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. Players of non-Western instruments are particularly welcome.


GUYO tenth anniversary year

In 2017, the Grand Union Youth Orchestra celebrates its 10th birthday. We are planning a series of events and a fund-raising campaign based around this, throughout the whole year. Here is how GUYO celebrated previous anniversaries:


GUYO masterclasses or workshops take place at Rich Mix, generally on the first Sunday in each month. GUYO also performs regularly at Rich Mix, at Festivals and other events, and takes part in projects with the parent Grand Union Orchestra and World Choir.

See our 2017 schedule for latest details, or workshops and performances pages.

The musicians introduce themselves and their instruments  here
To give you a flavour of the GUYO programme, here is the  schedule for our autumn programme 2016, and information on last year's Summer School.


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. Here, the next generation interprets an Indian raga and West African drumming and chant:


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.

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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