Summer School

Our fantastic Summer School is back for the third year running! Based again in Oundle School near Peterborough, it runs for four days, from Monday 1st to Wednesday 4th of August, and will culminate in a public performance.

                   GUO 2016 SUMMER SCHOOL - AUGUST 1ST TO 4TH

Students at last year's Summer School introduce this short video:

The prinicipal aim of the course is to give young musicians first-hand experience of a wide range of musical styles from around the world, under the guidance of musicians born and brought up in these traditions. They will be encouraged to form their own groups and create and perform their own pieces in response to this experience, and above all develop their improvisation skills. Whatever their main instrument, they will also sing, play percussion and be able to try out other (especially non-European) instruments.

Sessions are led by Grand Union musicians from many different musical cultures who have international reputations. This year we are delighted to welcome two musicians for the first time: Xavier Osmir, specialist in the music of Bahia and Northeast Brazil, including rhythms like maracatú and samba-reggae, and Yoruba chants brought over with the Slave Trade; and from West Africa itself, Landing Mané, a charismatic teacher and performer of the drumming traditions of Mali and Senegal, who will run sessions with massed djembes and introduce the chants and rhythms from which New World styles derive.

Our inimitable tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan returns to lead sessions in South Asian music from bhangra to Bengal, together with Latin-American percussionist Carlos Fuentes and star Australian jazz saxophonist Louise Elliott. Among other Grand Union musicians, Gerry Hunt (guitar, saxes) and Josh Brandler (bass) will again lend their support; GUO composer/director Tony Haynes will contribute arrangements; and the course will be directed as usual by trumpeter Shanti Paul Jayasinha.

Musician-tutors, the exact content of the course, the full programme and the schedule are still being finalised, but the course will follow broadly the same pattern as in previous years. Click here for the latest draft outline of the course, or see below.

Information will be updated on this page from time to time, and full details sent out in the middle of July.


Want to know a bit more about the summer school programme?
here to find out what you could be getting up to!

And to give you a taste of the music you will play and hear at the summer school, here are two clips from the final performance in 2014:

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