Grand Union Orchestra

There is no musical organisation on the planet quite like the Grand Union Orchestra. For nearly 40 years, we have brought together artists born or brought up in all major musical traditions worldwide to create spectacular live shows, combining music and theatre to express and reflect vividly British society today.

TO ALL OUR FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS IN LONDON, ACROSS THE UK, THROUGHOUT EUROPE AND AROUND THE WORLD...

We are taking a breather in January, planning events for our 40th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL in MAY 2022. Live performances and workshops will begin around the middle of February, with the return of GUYO, the Re:Generation Band, the Hoxton and Shoreditch Community Orchestra and a new series Grand Union Unwrapped featuring the GUO AllStars. The main event in May will be a new show with the full Grand Union Orchestra at the Hackney Empire, May 14th/15th.

More details of the programme will be published from the end of January.

Much of our work in 2021 centred on the 50th anniversary of the birth of Bangladesh as a separate nation. Our programme culminated in December with two spectacular concerts: one at Rich Mix combining our Bengali artists with the Grand Union Youth Orchestra; and a special event, featuring other distinguished Bengali performers, at the British Library, commemorating the end of the War. Earlier in the year, when Covid denied us the opportunity to perform live, we produced this highly original music film about the struggle for independence; many of the songs featured in the Library show.


As a taster of what to expect from our own 40th anniversary commemorations, here are some other highights from our 2021 autumn programme: 


GRAND UNION IS AN EXTRAORDINARY ORGANISATION, IN EFFECT SEVERAL COMPANIES IN ONE, COVERING...

(click on image for videos and details)

                   
   

Our core musicians and singers introduce themselves in this 6-minute video, describe the Orchestra's music and why it is important to them, and can be seen in action in 20 minutes of exhilarating highlights from Undream'd Shores: 

               

At a time when our society is very much at odds with itself,  let's remind ourselves of all that's good and positive in multicultural Britain today, and the benefits of living in a society shaped by migration:

               

"The man that hath no music in himself,
      Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds
           Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
                Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music."

 SHAKESPEARE (The Merchant of Venice)

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