The National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ) is a non-profit, non-government organisation engaged in the development of youth orchestras in Jamaica. The NYOJ manages this program for social change in challenged communities in collaboration with the Organisation of American States (OAS).
The NYOJ’s first training centre began in September 2009 in Kingston, Jamaica with St. Andrew Technical High School. At-risk youth, ages 10 – 18, were recruited from schools in the surrounding communities (including St. Alban’s Primary, Denham Town Primary & Comprehensive High School, Trench Town High School and Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School). Classes consisting of instrument sectionals, music theory/appreciation sessions, orchestra rehearsals and choral training are held between 3:00 and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
In September 2011 a second training centre was launched at Kingston College’s Melbourne Campus, open to students from nearby schools and communities (including the Vauxhall, Camperdown, Holy Trinity and Clan Carthy High Schools). Classes are held 3-4 days per week at each centre with a current combined student population of 130. Also in September the NYOJ joined the Clinton Global Initiative, with a commitment to establish and maintain three training centres in Jamaica by 2014, enrolling a further 150 students.
Through generous contributions from the OAS, the Digicel Foundation and individual supporters the NYOJ has received 130 instruments to complete their string, brass, woodwind and percussion orchestra sections.
The NYOJ is funded by gracious donations of individuals and private sector entities.