Grand Union Youth Orchestra

The unique Grand Union Youth Orchestra (GUYO), London's pioneering world music and jazz youth ensemble, brings together young musicians aged 12 - 26 who wish to explore the world's major musical cultures, and offers them a wonderful range of artistic opportunities. Players of non-Western instruments are particularly welcome.

Led by top professional jazz and world-musicians from the renowned Grand Union Orchestra, GUYO offers free monthly masterclasses and workshops that explore musical styles from all over the world. Each session takes place at East London's vibrant Arts Centre, Rich Mix.

GUYO members’ (or their families’) countries of origin include Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, India, Bangladesh, the Caribbean, South Africa, East Africa and China as well as London born and bred. Therefore, the range of instruments they play is equally wide, so in a typical Grand Union Youth Orchestra performance you are likely to hear:

saz, ney, oud, sitar, sarangi, Indian violin, tabla, dholak, dhol, panpipes, steel pans, marimba. vibraphone, concert harp, violin, cello, double bass flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, harmonium guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, congas, djembe, Latin percussion, kit drums

Join GUYO, no auditions, FREE OF CHARGE, and:

The GUYO repertoire, created and rehearsed in over 60 workshop sessions so far, is continually developing and expanding. It includes a arrangements of world music ‘standards’, original music, material adapted from Tony Haynes’s music for the Grand Union Orchestra, and contributions and compositions by the Orchestra members themselves.

Members get to perform in a varied annual programme: from open air festivals and summer carnival processions to large-scale participatory shows playing alongside the Grand Union Orchestra. Past performances have taken place in prestigious venues such as the Hackney Empire, Wiltons Music Hall, and Stratford Circus.

For upcoming performances, click here.

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