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. It is recommended that you attend an introductory workshop before attending our monthly sessions.

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

SUMMER PROGRAMME 2019 - download flyer


Sunday 12th, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
GUO trumpeter Kevin Robinson introduces his favourite Caribbean music, and offers tips on improvisation within the styles.


Sunday 12th, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
GUO’s Shanti Jayasinha (trumpet, percussion) explores Afro-Cuban music, and describes his approach to improvisation.


Sunday 7th, 10.00am - 1.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
GUO saxophonist/flautist Louise Elliott shares 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, full details on the Summer School page.

Come and see the results of all this exceptional creative and practical work, and catch one of the numerous GUYO performances over the summer! details here

SPRING PROGRAMME 2019 just completed - download flyer

Sunday February 3rd, Rich Mix
Open taster session, led by South African trumpeter Claude Deppa, introducing the music, ideas and opportunities to be explored during the year.

Tuesday February 19th, Spotlight, Langdon Park
Thursday February 21st, Poplar Union
Friday February 22nd, Poplar Union
Bengal, Bhangra and the Blues - open workshops and performance in the music of South Asia, led by table maestro Yousuf Ali Khan, combined with jazz and other world music styles. Full details here.  

Sunday March 3rd, Rich Mix
Masterclass exploring the magic and mystery of India classical music and Bengali folk song, led by Bangladeshi table maestro Yousuf Ali Khan

Sunday April 7th, Rich Mix
Masterclass led by Bulgarian percussionist Lilia Iontcheva untangling the irregular time-signatures and hypnotic dance rhythms of the Balkans

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 March 4th, Rich Mix
Masterclass led by Columbian percussionist Emeris Solis
Born on the Pacific Coast of Columbia, Emeris is a much sought-after exponent of the colourful songs and rhythms of that region, including currulao and bunde..

Sunday April 8th, Rich Mix
Masterclass led by gu zheng virtuoso Zhu Xiao Meng.
Born and brought up in Shanghai, Zhu is one of the world's finest exponents of the Chinese harp. She has appeared in many Grand Union projects over the years, and her repertoire ranges from ancient dramatic showpieces to poignant folk music.

Sunday May 6th, Rich Mix 
Masterclass led by Carnatic violinist Jyotsna Srikanth (Bangalore)
Trained as an Indian classical musician, Jyotsna is an extraordinary improviser, and her workshops give an insight into the ragas of the South Indian tradition.

Sunday May 20th, 'Big Band in a Day', Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club
Young musicians working with Tony Haynes, Claude Deppa and Yousuf Ali Khan to produce a support set for the featured band. 

Sunday June 3rd, Rich Mix
Masterclass led by steel pan virtuoso Daniel Louis.
Born in Hackney, Daniel's family comes from St Lucia. He is therefore both heir to the Caribbean steel band tradition, and expert in other British Black music styles - and a great jazz player.

Sunday July 1st, Rich Mix - rehearsal preparing music for What the River Brings at St John on Bethnal Green, Sunday July 14th

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

Throughout the autumn, Hackney Museum mounted an exhibition Black British Music in Hackney, and our whole programme - including GUYO projects - reflected and explored this theme,

Sunday October 6th, Rich Mix
Masterclass exploring Jamaican music past and present, led by internationally renowned trumpeter Kevin Robinson

Tuesday October 23rd, Spotlight, Langdon Park
Thursday October 25th, Poplar Union    
Trading Roots -
open workshops in the music of African and the Caribbean with Grand Union musicians, celebrating Black History Month. Participants performed with Grand Union musicians at Poplar Union on Saturday 27th.

Sunday November 4th, Rich Mix
Masterclass led by Ghanaian master-drummer Abass Dodoo

Sunday December 2nd, Rich Mix
Rehearsal and soundcheck for Winter Concert, Trading Roots   

The Summer School sessions and monthly GUYO masterclasses/workshops are generally led by different musicians from the Grand Union Orchestra, They focus on various styles and techniques of world music and jazz including Indian classical ragas, African songs and chants, township music, call and response techniques, Latin-American rhythms, Eastern European and gypsy music (to name but a few!) - and improvisation is always a key ingredient.

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

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