The Grand Union Youth Orchestra runs monthly masterclasses/workshops for its members as well as open introductory workshops during school holidays and half-terms for new recruits. All sessions are open and free.

Contact Nadia Nervo on 020 8981 1551 or to find out more.




Sunday 9th, 10.00am - 1.30pm, open workshop
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA 
Open workshop led by Claude Deppa (trumpet, African drums), launching the 2020 season. New members especially welcome!

Wednesday 19th, 10.00am-1.00pm & 2.00pm-5.00pm, open workshops
Poplar Union, 2 Cotall Street, London E14 6TL 
Led by Yousuf Ali Khan and musicians from the Re:Generation Band. Open to all, including MCs and Spoken Word artists. Participants will then be invited to take part in a performance at Poplar Union on Friday 21st (rehearsal from 3.00pm)
Full details here
This event commemorates Language Day, and is part of a wider Grand Union programme celebrating Bengali culture and history.


Sunday 1st, 10.00am - 1.30pm, masterclass in South Asian music
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Led by Shanti Jayasinha, exploring classical Indian ragas, and how they can be deployed in a contemporary musical context, demonstrating the technique of konokol (spoken rhythmc phrases) and how they can be used as the basis for simple improvisation. Flyer here


Sunday 5th, 10.00am - 1.30pm, workshop
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Preparing material for GUYO's contribution to the large-scale show After the Windrush at St John on Bethnal Green, Saturday May 2nd, based on African and Caribbean music


Saturday 2nd, 2.00 - 6.00pm, rehearsal
St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA
Rehearsal for evening performance of After the Windrush, with Grand Union Orchestra and GU Voices.

The  Flyer here has more information, and details of the Summer masterclasses and performances will be confirmed in early March. The Summer School dates are Monday July 27th to Thursday 30th, again in Writtle University College.

As a taster of what can be achieved, here are clips from recent events at Rich Mix:

GUYO musicians summon up the Yoruba orissa Eleggua with West African 12/8 drumming, and Ogun with Northeast Brazilian 12/8 rhythms and his traditional Candomble chant :



Sunday May 12th, Rich Mix
GUO trumpeter Kevin Robinson introduced his favourite Caribbean music, with tips on improvisation within the styles.

Sunday June12th, Rich Mix
GUO’s Shanti Jayasinha (trumpet, percussion) explored Afro-Cuban music, and described his approach to improvisation.

Sunday July 7th, Rich Mix
GUO saxophonist/flautist Louise Elliott shared her enthusiasm for Latin music, offering practical suggestions for improvising.

Monday July 30th to Thursday August 2nd - Summer School
Writtle University College, Chelmsford
Fifth annual GUO residential Summer School .

Sunday October 6th, seasonal introductory workshop, Rich Mix
South African trumpeter Claude Deppa introduced the autumn programme.

Thursday October 24th, open workshop day, Poplar Union       
Special event celebrating Black History Month, workshops led by Grand Union African and Caribbean musicians followed by a performance, Roots in Rhythm, at Poplar Union on Saturday 26th in which workshop participants took part.    

Sunday November 10th, Rich Mix
masterclass in South Asian music combined with jazz and other world music styles, led by Yousuf Ali Khan. Participants then took part in that afternoon's performance of Bengal to Bethnal Green, which followed

Sunday December 1st, preparation of music for Winter Concert
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA 
This year's Winter Concert (on December 15th) is on the theme of renewal, and the repertoire will reflect this, including pieces suggested or created by members of GUYO itself. This workshop will therefore prepare and rehearse for that.


For details of upcoming GUYO events, visit our  Youth Orchestra Performance page or our general Events page.

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