The Grand Union Youth Orchestra

Grand Union Youth
Orchestra of East London

The unique Grand Union Youth Orchestra, 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.

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

  • Take part in regular high-profile performances
  • Work alongside leading professional musicians
  • Learn about world music, first hand, from experts
  • Discover new instruments and develop improvisation skills
  • Meet and create with like-minded young musicians

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.

Blending Indian ragas with bluesy harmony, Turkish songs with West African drumming and chant, Chinese folk tunes with reggae bass lines, GUYO perform an eclectic mix of musical styles. Bringing together an equally diverse selection of instruments, that includes steel pans, dhol, sarangi, Turkish saz, tabla, sitar, saxophones, wind and brass, violins, cellos, harp and much more, 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! For upcoming performances, click here.

GET INVOLVED! To find out how you can join this unique youth ensemble, click here.

Latest news

Music Education UK tell the story behind Grand Union’s The Golden Highway show

In the winter edition of Music Education UK, Grand Union featured in a wonderfully comprehensive article on The Golden Highway, a show that celebrated London 2012.

Congratulations to Alex and Callum for achieving their Bronze Arts Award!

A huge well done to Alex and Callum who are the first of GUYO to achieve their Bronze Arts Award!

Latest music and videos

Celebrating Five Years of the Grand Union Youth Orchestra

The Grand Union Youth Orchestra celebrated their fifth birthday in December 2012 with a celebratory concert at Rich Mix Arts Centre, home to their monthly masterclasses.

What The River Sings, March 4th 2012

As part of the BBC's Music Nation Weekend, the Grand Union Youth Orchestra takes to the stage of Trinity Buoy Wharf to perform along side the Grand Union Orchestra, the Water City Festival Orchestra and East London choirs in a very special show, devised by Tony Haynes.

Latest news

Music Education UK tell the story behind Grand Union’s The Golden Highway show

In the winter edition of Music Education UK, Grand Union featured in a wonderfully comprehensive article on The Golden Highway, a show that celebrated London 2012.

Congratulations to Alex and Callum for achieving their Bronze Arts Award!

A huge well done to Alex and Callum who are the first of GUYO to achieve their Bronze Arts Award!

Recent recruit Anni Movsisyan talks about her time so far as a GUYO member

Anni Movsisyan, a violin and accordion player, joined GUYO earlier this year. She reflects on her experience so far with GUYO and discusses her first time playing at the Hackney Empire Theatre alongside the Grand Union Orchestra in July.

Get involved

If you're a young musician living in East London, and like jazz/world music, come along and get involved!

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