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 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, so in a typical Grand Union Youth Orchestra performance you are likely to hear:

saz, ney, oud, sitar, sarangi, Indian violin, tabla, dholak, dhol, panpipes, steel pans, marimba. vibraphone, concert harp, violin, cello, double bass flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, harmonium guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, congas, djembe, Latin percussion, kit drums

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

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.

Who to contact

020 7375 1122

Where to go

Venue address
15b St. Margaret's House 21 Old Ford Road
Bethnal Green
E2 9PL

Journey Planner

Address: 15b St. Margaret's House  21 Old Ford Road  Bethnal Green  London