Workshops

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 Joshua Brandler josh@grandunion.org.uk or the Grand Union office 020 8981 1551 to find out more.

WE ARE RESUMING LIVE PROJECTS IN OCTOBER, IN COMPLIANCE WITH COVID-19 REGULATIONS, WITH ALL NECESSARY SAFETY MEASURES IN PLACE 

PROGRAMME FOR AUTUMN 2020
 

OCTOBER
Sunday 4th, 10.00 - 1.30, Rich Mix – GUYO masterclass
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
The autumn masterclasses centre on the art of improvisation, and the first session is led by Shanti Jayasinha, expert in both Cuban and South Asian music. The sessions will be run live, with physical distancing, and filmed for wider distribution. Participants must bring their own instruments, including percussion. Flyer

Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th, 10.00-6.00 – open workshops
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Due to Covid-19, we were unable to run our annual residential summer school this year, but have replaced it with this three-day residency. The theme is ‘improvisation’, and appropriately we shall be making up the programme as we go along! (See this blog post,) We can accommodate about 20 young musicians, in a Covid-safe environment, but will also be streaming the sessions live, so that musicians at home can join in, ‘Sitting in with the Grand Union Orchestra’. Keep an eye on this website, where updates will be published regularly. Flyer

NOVEMBER (more dates to follow)
Sunday 9th, 10.00 - 1.30, Rich Mix – GUYO masterclass
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Like the first masterclass, this also centres on the art of improvisation, led by legendary jazz saxophonist Tony Kofi, whose parents came originally from Ghana. The sessions will be run live, with physical distancing, and filmed for wider distribution. Participants must bring their own instruments, including percussion. Flyer

DECEMBER (more dates to follow)
Sunday 6th, 12.00 - 9.00, Rich Mix – GUYO Winter Concert
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
We are not sure yet what form this popular annual event will take, and hope to announce details in November. The likely schedule is: 12 noon to 2.30, workshop; 3.30 to 6.00, rehearsal/soundcheck; 7.00 to 9.00, performance. Flyer

WHAT WE HAVE DONE SINCE LOCKDOWN...

...published a 'bitesize' newsletter every fortnight, each covering a specific theme:

...Tony Haynes has posted regularly on his Music Blog:

...GUO musicians have produced weekly Lockdown Live sessions on YouTube; here is a selection:

...and launched a new Library Channel on YouTube, as an online resource for professional or educational use.
Featuring an unimaginable range of instruments and singing styles worldwide, it brings together essentially lyric or narrative pieces from the Grand Union canon, ranging from simple arrangements of traditional music to Tony Haynes’s compositions for large-scale shows, especially those involving young musiciansThis Playlist, The Isle is Full of Noises, gives a general overview.

More Playlists group the dramatic material under other subject headings – eg ‘rivers and seas’ ‘jobs and occupations’, ‘conflict’, ‘villains and victims’ and so on. They aim primarily to inspire musical interest and creativity, but for schools they also form an imaginative way in to a range of historical topics (the slave trade, wars of independence, the Silk Road), social issues (disease, migration, inequality), world instruments and dance styles, cultural and political debate, and even languages (widely represented in GUO repertoire). 

The Annual Residential Summer School (Monday July 27th to Thursday 30th at Writtle University College) had to be cancelled, but we are running a substitute residency (partly online if necessary) during the autumn half-term (October 27th to 29th).

Here are examples of the work we are likely to cover...

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 :

                   

To keep up to date with GUYO events, visit our Youth Orchestra Performance page or our general Events page.

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