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 free and without auditions.

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

ALL OUR LIVE PROJECTS IN COMPLIANCE WITH NEW COVID-19 REGULATIONS AND SAFETY MEASURES, HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL DECEMBER 5TH.

PROGRAMME FOR AUTUMN 2020
 

OCTOBER
Sunday 4th – GUYO masterclass, Rich Mix
45-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
The autumn masterclasses centre on the art of improvisation, and the first session is led by Shanti Jayasinha (trumpet, cello), expert in both Cuban and South Asian music. The sessions will be run live, with physical distancing, and filmed for wider distribution (details to follow) Flyer

Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th – Alternative Summer School, Rich Mix
'SITTING IN WITH THE GRAND UNION ORCHESTRA'
...AND LIVE-STREAMED (full information here and on our Summer School page)
Unable to run our annual residential summer school this year due to the pandemic, we replaced it with a three-day half-term residency on the theme of ‘improvisation’ - see this blog post. With a handful of young musicians working live in a Covid-safe environment, sessions were streamed live for musicians at home to join in, ‘sitting in with the Grand Union Orchestra’. It finished with a performance of the work created with and by the young musicians. Details of how it worked can be found HERE, videos of the individual workshops will be available later in November.

HALF-TERM WORKSHOPS - OUTLINE PROGRAMME

Tuesday October 27th
10.30 am: South African township, Claude Deppa (South Africa, trumpet)
2.30 pm: South Asian music, Alaur Rahman (Bangladesh, voice, tabla
Wednesday October 28th
10.30 am: Latin-American forms, Andres Lafone (Uruguay, bass guitar)
2.30 pm: Jazz with African roots, Tony Kofi (Ghana, saxophones)
Thursday October 29th
10.30 am: Afro-Cuban, Shanti Jayasinha (Scotland/Sri Lanka, trumpet, cello)
2.30 pm: revision of work created, rehearsal for closing presentation
4.00 pm: performance of work created to an invited audience

Sunday November 8th – GUYO masterclass, Rich Mix
Again centred on the art of improvisation, led by legendary jazz saxophonist Tony Kofi (whose parents came originally from Ghana), the session will be run live, with physical distancing, and filmed for wider distribution. Flyer

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER - sadly all further dates this year have been cancelled or postponed, thanks to the latest month-long lockdown.

We shall continue to place material online, will start a new programme in February 2021 (whether live or online), and hope to resume full-scale performance and participatory projects by April. 


WHAT WE HAVE DONE SINCE THE ORIGINAL 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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