Grand Union Orchestra

There is no musical organisation on the planet quite like the Grand Union Orchestra. For over 30 years, we have brought together singers and instrumentalists from all over the world to create spectacular live shows, combining music and theatre to reflect vividly the society we live in today.

WE INTEND TO RESUME LIVE PROJECTS IN SEPTEMBER; MEANWHILE, WE ARE STILL VERY BUSY WITH ONLINE ACTIVITIES AND LIVE STREAMING EVENTS. SEE OUR EVENTS PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS.

 OUR THEME FOR 2020 REMAINS  RE:GENERATION
uniting three generations of musicians drawn from across all the UK's diverse cultures and communities.

In this sequence of 20 pieces 'The Isle is Full of Noises'  hundreds of young musicians take a journey around the world in the company of artists and their instruments from every imaginable global musical tradition

               

If ever there was a time when the arts, and music in particular, were needed to heal rifts and create unity in our society, that time is surely now; and who better to help lead this process than the young people to whom the future belongs? 

Advocacy of justice and equality has always been central to our art, so we offer this powerful piece also in solidarity with the  Black Lives Matter movement:


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)

Stay in touch with us

Latest News

Youth Takeover!

Latest newsletter, Bitesize #8, edited by Grand Union young musicians

Reflections on Music Education...

...in the latest Bitesize Newsletter #7, including a surprising blast from the past!

The latest Bite-size - #6

Announcing an ambitious new commission for GUO, and roundup of current participatory work

Bite-size newsletter #5

What we are doing in June, covering Refugee Week, Windrush Day and the Black Lives Matter campaign

Black Lives Matter

Listen to Worksong - a powerful Grand Union chorus + big band classic in defence of freedom and justice.

Bite-size newsletter #4

The latest on our lockdown activities, focussing this week on our work with the younger generation of musicians

GUO in London Jazz News

Duncan Heining writes about the GUO in lockdown, its influence and cultural importance

Bite-size newsletter #3

All the latest from the GU's lockdown world - and some amazing b&w archive photos!

RIP John Cumming

Tony Haynes writes about his valued friend, colleague and co-founder of the Grand Union..

On-line events!

Every Friday at 8.00, a GU Orchestra or Re:Generation Band musician appears live on YouTube! .

Covid-19 'Playlist'

Three pieces from Song of Contagion which have an uncanny prescience for these challenging times...

Bite-size Newsletter #2

Packed with fascinating facts and marvellous music - a mid-May roundup

Letter to the Guardian

Tony Haynes argues the crucial role of creative artists during and after the pandemic - and a big thank-you!

Bite-size Newsletter #1

We are publishing a short fortnightly Newsletter to keep you up to date with GUO activity during the Covid-19 lockdown

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