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 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 GU Voices.

For other information, see our current schedule, the workshops and performances pages, and details of our 2019 annual residential Summer School.

The magazine published an in-depth article on Grand Union's work with young musicians in its June 2019 issue here.

MUSIC TEACHER also published a full-length feature article in recognition of GUYO's tenth birthday in June 2017. Here is how GUYO has celebrated its anniversaries:


In this short video, musicians from the Grand Union Youth Orchestra introduce themselves and their instruments as they prepare to support London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics:



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. 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 East London venues such as the Hackney Empire, Wiltons Music Hall, and Stratford Circus.

For upcoming performances,  click here.

See more photos documenting GUYO, the first 10 years:

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