Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and many more.  

Rehearsals will begin in mid-September on Thursday evenings at Saint Patrick Hall in Center City Philadelphia.  Performances will occur through the winter and spring at the Temple Performing Arts Center (TPAC), and additional master classes and sectional rehearsals will be scheduled throughout the season.     

Membership in the Jazz Orchestra is obtained through an audition process.  In person auditions will be held on September 10th and 11th. The Philadelphia Youth Jazz Orchestra (PYJO) accepts wind (saxophone), brass (trumpet, trombone, tuba) and rhythm section (drum set, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass) students ages 15 through 21. Details about auditions can be found at www.pyomusic.org