Grand Union Orchestra Summer School 2016

  • Oundle School Church Street, Oundle Peterborough PE8 4EE United Kingdom

About the course

2014 Grand Union Orchestra Summer School participants

2014 Grand Union Orchestra Summer School participants

Calling young musicians aged 12-21 – join the country’s pioneering world music and jazz ensemble for a four-day residency!

There is no other organisation quite like the Grand Union Orchestra (GUO), the acknowledged pioneer and leading exponent of cross-cultural music-making in the UK. Formed 30 years ago, it has brought together musicians from every major musical tradition worldwide to perform, broadcast and record original work. These musicians are not only remarkable artists but also highly experienced teachers and workshop leaders who will lead the Summer School, running specialist sessions in their music.

A staple Grand Union tune based on the South Asian music tradition and played fantastically by the young musicians who attended our Summer School in August 2014

Course information

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from young musicians of Secondary school age and up (12-21) who are interested in learning about music from other parts of the world and/or who play a non-European instrument.

You need to have reached Grade 4 (or equivalent) or have had prior experience with jazz and/or world music for acceptance. Open-mindedness is key at the GUO Summer School.

We encourage participants to experiment with new instruments they haven’t played before throughout the course.

Please note that priority will be given to residents of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Morecambe, Leeds, London and members of the Grand Union Youth Orchestra.

Who leads the course?

Under the general direction of Tony Haynes, Grand Union’s founder composer/director, and Shanti Jayasinha, the course will be led by musicians who have worked together as Grand Union’s core team for many years, including:

  • Louise Elliott (Australia) – tenor saxophone, flute
  • Yousuf Ali Khan (Bangladesh) – tabla, dholak
  • Carlos Fuentes (Chile) – Latin-American percussion
  • Lilia Iontcheva (Bulgaria) – tuned percussion, congas
  • Ruijun Hu (China) – dizi, xiao (Chinese flutes)
  • Daniel Louis (St Lucia) – steel pan

What's in it for me?

  • 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 and make new friends
  • Take part in the final concert featuring music created in the workshops

What will it cost?

  • £190 for the four-day course including food, travel, accommodation, tuition and performance
  • There will be an early-bird price of £170
  • A £70 deposit is required unless you are applying for a bursary (see application form for details)

Key deadlines

  • Tuesday 3 May: Early-bird applications
  • Friday 10 June: Application and deposit of £70
  • Friday 8 July: Final payment

Summer School 2015 responses

I enjoyed the chance to play with new people and learn about new cultures and musical styles (especially sub- cultures) that I had never experienced before – Participant

The social side is excellent - you’re guaranteed to make friends – Participant

I enjoyed being able to play what you wanted and freedom to express what you felt – Participant

Thanks very much to all at GU(Y)O for organising another wonderful event! My son learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience. The concert was high-quality and a pleasure to attend and it was gratifying for all concerned... It’s a great achievement, and long may it continue – Parent


For more information or to apply:


The Summer School will be held at the picturesque Oundle School, Church Street, Oundle, Peterborough PE8 4EE. Travel to Oundle will be provided. More details can be found at