As the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, we want to inspire people to come and hear live jazz of all genres. Established in 1995, under the direction of leading saxophonist Tommy Smith, the orchestra has grown from strength to strength and is starting to create inroads on the International jazz scene. Comprising some of the best Scottish Jazz musicians, and holders of the 2012 British Jazz and the All Parliamentary Jazz Awards for best UK Big Band they are wonderful ambassadors for Scottish Jazz. This was emphasised this summer, on a 9 day tour to New York and four large Jazz Festivals in Rochester, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal when they received standing ovations from enthusiastic audiences of all sizes – 100 – 12,000! Listen to part of Montreal’s performance here http://youtu.be/WBEmrud3i44
As the orchestra’s reputation grew and with the appointment of an orchestra manager in 2010, it became apparent that to grow their audiences, the SNJO needed to use increased digital opportunities, embrace the rapid changes occurring and upgrade their facilities, equipment and knowledge to enable this. Through AmbITion Scotland’s courses, we became aware of possible funding opportunities and quickly realised that our current systems were outmoded and to ensure all necessary stepping stones and knowledge were in place to progress, we needed to start at the very bottom. Our Amb:IT:ion Approach grant enabled an expert to examine our current online presence and mechanisms, identify problems, suggest solutions for future digital development to ensure a robust, sustainable and effective future for the orchestra. This review highlighted many website problems and a business case was formulated to apply to digital development to create a new website with interactive digital capabilities.
Suddenly all our worst nightmares came true!! Our website was hacked and a Trojan virus inserted causing the site to be immediately suspended and emails compromised. It happened the day after our webmaster went on honeymoon and as revealed in the review, he was only one of two in Scotland able to use Modx systems. AAArg!!!! Eventually we sourced the host, retrieved our data for cleansing but it was impossible to reload website due to problems. Immediately we called AmbITion to keep them in the picture and were so impressed with their calm and fair solutions to the problems. After discussions, we were able to extend our finishing date and use the remaining grant for digital purposes as planned until we heard re the digital Development Content Development grant which we were delighted to be awarded and is under way now.
We are so pleased with the way our new website is progressing and invite all to come and look – www.snjo.co.uk – there is lots more to come and we are happy now that it will be fit for future purposes with thanks to all at Amb:IT:ion, Make it happen and Creative Scotland.
Please enjoy more of our music here! SNJO ELLINGTON: In The Hall of the Mountain King