Learning and participation

Grand Union has always operated an extensive outreach programme. We average around 200 workshops a year in education settings which are all in some way cross-cultural.

Click here for Tony Haynes writing in Music Teacher about the art of improvisation.

We also run a training and professional development programme called Grand Union: The Second Generation. This allows musicians who have come up through the Youth Orchestra, and other would-be professionals, to learn at first hand our technique and practice of composition and performance. It gives them the opportunity to help run workshops, perform in our live shows on a regular basis and generally develop their artistic skills. Many then graduate to the professional GU Orchestra itself

We are always open to discussions about future learning and participation projects, whether in schools, adult education, community centres or other settings.

If you have any suggestions or project proposals, please do get in touch with us!

Since it is often easier to develop a project from an existing model or template, here are some recent examples:

Fusion Sounds (2014)

Fusion sounds was a seven week series of workshops in partnership with Sound Connections, Enfield Music service and the Nurhak Trust. The idea was to engage young people with traditional Turkish music as well as fusing that with other musical cultures. These ideas were explored in a number of sessions, each led by three Grand Union Second Generation musicians.

Discover Young Hackney – GUYO and East London Capoeira

GUYO collaborated with East London Capoeira in a day-long workshop where participants learnt about Capoeira music, culture and sport, devising and playing their own music inspired by the art of capoeira.

Banding Together – Alternative Ten Pieces project

Cambridgeshire Music commissioned Grand Union to work with their ensembles to produce a programme to respond to the BBC's Ten Pieces initiative. Tony Haynes therefore put together of music from the GUO repertoire, together with some pieces specially written the project to complement the classical orchestral works selected by the BBC.

Bengal to Bethnal Green 

Our ongoing series of performances at Rich Mix Arts Centre, led by GUO tabla star Yousuf Ali Khan, was complemented by workshops with Tower Hamlets primary schools, leading to a performance at Rich Mix commemorating Bangladesh’s Independence Anniversary. This project will be  repeated in 2015.

Cambridge, Harlow & Colchester – Music Untamed

Grand Union continues its partnership with the music services of Essex, Harlow and Colchester to produce workshops and collaborative performances at a number of settings including St John’s ARC, the Cambridge Corn Exchange and Colchester Festival.

Project with Clacton Schools – Essex

Working with Essex music services, this project involved four schools in Clacton, culminating in a large-scale performance at St. James’ Church, Clacton.

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